Herman Cain got only one day off from scrutiny while everyone made fun Rick Perry's inability to name all three government agencies so oppressively regulatory they must be abolished. Friday brings more probing of Cain's character in the wake of four women saying he sexually harassed them while he ran the National Restaurant Association. Though Karen Kraushaar says she won't talk any more about what she says Cain did until more women agree to speak publicly, the candidate is not being spared scrutiny. A new poll shows him losing support among Republican voters while Gingrich is gaining on him; female Republican officials aren't laughing at his jokes. And The Washington Post's Krissah Thompson and Aaron C. Davis report that while Cain was running the lobbying group in Washington -- while his wife lived in Omaha -- he loved socializing with even low-level staffers and said he hated eating alone.
The Post explains that Cain lived a pretty kickin' bachelor's life while running the NRA, which "paid for an apartment, car service, first-class airline travel, country club dues and, often, Cain's restaurant tabs, said one current association official ... 'He lived a great lifestyle,' the official said. 'Meetings and whatever, he would hang out in the bar ... late into the night,' often with staffers." Staffers liked that Cain was nice to even the lowliest of peons -- once, he took a couple dozen staffers to a junket in Hawaii, The Post reports. But his after-work hangouts are where three of the four women say Cain harassed them.
More details of those happy hours aren't likely to come out if more of the women won't go public, The New York Times' Michael D. Shear and Jim Rutenberg report. Kraushaar's lawyer told The Times she's not doing anymore interviews until the two women who remain anonymous come out. Kraushaar told friends she thinks the women could have been scared off by the warnings of Lin Wood, a defamation lawyer Cain has hired who said women should "think twice" about making any more accusations.
But Cain himself is offering plenty of material to chew over, as The New York Times' Susan Saulny points out. It seems he can't help making jokes like calling House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "Princess Nancy," as he did in Wednesday's debate. Or saying the reason he apologized for the princess comment was "So you all could stop asking me about it, O.K.?" Or joking that Anita Hill might endorse him. Republican women thought that was less funny-haha than funny-weird. Former George W. Bush press secretary Dana Perino tweeted, "Former Speaker Pelosi called a princess in the debate? Not fair. We may disagree on policy, but she earned the speaker title." Several female leaders of Republicans groups merely said they were reserving judgement; The Iowa Federation of Republican Women's Maureen Olsen told Saulny the people she knows are "disturbed … Mainly by the number of allegations."
Women are souring on Cain, a new poll from CBS News shows. His supporter among them in the Republican primary has fallen to 15 percent from 28 percent last month. Cain hasn't lost his lead in the Republican primary, but he's lost some ground, including among conservatives and Tea Partiers. The poll found Cain with 18 percent of the vote, and Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tied for second with 15 percent each, with 70 percent of Republicans still opening to supporting a different candidate.