Oh, Herman. Why did you double down so forcibly? I hope Cain’s innocent, really I do. Tuesday’s press conference gave him little wiggle room. Within the first 1 minute and 45 seconds, Herman Cain said that he saw Sharon Bialek for “the very first time”, that he “doesn’t even know who this woman is”, and that he “doesn’t recognize her name at all”. By the 2 minute and 20 second mark, he had repeated that he didn’t know who Sharon Bialek is and that he didn’t recognize her name.
I hope that’s true. We already know that he saw her in September of this year, but that might have been the only time he’s ever seen her, and he may honestly have forgotten about it.
But when you think back to Sharon Bialek’s original press conference, Sharon was very, very specific in her accusations. Here’s some of the transcript from that press conference.
“I took the train into Washington, D.C. When I went to check into the room I was shocked to be taken to a palatial suite. I said to the bellman that there must be some mistake, but he insisted that there was no mistake. I later found out that Mr. Cain had arranged for the suite, though at the time I thought that maybe my boyfriend had tried to surprise me.
“I met Mr. Cain in the lobby of the bar at the Capitol Hilton at around 6:30 p.m. We had drinks at the hotel, and he asked how I liked my room, which is kind of normal, and I said I was very surprised. I said, I can’t believe it, I’ve got this great suite, it’s gorgeous. Mr. Cain kind of smirked, and then said, ‘I upgraded you.’
“He then took me to an Italian restaurant where we had dinner. During dinner, Mr. Cain looked at me and said, ‘Why are you here?’ I said, ‘Actually, Herman, my boyfriend, whom you met, suggested that I meet with you ‘cause he thought you could help me because I really need a job. I was wondering if there’s anything available at the state association level or perhaps if you could speak to someone at the foundation to try to get my job back, perhaps even in a different department.’ He said, ‘I’ll look into that.’
“While we were driving back to the hotel, he said that he would show me where the National Restaurant Association offices were. He parked the car down the block. I thought that we were going to go into the offices so he that could show me around. At that time I had on a black pleated skirt, a suit jacket and a blouse. He had on a suit with his shirt open. But instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals. He also grabbed my head and brought it toward his crotch. I was very, very surprised and very shocked.
“I said: ‘What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend. This isn’t what I came here for.’ Mr. Cain said, ‘You want a job, right?’
“I asked him to stop and he did. I asked him to take me back to my hotel which he did, right away.”
Here are some of the details just from that transcript:
She said that she stayed in the Capitol Hilton
He upgraded her room to a suite.
She met him in the lobby bar for drinks
They went to an Italian restaurant.
She had on a pleated skirt.
When you listen to her tell the tale in her press conference (that the transcript above is from), she really seems to be making specific accusations and “recalling” specific details. When Herman Cain says that he doesn’t even know who Bialek is, he’s denying a LOT of things. So, if even ONE of them is true, it casts a lot of his testimony into question.
If any one of the things Ms. Bialek claims is proven to be true, then Herman’s goose can be cooked. (hotel records, credit card records, etc…) I feel that Mr. Cain took a very big gamble by saying he had did not even know who Sharon Bialek is. I think it would have been a safer bet for him to say he’s “not sure” if he’d ever seen her before, but by making such adamant claims, he’s really given himself little recourse in the event (or if) he’s ever proven to not be telling the truth.
Of course… if he IS telling the truth, then his gamble may likely pay off.
What do you guys think? Did Herman take too big of a risk by saying so adamantly that he did not even know who Sharon Bialek is? Should he have been more vague and just said that he “didn’t recall ever meeting her”? Or, should he have “put his chips all in”, as it seems he has? What would you do, if you were accused of wrong doing by someone on national TV, for that matter? I’m not sure what I would do, if I was in that situation, myself.
As always, let us know what you think in the comments below. I know a lot of you are tired of this conversation, but we’re trying to choose a leader of the free world, and part of the process is gauging how candidates do under pressure. And right now, I’d say Herman Cain is under pressure.