As he prepares to follow Gov. Rick Perry into the oubliette of campaign history Herman Cain can at least console himself that as an alleged harasser of women, his was certainly a classier act than that of a man who not only got elected president in 1992 but was triumphantly reelected in 1996, each time by about 45 million Americans armed with the knowledge that if you left your wife at the next table to Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas in Macdonald’s, by the time you got back from ordering more fries Bill would be ensconced in your seat, his hand already hovering above your wife’s thigh.
Sharon Bialek, one of the women accusing Cain of seeking to take advantage when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in 1997, says that her apprehensions were aroused when in his car, having offered to drive her home, Cain told her he’d already called Washington’s Capital Hilton and upgraded her accommodations to a luxury suite. It was only after this material demonstration of his high regard that Cain put his hand up her skirt and then sought to guide her head towards his lower regions. Ms Bialek says the minute she said No, Cain abandoned his advances and drove her home.
A luxury suite! One of Bill’s targets, when he was governor of Arkansas, would have been lucky to get a ride home in the troop car, after a brisk session in the governor’s office, with bruises on her arms when she resisted the guiding hand. Who says this isn’t the land of progress? Seventy years ago a black man making the sort of advances of which Cain is accused tended to end up swinging from the branch of a tree, not running for president with a hefty quotient of Americans saying they don’t give a toss about the harassment charges.
Lest readers think I’m being unkind about Gov. Bill Clinton, let me evoke the man in his youthful prime. Clinton said this week on a talk show promoting his new book Back to Work that he can’t see why an ex-president couldn’t return to the job after previously serving two terms.
Back in 1979 our friend Tim Hermach, now fearless leader of the Native Forest Council and breathing the righteous air of Eugene, Oregon, was a businessman seeking commercial advantage. In 1979 this search took him to Little Rock, Arkansas, where an associate said the swiftest way of getting a certificate of origin necessary for a rebar (reinforcing steel for construction) deal was by conferring personally with the new governor of the state.
In short order a dinner was arranged with young Governor Bill at the Little Rock Hilton. Tim recalls that they were scarcely seated before Bill was greeting a pretty young waitress in friendly fashion, putting his hand up her dress while announcing genially to the assembled company, “This woman has the sweetest cunt in Little Rock.”
Tim, an Oregon boy by origin, tells us he listened with burning ears and mouth agape as Bill talked of womanhood in terms of astounding crudity. Badinage notwithstanding, some business was transacted. Hermach tells us that Governor Bill “very openly, nothing shy about it, said words to the effect that our end use certificate would cost about $10,000″, said transaction being of a personal, informal nature. “Since ours was a $2 million deal, we didn’t care,” Tim recalls.
These transactions concluded, Governor Bill repaired to the Hilton’s nightclub with boon companions, where they cavorted lewdly with sundry flowers of Little Rock before repairing to bedrooms in the upper regions of the hotel.
Back to work indeed.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Herman Cain, You're No Bill Clinton
Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch almost never fails to satisfy with his observations about politics and life. Here's one about Bill Clinton (as compared to Herman Cain in the you-know-what department).