Herman Cain no doubt saw the writing on the wall. Last week, the White House opened the door to him ending his bid for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, and quietly leaked word that officials had begun searching for his replacement. But last Wednesday, Cain said he didn’t care about the political pushback – he was “very committed” to sticking with the process.
Five days later, Cain quit. The Georgia Republican explained in an online statement that he withdrew from consideration for a variety of reasons, including concerns that he “could not advocate on behalf of capitalism” if he were confirmed to the post.
I’m not altogether sure what that means, but given the fact that Cain is exiting the stage, it’s probably not worth investing too much energy trying to figure it out.
Instead, let’s focus attention on Donald Trump’s other choice for the Fed’s board.
One of President Donald Trump’s picks to serve on the Federal Reserve Board has written that women should be banned from refereeing, announcing or beer vending at men’s college basketball games, asking if there was any area in life “where men can take vacation from women.”
Stephen Moore, an economic commentator and former Trump campaign adviser, made those and similar comments in several columns reviewed by CNN’s KFile that were published on the website of the conservative National Review magazine in 2001, twice in 2002 and 2003.
CNN’s report found a missive Moore wrote in March 2002 on the March Madness college-basketball tournament, in which the Republican pundit presented his case for removing “un-American” aspects of it. The first proposed “rule” was banning women.
“Here’s the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything,” he wrote at the time. “There is, of course, an exception to this rule. Women are permitted to participate, if and only if, they look like Bonnie Bernstein. The fact that Bonnie knows nothing about basketball is entirely irrelevant.” CNN also found a later missive in which Moore wrote that Bernstein, a CBS sports journalist at the time, should wear halter tops.
It’s worth clarifying that if Moore were an otherwise qualified nominee for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, revelations like these would raise serious doubts about his judgment and character.
But he’s not an otherwise qualified nominee.
Moore is the kind of guy who shouldn’t be allowed inside the Fed for a tour; the idea of rewarding him with a seat on the board is plainly ridiculous.
But before anyone assumes that Moore will suffer Cain’s fate, let’s not forget that Politico recently reported that Cain’s difficulties might actually help Moore: “After all, Republicans might be hard-pressed to revolt against both of Trump’s nominees.”
That’s foolish for a variety of reasons, but it remains a dynamic worth watching.