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November 8th, 2011
07:14 PM ET

Letters to the President #1023: 'Cain under fire'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama every day. He has not responded. I wonder if he has my address? Yes, that must be the problem.

Dear Mr. President,

It must be troubling to watch all the pressure on Herman Cain over these accusations from women who say he sexually harassed them. Not because you Democrats have any fondness for Republicans, or sympathy for his situation, but rather because up until this happened I could fairly hear you all dancing behind closed doors over even the distant hope that he might be the GOP nominee.

Don’t pretend it is not so.

This is one of those rules of politics. There is nothing that Republicans like better than a Democratic challenger who fits neatly into the “liberal” box, and conversely nothing that Democrats like more than a Republican foe who can be painted with a bright red “conservative” brush.

Cain seemed to be playing that part pretty well; his comments about the electric border fence, his 9-9-9 plan, and his smiling populism all ignited the right, and inflamed the left, and as for the middle? Well, more than one political analyst has suggested that he will have his hands full winning over the much-needed independents and moderates should he get the party’s nod.

Which means, of course, in that event, you might have a somewhat easier job scooping up those votes.

But, to be honest, I would not bet on any of this. Sure, maybe for a moment your side was thrilled at the possibility of Cain being the candidate; maybe now you are disappointed that he may see his hopes slip away; but all the maybes don’t mean much, do they?

He could yet emerge from this storm. He could yet be your challenger. And you could have a heck of a time beating him. The odds say all of that is quite unlikely. But then, as I’ve noted before, the odds said you would never win either…and here you are, in office, waiting to see who you will run against this time.

Anyway, I trust all is well. Busy as can be today, so I ought to sign off.

Regards,
Tom

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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