While I have devoted most of my coverage of the Cain kerfuffle to discussing what it shows about our biased media, I think the Republican candidate could have done a better job responding to the allegations. As Michael Barone explains, putting the story into its proper political context:
And it has to be said that Cain and, even more, his campaign spokesmen were unprepared to deliver a single definitive response to a story that they had known was brewing for several days.
Read the whole thing. Barone is spot on in his analysis. The candidate seems to keep shifting his strategy as details of the story drip out. As soon as his team knew the story was “brewing,” they should have developed a strategy to respond. (As Meg Whitman learned last fall, even a well-prepared response to a a media hit job may not provide adequate “damage control.”)
Simply put, Republican candidates have to be prepared to face a media which covers them more critically than it does Democrats. It may not be fair. Indeed, it’s not, but that’s the way it is. At least for now.
Had John McCain recognized that fact, he might have added a couple more states to his tally in 2008.
NB: Fixed a whole passel of typos in this post which I originally crafted somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00 AM PST.