Of all the comments Herman Cain has made since the sexual harassment story broke, this one from his press conference last night is the most disconcerting:
“As you know, when you run for the highest office of the land, there are going to be some accusations that are going to come out of the woodwork, they’re going to come from anywhere,” said Cain. “I have said this before: there will probably be others. Not because I’m aware of any, but because the machine to keep a businessman out of the White House is going to be relentless. And if they continue to come, I will continue to respond. I can’t answer why the ones that have already made these [accusations]…I can’t tell you what their motivation is, other than to try to stop Herman Cain.”
Cain made a similar remark on Fox News the day after the allegations surfaced. And he turned out to be right – just a few days later Sharon Bialek held her press conference accusing him of groping her in 1997.
What would prompt Cain to make these predictions? Maybe it’s cynicism. Maybe he honestly believes he’s such a threat to these powerful anti-business forces — the Democratic Machine, as he called it last night — that they’ll continue to frame him with manufactured sexual harassment allegations (including ones that were filed against him more than a decade ago by some apparently prophetic opponents to Cain’s future White House bid). Maybe that’s it. But the comments come off as a clumsy attempt to preemptively attack specific allegations that he expects to drop sometime soon. And that certainly doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence about how Cain would fare in a general election.