Herman Cain’s new website, “Women For Cain,” is an opportunity for female supporters to “lift their voices,” according to Dr. Alveda King, a senior advisor to Cain and a niece of slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. But with the campaign undergoing a “reassessment” it’s still not entirely clear what role it will play.
The site, which is notable for its supporters frequently abusive language towards Cain’s various accusers, is chaired by Cain’s wife, Gloria, who has rarely been involved with the campaign up to this point.
“I think the grace and the beauty of that site is reflective of Mr. Gloria Cain herself,” King told TPM. “I stand fully with her and we salute and join her. This is an opportunity now for women to lift their voices, to lead, to come to the site and be inspired by Mr. Cain’s candidacy.”
However, it still is not immediately clear how involved Mrs. Cain is in the project, despite being billed as its chairperson. She has no quotes or video testimonial — or even a picture — on the page. King repeatedly declined to give details on how personally she was involved with the site, her enthusiasm for the campaign, and whether the new initiative would mean a more visible role.
“I communicated more with her by e-mail, you know she’s a very private lady,” King said. “I’m expecting to see her tomorrow. But the site is a social network and she, I think, is very innovative, very creative. She reminds me of her husband: hes like that as well. I’m truly blessed she decided [to participate.]”
King said the site was in the works for several weeks, and was at least discussed before the initial harassment scandal began last month.
Asked about the harsh tone of many of the supporters’ comments towards some of the women who have come forward to claim Cain harassed, assaulted, or committed infidelity with them, King said she sympathized with their reactions.
“None of that is on purpose on our side,” she said. “I don’t have anything necessarily derogatory to say about the ladies, but everyone can express the opinions that they have. I do believe it’s fair for women to say we support Mr. Cain and Mrs. Gloria Cain and we want the ladies to stop doing that.”
As for her personally, she certainly has her problems with the accusers.
“It’s hocus pocus, people making something up about Mr. Cain,” she aid. “The allegations still are baseless. With that being the case, without the evidence or the facts, why are all the questions being directed to Mr. Cain? The ladies themselves need to be questioned. Many of the ladies are experiencing financial difficulties and sometimes under pressure people respond in odd ways.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.