Politico reports that, while working as a lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain was twice accused of sexual harassment by women who were subsequently paid off and made to sign non-disclosure agreements.

POLITICO has a half-dozen sources shedding light on different aspects of the complaints.

The sources — which include the recollections of close associates and other documentation — describe episodes that left the women upset and offended. These incidents include conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association’s offices. There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship.

Nice work, Politico!

In a normal world, I would say that that would take care of Mr. Cain, whose candidacy is, to me, something of a joke. After all, as the Times reported, in his role as NRA lobbyist Cain…

….allied himself closely with cigarette makers fighting restaurant smoking bans, spoke out against lowering blood-alcohol limits as a way to prevent drunken driving, fought an increase in the minimum wage and opposed a patients’ bill of rights — all in keeping with the interests of the industry he represented.

As I say, in a normal world…. But then, this is a campaign where Rick Perry was found to have tolerated for years the use of a racial slur on a property he rented, and that was a story for about two days. (In my dream world, where both parties care about such things, this is a disqualifying event, which should have led to Perry withdrawing from the race, or at least issuing a soul-searching mea culpa.)

So here’s Herman Cain, a Washington lobbyist with an idiotic, anti-progressive tax plan and a history of sexual harassment. And yet he’s leading the GOP race….