Opinion Analysis

Wednesday 18 October 2017

A candidate's guide to surviving sex scandals

Rupert Cornwell

Here's a rule-of-thumb for US presidential politics: the strength of a campaign is in inverse proportion to the laughs it provides on late-night television. If that is true, then Herman Cain is a goner, after the TBS channel host Conan O'Brien brought the house down with a spoof campaign ad lampooning the hapless Mr Cain whose alleged sexual adventures have been making news of late.

"Jimmy Carter never cheated on his wife and we had 7pc unemployment and 14pc inflation," the fake narrator said. "Bill Clinton cheated on his wife every chance he could get and we had only 4pc unemployment, 1pc inflation and a balanced budget."

Then, with suitably imposing muzak playing in the background, the sign-off. "Herman Cain: Because when presidents get laid, you get paid."

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