Published November 08, 2011
America does not want another Bill Clinton, but Herman Cain’s latest accuser, Sharon Bialek, is suggesting to America that presidential objectifications against women could begin again. We will have to wait to see what other details surface, but the dust around Herman Cain’s past behavior doesn’t look like it will settle any time soon.
Bialek’s story is disturbing. The woman seems credible, and I was very bothered by her characterization of what happened.
It isn’t surprising that Bialek would feel comfortable approaching the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza for help with her job search. Cain exudes a hometown charm that makes him appear friendly and approachable. He has the ability to make everyone around him comfortable and, dare I say, safe.
You can question her judgment, but if her account is true, no matter what her reasons for reaching out to Cain, no woman deserves the slimy treatment described in her press statement.
Now I’m interested in what Mr. Cain has to say. Does he know her? Did he have dinner with her? Did she make the story about the hotel room up?
Indeed, Mr. Cain has much to answer for. If even part of her story is true, it calls Cain’s judgment into question.
This woman is now the face of an issue that continues to be a growing distraction for Mr. Cain’s campaign. It is high time for him to address these allegations head on.
Unlike the other three anonymous Cain accusers, Miss Bialek placed herself in the line of fire. A college graduate and working mom, Bialek is no doubt an intelligent woman. I hope she understood that the public and media would attack her integrity, belittle her story, and scrutinize her appearance. Yet, she chose to come forward. It will go badly for her if she is not prepared for the venom.
One error in judgment, however, is Bialek’s decision to hire infamous celebrity attorney, Gloria Allred. It’s sickening to watch Allred insert herself into yet another national scandal. After all, Allred’s last clients include Amber Frey, the ex-mistress of Scott Peterson; Mel B, a former Spice Girl; and, yes, a porn star. Not helpful representation for a woman who wants to appear credible.
Still, listening to Bialek describe in detail the way she was dealt with by Cain was even more appalling.
I have to reiterate that in all my dealings with Mr. Cain he has always been a gentleman. However, hearing the growing number of women who have accused Mr. Cain of inappropriate behavior gives me great pause.
Regardless of who’s telling the truth, it’s not fair to dismiss Cain’s new accuser as just another Anita Hill, who, in 1991, accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Hill’s story was never credible after it was documented that she had followed him from one job to another for years.
In the end, these allegations against Herman Cain must be substantiated before we can deem who is telling the truth.
Herman Cain should be able to face his accusers and defend his honor. Enough with these unattributed accusations and indirect statements.
Both sides need to be honest with themselves, each other, their families, and the American people.
For Cain, the step towards honesty is simple. Just repeat after me, “I did not have dinner with that woman.”
In the end the primary voters are smart people. They will make the right decision in choosing a candidate with high moral standards. CWA said in the Clinton years that “character counts,” and we still believe that to be true.
Penny Nance is CEO and President of Concerned Women for America.