In light of our recent analysis of presidential candidate Herman Cain’s comments in response to the claim by Ginger White that she and Cain had engaged in a 13-year affair, and in the interest of fair play, the QVerity team has analyzed statements made by White in her Nov. 30 interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. For those of you who are unfamiliar with our analysis of Cain’s comments in his interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, we found that Cain exhibited significant deceptive behavior in attempting to deny the affair with White, and concluded that his behavior suggests that White’s allegation is likely true.
We should note at the outset that we observed deceptive behavior in White’s interview with Stephanopoulos, as well. Unfortunately for Cain, however, that doesn’t let him off the hook. While several of her comments indicated deception on some peripheral issues, her answers to the affair question support our previous analysis that Cain and White likely did have an inappropriate relationship. How, you may wonder, can both of these individuals be deceptive? Is either one telling the truth about anything?
As most of us are aware from personal experience, there are normally three sides to a story of this type: “his side,” “her side” and “the truth,” which often lies somewhere in the middle. To get to the truth, we need to look at the specific comments made by each individual. Since our previous analysis focused on Cain, let’s now focus on White and her comments.
As we've noted, White’s deception does not lie in the question of whether she had a relationship, or “casual affair,” as she called it, with Cain -- we believe the behaviors of both individuals support the allegation of an inappropriate relationship. Rather, we observed deceptive behavior when White addressed the timing of her going public with the allegation, and when she elaborated on the details of the relationship.
When White was questioned about her reasons for bringing the relationship out into the open, she said she wanted to tell her side of the story, but then she went on to make a reference to her “financial problems.” The unintended message she conveyed was that she needed money at a time when, as she pointed out earlier in the interview, her communication with Cain had ended just over a week before. Her behavior seems to indicate that the timing might have been a ploy for money – perhaps in the hope that some media outlet would pay her for her story. The significant buzz she has created as a result of her initial interview with an Atlanta TV station, and her follow-up with Stephanopoulos, has certainly raised her profile, and possibly the price she might be able to command from other media outlets. White noted that Cain had given her money for the past two and a half years. If that flow of cash had dried up, money might have been her biggest incentive.
The second area in which White’s behavior indicates deception has to do with her decision to elaborate on various facts surrounding the relationship. Let’s face it: Most affairs are just affairs – tens of thousands of people have them every day, so why would that be news? Certainly, having an affair with a presidential candidate raises the stakes, but White may not have believed they were raised high enough. Once White decided to bring the relationship to light, why didn’t she just put it out there and let the impropriety of the relationship speak for itself? Instead, she chose to elaborate on the details of the tryst, noting, for example, that Cain had taken her to the Tyson/Holyfield fight in Las Vegas.
There are probably many reasons for White to be less than candid about her motives -- perhaps her pride has been trampled since being pushed into the background after such a long relationship, and she is unsure how to deal with it. Or maybe the reasons for her lack of candor about her motives lie deeper than that. Our analysis identified several unintended messages which suggest White’s decision to bring her relationship with Cain into the open might have something to do with the most time-tested motivation of all: jealousy. Several comments lead us to raise that prospect:
- “The truth of the matter is, when I entered into this inappropriate relationship with Mr. Cain, I was single. I was not married. Mr. Cain has been married throughout the entire relationship. And you know, it’s unfortunate.”
- “I have been absolutely humiliated, embarrassed, and I look at the women who came out with, you know, the sexual harassment allegations. You know, really comparing apples to oranges, so it’s been very, very hurtful.”
- “But at the end of the day, this is not political. This is absolutely not political.”
If it’s not political, might it not be jealousy? Is it possible that White thought she and Cain had a special relationship? Were all the texts and phone calls between the two since the sexual harassment allegations began a way for him to reassure her that she was important in his life? And when she stated that his being married is “unfortunate,” what did she mean? Unfortunate that he was having an affair while married, or unfortunate that he was married to someone other than her?
White had remained silent for several weeks as she watched a parade of women accuse her (former?) lover of sexual harassment, suggesting he may have been interested in other women at times throughout their long relationship. All the while, Cain’s wife, Gloria, stayed quietly in the background. But then, after several women came forward with sexual harassment allegations, Gloria began to speak out – to defend her husband by proclaiming the behavior alleged by his accusers to be “not part of his character.” And pictures of Cain and his family began to appear in various media outlets. The combination of all these factors could have driven even the most secure individual into the depths of insecurity. Ultimately, the timing of and reasons for her announcement could have been nothing more than a matter of jealousy.
As we noted earlier, there are usually three sides to this kind of a story. If the analysis we conducted on Cain and White is correct -- that neither Cain nor White is being truthful -- where does that leave us? If your interest in our analysis has to do with wanting to determine whether Cain has character issues that bring his suitability to be President of the United States into question, that question may well have already been answered. If your interest is in trying to understand White’s motives and her side of the story, you, like the rest of us, may just have to wait for the movie.