Herman Cain said he knew the sexual harassment allegations were coming. That's what he told Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, anyway.
O'Reilly: Did you expect accusations against you once you became competitive in the race? Did you expect them?
GOP Presidential Candidate Cain: Yes, we did. We did expect them. We just didn't know what type or what source they were going to come from. But it was expected, and once I got near the top in the polls and in many of them was number one, then they let all the of the dogs out.
Cain is right that once he got to the top, somebody let all the dogs out, and the media is working itself into a frenzy over the sexual harassment allegations, dogging the Republican presidential candidate who has never before held elected office about the story -- trying to pin down what did or did not happen.
Some will argue the media is taking it too far, turning the story into a witch-hunt of sorts. And they may be right in some respects, though Cain has done his best to keep fanning the issue through incongruous statements that keep spewing from his mouth about the sexual harassment claims.
But there's a larger issue of concern that has emerged from this story, and it's the one Cain hinted to in his interview earlier this week with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News. If Cain expected the accusations to come out once he got to the top, why wasn't he proactive with the situation, bringing it to public light before others could?
Cain said he knew it was coming. But what he apparently didn't expect was that the issue would come out in the Republican primary race. He apparently throught only Democrats would drop that bomb and planned to sit on the story. And that's what he did -- since he said he knew it was coming, eventually. Apparently, Cain didn't think it would help to just tell the American people on his own watch that something happened years ago.
Had he brought the issue to public light -- since he knew it was coming anyway -- he could have taken a proactive stance in management so that it didn't come to this -- the witch hunt. It's good public relations 101 -- if you know bad news is coming, control the story.
But Cain took another path. He surged to the top of some polls, but though he knew it was coming, he sat on the story. And then, it came out. And he struggled to answer the questions asked. He's still struggling to answer the questions asked, speaking as if he didn't seem to know it was coming at all.
He's back on his heels, defensive, and struggling to avoid the hunt for the story. And that's a problem, since if he truly knew it was coming, he should have been smart enough to say it first. But he wasn't.