There's only one thing that can actually make Newt Gingrich's history of marital infidelity seem trite, and its name is Herman Cain. The man who gave us bad pizza and an even cheesier tax overhaul plan is once again at the center of a new sex scandal, accused of having a 13-year extramarital affair with Ginger White, a single mother from Atlanta whom he met while running the National Restaurant Association (clearly, his tenure as head of this trade organization in the 1990's has not served him well, sexual-scandal-wise). Seems like women all over America are jumping off the Good Ship 999.
White said she came forward because of the way Cain's been disparaging the various women who've accused him recently of sexual harassment.
"It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of, they were treated as if they were automatically lying, and the burden of proof was on them. I felt bad for them."
Cain has strongly denied the accusation, but in a very curious manner. In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Monday, he confidently stated that he did not have a "13-year" affair as if inside he was giggling to himself saying "That's because it was a TWELVE AND A HALF YEAR affair!" Technically, he would not be lying, although that's a pretty pathetic defense. What's more, he issued his denial with the same sort of "I did not have sex with that woman!" arrogance of the 90's scandal-plagued Bill Clinton. And we know how that story ended.
It's hard to imagine Cain's campaign surviving this, especially on the heels of the harassment scandal. He's done. And it's a great day for Gingrich, who, by comparison, is starting to seem like an altar boy (not exactly hard to do in the Republican Party, where political, ethics and sexual scandals run rampant).
The GOP presidential pack is motley crew of misfits and miscreants. By default, Gingrich has found himself atop this garbage pile as he's watched the campaigns of Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and now Cain implode. His chief rival at the moment, Mitt Romney, is stuck at around 20% and is not liked by voters or GOP leadership. His reign at or near the top is misleading. It's not because voters want him there, it's because they've had no one else. That they've now jumped aboard the skeleton-filled NewtWagon is proof positive.
Newt may have cost himself much support among hardcore conservatives with his controversial amnesty-like position on immigration offered at the last GOP debate. Additionally, we've yet to see how his many past, well-documented political and personal indiscretions and transgressions will truly impact his campaign. They nearly sunk him once before. Gingrich is his own worst enemy. To be sure, his mouth, if not his past, will put him in the hot seat once again.
The question then is, who's next to lead this sorry pack? Is Jon Huntsman, the only Republican with the integrity, character and experience to be president, going to have his turn at the top? Will Romney win by default after Newt's next fall? One thing's for sure, the GOP campaign train wreck will surely provide more entertainment over the next several months.
Follow Andy Ostroy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndyOstroy