Can Cain Weather This?

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 1 2011 @ 11:34am

A compilation of the different answers he gave yesterday:

Joe Klein bets that the harassment story won't damage Cain:

All this may work to Herman Cain’s advantage. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh for a few minutes in a cab this afternoon and the immediate assumption by Limbaugh and several callers was that Cain was being set up by the liberal media. The notion of black man as sexual predator is a particularly toxic stereotype–and it may intensify the self-righteous satisfaction some Republicans are getting from supporting a conservative black man for President. 

So far, I'd second that, as I did yesterday. If no extra details are provided, once my reader's point is taken into account, it's currently a win for Cain. He has been able to play the race card, the faith card, and the liberal media card. Each one looks like an ace to the base. Which, of course, intensifies the GOP's dilemma in the medium run. Nate Silver likewise thinks Cain might survive:

[G]iven the already extant tensions between the political establishment, which is broadly dismissive of Mr. Cain, and the conservative grass-roots, which has evident affection for him, the accusations might carry less weight against him than they would against a more “mainstream” candidate.

Rod Dreher even defends Cain's singing:

[I]n context of the entire video, Cain’s performance doesn’t look strange at all. He didn’t just burst into song. He was asked to sing. Here’s the entire video; go to around the 58:00 mark for context. Cain said he would do so as an opportunity to offer a testimony to what his religious faith has done for him. In the fuller context, especially given that he was asked, as a final question, to favor the audience with a song, what he did strikes me as charming. 

I'm sorry but it's pretty weird for a potential president. First Read is waiting to see how the story develops: 

It all depends if there's another allegation or a new piece of information that contradicts his current story. If there is, that would be a knockout blow. Indeed, conservative commentators largely gave Cain a free pass yesterday. … But if another shoe drops, he most likely won't get another free pass from them.