Will allegations of a 13-year affair sink Herman Cain?

Just as Cain was moving beyond a flurry of sexual harassment allegations, the world met Ginger White — who says she was Cain's longtime lover

On Monday, Herman Cain told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that a Georgia woman was going to accuse him of a 13-year affair. An hour later, Ginger White shared her story with the world.
(Image credit: Rick D’Elia/Corbis)

Herman Cain was hoping to sprint back to the front of the 2012 Republican presidential field with a new ad for his 9-9-9 tax plan and a week of showcasing his new foreign policy mettle. That plan went out the window on Monday afternoon, when Cain himself tipped off CNN that he was about to face allegations that he had a long extramarital affair. An hour later, Atlanta's FOX 5 TV aired an interview with Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White, who said she and Cain were lovers for 13 years. She said the affair only stopped eight months ago, and that she has phone records and other proof. Cain admitted that he knew White, but denied an affair, just as his lawyer, Lin Wood, issued "a classic non-denial denial" that said "private, alleged consensual conduct between adults" is nobody's business. Cain says he'll stay in the GOP race as long as his wife is behind him. But is the Cain train finally derailed?

This won't hurt Cain too badly: "Round Two of the Herman Cain sex scandal" isn't as bad as Round One, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. A consensual affair isn't as serious as alleged sexual assault or harassment, and the Cain campaign was "actually pretty smart in pre-empting" the report on White — suggesting it has belatedly learned how to handle a sex scandal. If there's no Round Three, Cain is probably in no worse shape than before.

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