We have witnessed the final straw for Herman Cain. After this last accusation of a 13-year extramarital affair with Ginger White, Cain has decided to remove his name from the presidential ticket. Steve Grubbs, Cain's Iowa campaign chief told supporters Tuesday Cain had helped White "with her problems and tried to get her on her feet financially" and still Cain has denied any inappropriate relationship with White. After this big announcement Cain said, "I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distractions and the continued hurt caused on me and my family. I am at peace with my God. I am at peace with my wife. And she is at peace with me."
Well, I am happy they are all feeling peace, but I think Cain's supporters are still left in the "cloud" that he described surrounding him last week. Aside from where the truth lies in this story, I believe Cain has chosen rightly to bow out of pursuing the presidential seat.
If Cain is indeed the family man he campaigned himself to be, then he chose rightly to honor his family and step out of the lime light. On the other hand, if the allegations are true, Cain may be trying to save himself from completely burning up while everyone is watching. Something doesn't feel right, so he better work it out before he tries to role out this magic tax solution.
I don't know if Cain is innocent or guilty of the recent allegations that have been surfacing in great number since late October. As Cain said early on, "you're guilty until proven innocent." At this point, we have a choice to believe Cain is telling the truth and he is innocent, or side with his numerous accusers/victims.
Before Cain announced he was pulling out of the presidential race, Grubbs tried to console supporters by reminding them that 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain and former President Bill Clinton both weathered similar accusations. McCain was accused of having an affair with a lobbyist which quickly lost energy in both conservative and liberal camps. Bill Clinton lied to our nation while occupying the presidential seat of the United States. We all remember this line because the media did not let us forget it: "I did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky." Clinton seemed to smile his way through and do some admirable philanthropic things to clean up his name. Most of his supporters would prove to be very forgiving and are loyal supporters of his work today. This situation was not handled honorably. Will the public be as kind and forgiving to Cain?
Cain has said that his plan is to travel around the nation with his 9-9-9 tax plan. He said that his reasoning for leaving the race was in part due to the toll it was taking on his family but also said that his supporters did not respond in a way that would give him hope to continue. Will Cain fizzle out in history as just another politician unable to manage his moral appetites, or will he walk through this fire storm unburned and make his mark on our nation? He hasn't admitted to anything or asked for forgiveness for anything so we are all still in the cloud of who Cain is. I don't feel confusion is a great platform to deliver any sort of solution.
Again, I don't know if the allegations are true, but I can't help but see the play on words of this campaign as a foreshadowing of the events that we are seeing now.
Cain used this slogan on the campaign train: "Cain is Abel" playing off the popular biblical brothers Cain and Abel. In the biblical story of Cain and Abel, Cain took the life of his brother Abel out of jealousy because Abel was favored for doing the right thing. If "Cain is Abel," as his slogan states, are the accusers playing the part of Cain? Are they jealous of a man rising to the top of the mountain? What will come of the Cain and Abel story?
At this point in the race, I am still deciding who has my vote. I do believe that if Cain is proven innocent and walks through the center of this firestorm, he will have exhibited courage and honor worth following. We won't know until the whole truth come to light. But, I am thankful that Cain has chosen to step down and deal with this confusing firestorm whether it's true or false — it's an honorable decision.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore