his web ad became a sensation. He never imagined that a cigarette puff could create so much controversy. So much free publicity. And so much cash rolling in...
That was about two weeks. That was before Politico published a story about two women filing complaints alleging sexual harassment while Cain was heading the National Restaurant Association.
As the story gathered steam, Cain used his appearance before the National Press Club to emphatically declare the allegations false. He denied he was aware of any settlement. He was so confident that he had addressed all the media questions that he ended his appearance by singing a song.
Unfortunately for Cain, he kept talking about the Politco story. Each time offering more details that seemed to contradict his previous statements. His campaign manager added fuel to the story by pointing to Rick JR Perry's camp as the source of the story. Perry's campaign was quick to blame the Mitt "Bobby" Romney's camp creating a circular firing squad causing heartburn among GOP primary voters. Will any of these candidates defeat Barack "POTUS" Obama????
It is said that politics is blood sport. And Cain was now wounded. Not so much by the initial story which was light on details and full of innuendo. It was Cain's handling of the story that led pundits to wonder whether he was ready for the White House.
Nothing attracts sharks more than blood. As more allegation surfaced against Cain, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred saw an opportunity to grab the headlines. She held a press conference with one of Cain's accusers, Sharon Bialek.
The allegations were serious but unsubstantiated. Ms. Bialek did not file any charges or complaints at the time the alleged incident happened. More than 10 years ago. It was the classic he said/she said situation. And Allred did not help her client's credibility with her crude joke about "stimulus packages".
Despite the mouting allegations, Cain walked onto the CNBC debate stage still strong in the polls and defiant. Evan though the debate was about economic issues, Maria Bartiromo felt it was appropriate to ask Cain about the allegations only to have her question booed by the audience. Apparently, Republican voters recognize a political hit job when they see it. Or hear it.
The audience's reaction gave Cain confidence that he was on his way of putting this story behind him. Again, he emphatically denied all allegations. They audience cheered. And then the unexpected happened.... JR Perry's "Oooops".
Cain walked off the debate stage knowing that his name would not be in the morning headlines.
Next episode: A Second Look: The Gingrich Story