More Problems for Cain Concerning his Behavior with Women

Cain's woes continue to mount.

Via the Washington ExaminerFifth woman raises questions about Cain’s behavior

Donna Donella, 40, of Arlington, said the USAID paid Cain to deliver a speech to businessmen and women in Egypt in 2002, during which an Egyptian businesswoman in her 30s asked Cain a question.

“And after the seminar was over,” Donella told The Washington Examiner, “Cain came over to me and a colleague and said, ‘Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?'”

Donella, who no longer works for USAID, said they were suspicious of Cain’s motives and declined to set up the date. Cain responded, “Then you and I can have dinner.” That’s when two female colleagues intervened and suggested they all go to dinner together, Donella said.

Cain exhibited no inappropriate sexual behavior during the dinner, though he did order two $400 bottles of wine and stuck the women with the bill, she said.

Now, this is clearly not an issue of sexual harassment as there was no employer-employee relationship here.  Further, there may be nothing here at all–as Donella told the Examiner, “I couldn’t swear that he had some untoward intentions, but we all thought his tone was suspect and we didn’t feel comfortable putting him in touch with that woman.”  However, the issue for Cain is rapidly becoming one of overcoming the preponderance of the evidence that he has a real problem in regards to his intentions towards various women with whom he has worked.

Consider, we now have:

1.  Two confirmed cases of financial settlements linked to allegations of sexual harassment when he worked at the National Restaurant Association.

2.  A potential third women who claims some type of inappropriate activity by Cain during the same period.

3.  A press conference from a woman who was willing to provide her name and a detailed story for public consumption with details of activity that could be construed as an attempt to get a quid pro quo of sex for a job.

4.  A fifth story now emerging suggesting that, at a minimum, Cain seemed to be trolling for one-on-one dinners with specific women.

Now, none of this proves anything, to be sure.  However, to this point some key pro-Cain arguments are evaporating at the moment, which include:

a. Well, the only accusations are from anonymous persons:  this is no longer the case.

b.  Well, only people who were paid off have made accusations:  this is no longer the case.

c.  Well, two cases does not equal a pattern:  now we are up to five cases that suggest that Cain may have been a womanizer (or, at least, was trying to become one).  Indeed, since the accusations are accelerating, the question hangs out there as to whether we are done with them as yet.

d.  Well, the only person willing to attach a name hired an attorney and might be after money:  this was the immediate response to yesterday’s press conference.  However, the current story means that this is no longer the case.  See, also, the ChiTrib: Cain accuser has history of financial troubles, legal squabbles.

Meanwhile, Cain and his campaign have been quite poor at rebutting these stories.  While drawing Clarence Thomas comparisons will help him with his supporters, they will not solve the problem here.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Digg says:

    At each event these women had the complete and total right to say “no” and yet they all went along. So where is their responsibility? They say they thought he might have suspicious motives so they are not all innocent little lambs no matter how they want to project an image of him to be the Big Bad Wolf.

  2. mantis says:

    At each event these women had the complete and total right to say “no” and yet they all went along.

    “Went along” with what, exactly?

  3. grumpy realist says:

    @Digg: It’s pretty obvious you’ve never been in a similar position.

  4. Peter says:

    “… Cain and his campaign have been quite poor at rebutting these stories”

    Methinks Cain is bad at it because he knows it’s all true, and his campaign is in disarray because they knew nothing about all this.

  5. Rick Almeida says:

    @Digg:

    The evidence is clear that they all said no.

  6. Hey Norm says:

    Ahem…
    There are currently 9 or 10 Cain posts on the website. I realize he’s an enigma wrapped in a conundrum…and that he is a bright shiny object…but seriously folks…he’s not even really running for office.
    Ohio’s SB5 is a pretty big deal.
    Daley has been demoted…another experiment in bi-partisanism by Obama…failed.
    Obama’s populism is getting traction…at the cost of the Republicans.
    Bachmann wants to put Calvin Coolidge on Mt. Rushmore.
    The Super Comitee is failing because of Republican tax catechism.
    Romney gave a economic policy speech last week..in which he tries to have it both ways with Medicare privatization.
    I’m just sayin’ is all….

  7. Andre Kenji says:

    Part of the problem is that no one said that Clarence Thomas was cleared from these charges.

  8. Bill Jones says:

    …they were suspicious of Cain’s motives and declined to set up the date. Cain responded, “Then you and I can have dinner.” That’s when two female colleagues intervened and suggested they all go to dinner together, Donella said.

    Women looking out for each other. While through the years the “old boys network” kept covering this guy’s ass by kicking him upstairs instead of to the curb. Interesting.

  9. gVOR08 says:

    @Hey Norm:
    Like Gail Collins tweeted, “Sexual harassment is a serious subject. But Herman Cain isn’t.”

  10. PD Shaw says:

    Now, this is clearly not an issue of sexual harassment as there was not employer-employee relationship here.

    I think that’s probably true as to woman #5 because there is no employment issue, but to the extent he was dangling a job offer in front of women #4 in exchange for sexual favors, that could be sexual harassment:

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment . . .

  11. ponce says:

    Cain doesn’t seem to have done anything Bill Clinton would consider inappropriate..

  12. matt b says:

    The Washington Examiner reported this?!… Just further proof that is is an attack of the drive-by liberal media… This is nothing more than liberal reporters running amok and doing a Chicago … umm Washington style… hit piece.

    I mean, the Examiner! This just proves how liberals hate black conservatives and invent racially based charges.

  13. Eric Florack says:

    Ahem…
    There are currently 9 or 10 Cain posts on the website. I realize he’s an enigma wrapped in a conundrum…and that he is a bright shiny object…but seriously folks…he’s not even really running for office.

    Chuckle… but he’s a conservative within striking distance of such.. and and black conservative, at that…. and therefore must be put in his place. Hmm?

  14. mantis says:

    Chuckle… but he’s a conservative within striking distance of such.. and and black conservative, at that…. and therefore must be put in his place. Hmm?

    You wingnuts sure have gall, I’ll give you that!

    When a Palin candidacy was the talk of the town, there were a lot of posts about her on OTB. Wingnuts decided it was because OTB authors hated women (or conservative women only, depending on which wingnut you listen to).

    When Bachmann surged, there were a bunch of posts about that nutjob. See above.

    Now Cain is nearing the end of his turn on the roller coaster, and as such there have been many posts here lately about him. Well, that’s because OTB authors are racist, of course, say wingnuts.

    The posts about Rick Perry during his brief rise and fall, and the various posts about Multiple Choice Mitt that have been pretty consistent for months, as he is the only real stable aspect of this primary season, are roundly ignored (except the occasional carping about religious bigotry against Mittens, but the wingnuts hate him so much they aren’t really playing defense for him). So if the OTB authors are racist and misogynist, and criticizing candidates because of those prejudices, then why were there posts about dumbass Rick Perry? He should be their ideal candidate, since they hate the blacks and women as the wingnuts would have us believe.

    Gee, it’s almost as if bithead and the other wingnuts will pull any ridiculous thing they can out of their asses when they encounter criticism of their wingnut heroes, reality be damned.

  15. @Eric Florack:

    Chuckle… but he’s a conservative within striking distance of such.. and and black conservative, at that…. and therefore must be put in his place. Hmm?

    Hmm, indeed.

    Let’s consider: when Palin was thought to be a potential major candidate, there were lots of posts (and similar complaints about the number of posts). When Bachmann was seen to be a frontrunner, there were lots of stories on here. When Perry emerged as a frontrunner, lots of stories on him, etc. (and, oddly, as those candidates have receded, there have been less stories about said candidates. Hmm, again).

    I am hopeful that it doesn’t take too much of a logical strain to see the pattern here. But then again, I have been disappointed before.

  16. ponce says:

    and therefore must be put in his place. Hmm?

    ???

    Obama has a double digit lead over Cain in head to head polling.

    I doubt it’s the libruls who are trying to torpedo Cain.

  17. anjin-san says:

    I think we have to cut bithead a little slack. He has loved and lost with so many right wing nutjob frontrunners over the last 18 months that he is even more confused than is normal for him.