Razing Cain: Will he survive scandal?

Here is a principle we’re all supposed to learn in elementary school, right around the time we study gravity and start growing soybeans in paper cups: The rules are different for popular kids.

It’s a simple, universal truth, and yet the pizza baron and would-be Republican nominee, Herman Cain, was apparently out sick that day because this week he got a crash course in this Darwinian stricture. Oh sure, he’d already been pushed around over his 999 plan, but that was just good natured ribbing of an electoral newbie. Now, however, he finds himself in a full-scale “I’ll meet you after school” D.C. smackdown over these allegations of sexual harassment.

First things first: Most serious political analysts would agree that the questions being asked of Cain are valid. Anytime anyone stands even a chance of seizing the nation’s highest office, he or she better expect some skeleton hunters to start digging through the closet. And even if all they find is a couple of dusty bones, a stiff interrogation is sure to follow.

But once such an allegation is raised it gets trickier.  Because if the accused is already a poll-winning, successful Washington insider, he will likely have a broad base of powerful defenders who will automatically take up his cause. Like a popular kid in school, he will enjoy a presumption of innocence that others can only envy, and even if he ultimately admits guilt, they may yet rally to keep him in their pantheon of power. After all, letting an established winner be taken down makes the whole D.C. crowd feel vulnerable, and they don’t like that.

Not so for an outsider. If the accused is not already part of the club, the political elite will only too happily whisper the scandal over and over with a nod and a wink. And the candidate in question will largely be left to fend for himself. It’s like being beaten into a gang. Regardless of the facts, if he survives he is “in,” and if he falls, he is “out.”

So while we await the full story of this incident from Cain’s past, it is worth remembering: The rules are different for the popular kids. And along the Potomac, the popular kids are those who have already won.

– CNN’s Tom Foreman is a regular on “AC360°”/www.ac360.com and “The Situation Room.”
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…