Writer’s Block: Running From the Presidency of the United States

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By Corinne Wnek

Why does it seem to happen that some politicians, and now even non-politicians, shoot themselves in the foot by running off at the mouth? I’m referring to the recent allegations against Herman Cain that state, at some point in his past, he sexually harassed women before holding political office was on his to do list.

Now whether he did or didn’t do the thing he is being accused of is a good example of why, in American law, one is innocent until proven guilty. Let the facts speak for themselves. Except in the court of public opinion. There, Mr. Cain has already been fried.

Sadly, this may end his run for the presidency. I liked this guy more than I thought I would at the start of all the debates, even though many critics and comedians said “nein, nein, nein” to his nine, nine, nine plan. But Mr. Cain was refreshing in that he was one of us and not a politician, a term many people hold as one notch higher than a circus con artist. Maybe.

Yet, it’s hard to feel sorry for this man because of the way he handled his response to these allegations. For a non-politician, he did the typical flip-flop of a seasoned politico when he changed his story over and over again. Usually, this precedes the death knell for newcomers aspiring to hold public office, especially one as high as the presidency. But I’m all for second chances.

Now, I know I’m naïve and I certainly haven’t won any brainiac contests lately, but it seems to me that one doesn’t need a whole lot of gray matter to realize that when you put yourself before the public as a candidate for the presidency, stuff from the past is going to come up to haunt you. We all have dust in our closets. Explaining an allegation forthrightly might actually make more sense that ‘handling’ the allegation with all the pitfalls of innuendo and credibility. It is hard to recover from that as history tells us.

Maybe a candidate, any candidate, is trying to tell us something when this kind of thing happens. Maybe they are unconsciously afraid of winning the election or deep down feel they are not worthy of the office. Maybe they don’t actually care about winning at all but are using the platform for increased name recognition for some other venture. Maybe some contenders just believe that the rules don’t apply to them in their personal life or in public office.

But, “Hello, my name is (insert name here) and I’m running from the office of (insert office here)”, just doesn’t make for a good sound bite.


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