Image via WikipediaYesterday, Herman Cain announced that he was suspending his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination. For the past few weeks, Cain has had numerous allegations of sexual harassment come out from his days as CEO of the National Restaurant Association. The most recent allegation was that he had been involved in a 13 year affair.
For his part, Cain has steadfastly denied any impropriety in any of the allegations. As an early supporter of Cain, I have been been willing to give Cain the benefit of the doubt because the allegations seemed to be so out of character for the man. Those who have known Cain for years have vigorously defended the man's character and steadfastly refused to believe the charges.
However, since the first story broke about the harassment allegations, Cain's poll numbers have been dropping steadily. Fighting all of the various charges against him, took Cain off message. More and more time spent defending his reputation meant less time discussing and putting forth the ideas like the 999 plan that led to his rapid rise in the poll from afterthought to frontrunner.
I have to admit, that in the last month or so, my own support for Cain had faded. However, the allegations of impropriety have had nothing to do with it. There have been a series of mistakes made by Cain and his campaign from the initial handling of the harassment charges to some areas where Cain showed his biggest weakness in regards to foreign policy issues.
I still think very highly of Herman Cain. He seems like a tremendously positive, optimistic, and likable person. Putting forth his 999 tax plan helped changed the course of the political debate for the Republican nominees. In the end, I think Cain will do OK, whether it be in continued political life or if his participation in the debate process leads to other opportunities. I wish the best for Herman Cain and his family.