November 8, 2011

The Herman (and Gloria) We Don't Know

(Note: we first ran this post nine days ago, on October 31st, but in light of events, the photo is a lot more interesting today.)

“Don’t expect the traditional amount of exposure you normally get from a campaign wife,” Cain said about his wife, Gloria. “She’s not going to do that.” Cain, a charismatic orator known for riling up crowds at Tea Party events, said his wife of almost 43 years doesn’t desire to be the center of attention on stage or on TV.

“My wife is one of the most unassuming, not-looking-for-the-limelight-people you’ve ever met,” he said during a phone interview in between campaigning in Nashville. “And I’m going to keep it that way. I’m not going to push her out there to try to do things she doesn’t want to do. That’s not her personality.”


“Throughout our life together, she has been primarily the person who has taken care of the home because I moved around a lot,” he said.

from: “Herman Cain: My wife will not be traditional ‘campaign wife’” (Alex Pappas/Daily Caller/May 19, 2011)

Sometimes I like analyzing the words, too — as in this case, where Cain telegraphs the main purpose of a campaign, which is: scoring the limelight. (So much for wanting to make the world better, and other stuff like that.)

But then, let’s talk about the picture, since there are precious few floating around of Gloria Cain or of Gloria and Herman, and this is the one made available to the public by “Friends of Herman Cain.” If there is any truth to the allegations that Cain did sexually harass female employees as head of the National Restaurant Association, this photo is going to get a lot more scrutiny. If it captures anything, it’s what Cain was referring to — his wife’s reluctance about the public eye. Judging by the body language, Cain is having to, simultaneously, protect her, make light of the limelight, and maybe also cajole her a little to submit to the picture.

Strangely (or, not so strangely, given the opportunism), it’s still hard to know at this point how much Cain is that serious a candidate. If these allegations don’t go away, though, and Herman’s really “all in,” there’s going to be a lot riding on Gloria — her husband, otherwise, a solo act — to weigh in on his behalf.

In the meantime, those wire photographers — with their editorial feelers way up and smelling trouble — are already digging Herman into a hole. Here’s an example from yesterday’s not-so-comfy Q. and A. at the National Press Club, positing wariness, even fear, off “the Herman we don’t know.”

(Video: Cain at NPC. photo 1: “Friends of Herman Cain.” photo 2: Win McNamee/Getty Images caption: Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the National Press Club October 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. During a question and answer portion of the program, Cain called the accusations of sexual harassment against him “a witch hunt.”)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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