Herman Cain, that is.

While I didn’t think he would ever capture the republican nomination nor win a Presidential election, I started out liking Herman Cain a lot. Not so much because he has good answers to the questions he is asked, but because of his confidence and his forthright manner. I like that he is a non-politician.

And while he has been the latest Republican conservative anti-Romney “flavor of the month” after Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry, the last two weeks have been a disaster for him.

You have to admit the guy is entertaining during the debates, with his bold, yet unworkable and unfair 999 plan. He certainly promotes it with gusto. But it tends to become a joke during some of the debates like the latest one this past Wednesday Night.

But the accusations against him are no joke and similar issues have brought down a number of politicians and candidates for public office as well as those in business.  Sexual harassment and assault has been on-going problem in the business world for many years with men in positions of power acting inappropriate with women not in equal positions of power. And for the longest time, it was tolerated by companies as sort of a “boys will be boys” mentality; it is no longer acceptable behavior. Not that it doesn’t still go on, but it is less tolerated and, in many cases, action is taken against the offender. Yet, I  suspect many cases are not still reported because of fear of retaliation and loss of employment. Even with more and more women appearing in the upper ranks of companies that hasn’t stopped the good ol’ boys who don’t seem to get it.

Which leads me back to Herman Cain. He doesn’t seem to get it. There were two cases of sexual harassment filed against him for which two women received settlements from the National Restaurant Association (NRA, ironic?)  He cannot deny that fact. Yet, he does.  Is it a case of plausible deniability? Where he actually never knew the outcome? Possible, I assume. But not likely.

He says nothing happened. Or that it was never proven that he sexually harassed anyone. Or, that he never sexually harassed anyone. One of those stories at different times. And he cannot seem to admit that the NRA paid out to settle the claims. He calls the agreements employment agreements, not settlement agreements.

Then there is the case of this woman, Sharon Bialek, who has claimed more than just harassment, but an out and out assault. She claimed that she even met Cain again a little over a month ago. Cain not only denies the assault, but denies he laid eyes on the woman ever. Yet there is a credible witness who says she saw them talking together at the tea party event on October 1st in Chicago.

Of course, he knows that if he now admits anything his days as a candidate are numbered. I suspect they are anyway.  If the past is any indication, there will be others coming forward to further document his behavior. Should things that happened more than 10 years ago affect his candidacy? Perhaps not, but his honesty in dealing with it now is a real issue. Could he have made it go away with a simple statement that he may have said something inappropriate at the time and is very sorry now and he learned a valuable lesson? Might have worked, but we’ll never know.

There seems to be an arrogance associated with people in powerful positions that makes them think they are above the rules the rest of us play by. Because their staff shows them deference and shake in their boots at the mere sight of the person, does not mean the rest of us do. I learned this a while ago in the corporate world that those who were fortunate enough to be promoted above me were generally the same people I knew, talent-wise as when they were my peers. But their personalities often changed for the worse. This did not happen all the time, but many times.

I think we all know how this will end.  And oh, in spite of Cain’s assertions that the “Democratic machine” is behind the leak of this information, I cannot buy it at all. Of course, that was his last assertion. First, his campaign accused the Perry campaign. Then hinted it might be Romney people that leaked the inforamtion. The Democrats would like nothing better than a Cain-Obama race. The Dems are already after Mitt Romney, who they believe will be the nominee. And while, it appears that Cain as been able to use his own victim status to raise money among his ardent supporters, he is losing support among women.

In conclusion, it is a shame to see yet another man fail to own up to his behavior, no matter how innocent he thought it was at the time.  I think he could have resolved this easily, but did not.

The mark of a real man is his willingness to admit a past indiscretion and just apologize.