11/03/11 — Cain concerns: Yet another scandal -- and a few lessons that can be learned

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Cain concerns: Yet another scandal -- and a few lessons that can be learned

You cannot believe everything you hear, and sometimes what you hear might not be exactly what happened.

So writing off Republican presidential nomination hopeful Herman Cain because of something someone said happened 20 years ago is not only not advisable, it is just plain silly.

However, what Cain could be criticized for -- and probably will be -- is not getting out in front of the charge, attacking it with the truth and moving forward.

And it is understandable that he stumbled a bit.

The reason good people do not run for office is two-fold. First, few people have squeaky clean records that have nothing that can be exploited or used as a bombshell. Second, there seems to be a determined campaign to discredit people who run for office -- a prize for finding the gotcha moment that ends a campaign.

And those are tough to take.

What we should be judging candidates for is not just their actions in their previous lives, but how they handle dealing with the fallout now. Do they respond with confidence and humility? Do they admit mistakes and stand strong? Are they able to turn attention away from criticism back to the issues at hand?

All that matters when you are picking out a leader. And all of that is hard to do when you have not been in the political spotlight your whole life.

So if we want the best candidates -- Republican and Democrat -- we need to be able to separate true commentary on ability to lead from sensationalism.

We are looking for a leader who can handle pressure and keep focus. We want someone who is honest and admits mistakes while still moving forward. That is what should matter now.

And that is how Cain should be judged.

Published in Editorials on November 3, 2011 11:08 AM