Indeed, this was not the first time Mr. Cain had mocked Ms. Pelosi by calling her a princess. On his radio talk show in Atlanta, he referred to her that way routinely.
Things are different now.
With Mr. Cain’s campaign running a vigorous defense against the sexual harassment charges — questioning the women’s credibility and even scrutinizing their bank accounts — any stray remark or campaign photograph could create a public relations problem if seen as unduly rude, flirtatious or aggressive toward women…
Nor did this: while shaking hands with patrons in the diner, Mr. Cain elaborated on the reason behind his apology on the Pelosi remark and seemed less than contrite.
“I apologized for calling her ‘Princess Pelosi,’ ” he said. (Actually, he had called her “Princess Nancy.”) When asked why, he said, “So you all could stop asking me about it, O.K.?”