he video: Embattled GOP presidential frontrunner Herman Cain vowed recently that he would never speak again about the sexual harassment charges against him. Well, he flagrantly broke that promise during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night. (Watch part of the interview below.) "When I made that statement... I was talking about the firestorm last week," Cain explained. "I wasn't talking about this new firestorm." This "new firestorm" refers to Sharon Bialek, who revealed in a press conference on Monday that Cain had allegedly groped her in 1997 — making her the fourth woman to accuse Cain of sexual misconduct. (A fifth woman has since also raised questions about Cain's past behavior.) During the interview, Cain joked that at least Bialek "wasn't one of the many that had the first name 'Anonymous,'" made an innuendo about Bialek attorney Gloria Allred ("I can't think of anything that I would hire her to do"), revealed that his wife is a Democrat, and suggested that his fundraising has benefited so much from these allegations that other candidates would be wise to have similar scandals of their own. Cain will address the charges again in a press conference scheduled for 5 pm EST Tuesday.
The reaction: "Herman Cain definitely doesn't have this crisis-management thing down yet," says Frank James at NPR. His off-color "I-wouldn't-touch-her-with-a-ten-foot-pole joke" about Allred may have lent even more credence to the charges against him. At least Kimmel came off well, says Caryn James at Indie Wire. His "daring" line of questioning forced Cain to show that he's "extremely short on self-awareness and can barely stay on message." Actually, Cain "radiated good humor and feisty confidence" in this "star turn," says Alessandra Stanley at The New York Times. Rather than stage a carefully choreographed 60 Minutes segment, Cain went straight for late night, finding the value in using "comedy for a serious purpose." See for yourself:
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