Herman Cain might want to reconsider his "Let Mark Be Mark" rallying cry. Mark Block, the GOP presidential hopeful's chief of staff, said Tuesday night on Hannity that he had "confirmed" that the son of Karen Kraushaar, one of the women accusing Cain of sexual harassment, works for Politico, the publication that broke the scandal. The problem? Block "blatantly lied." The journalist Block was referring to, Josh Kraushaar, isn't related to Cain's accuser and doesn't work for Politico (he used to, but left for National Journal in June 2010). Block already has a spotty track record. He notoriously smoked a cigarette in a campaign ad, falsely accused Rick Perry's campaign of leaking the sexual harassment story, and has a history of campaign finance irregularities. Should Cain ditch Block before he does any more damage?
Block needs to be fired immediately: This "epic facepalm" makes things pretty clear, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. "Mark Block has to go." Block claimed he had "confirmed" something that he obviously hadn't. His rationale is almost beside the point. If Cain doesn't ditch his "careless" chief of staff, "no one will take this campaign seriously again — nor should they."
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Especially because he's killing Cain's credibility: Cain swears that he knows how to "surround himself with good people" and "work on the right problem," says Jason Linkins at The Huffington Post. Judging by the actions of "serial screw-up artist" Mark Block, it may be time to "downgrade Cain's people-surrounding and problem-identification skills." Block has routinely pushed Cain to respond to pressure and stress with "paranoia, unprovable claims, and desperate vindictiveness." Voters want "calm judiciousness" in a president, and that's simply not a quality Block brings out in Cain.
"Herman Cain Chief of Staff Mark Block proving to be a serial screw-up artist"
But Block's lie may have worked: It's clearly "amateur hour" at the Cain campaign, says Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs. Block's inaccurate confirmation was "pure desperation." But sometimes, desperate measures work. Now that it's out there, it's possible that this claim, though ultimately false, will become "a wingnut article of faith" that's "impervious to facts" in the "right-wing universe."
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Firing Block won't help — the damage is done: This snafu comes "in the midst of an existential crisis" for the Cain campaign, says Zeke Miller at Business Insider, and demonstrates once again the team's "inept crisis management and poor organization." Such false accusations weaken Cain's denials of the sexual harassment allegations against him. "If his campaign can't get even the simplest of facts straight, perhaps his recollection of events may be less than perfect," too.
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