Moore’s word doesn’t mean much

Boston Herald - - INSIDE TRACK - By RICH LOWRY Rich Lowry is the edi­tor of Na­tional Re­view. Talk back at let­ter­stoed­i­tor@boston­her­

Roy Moore’s rep­u­ta­tion de­pends on deny­ing that he dated teenage girls as a grown man, and yet he can’t quite bring him­self to do it.

The Alabama Repub­li­can’s cam­paign for the Se­nate has been rocked by al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual im­pro­pri­eties with un­der­age girls.

The al­leged con­duct dates back 40 years, and ab­sent some dif­fi­cult-to-imag­ine doc­u­men­tary proof, it will al­ways be Moore’s word against that of his ac­cusers. In this con­test, Moore’s word is clearly the loser.

The Wash­ing­ton Post broke the orig­i­nal story of a woman, Leigh Corf­man, say­ing Roy Moore touched her sex­u­ally when she was 14 years old; two other women told the Post that Moore dated and kissed them when they were teenagers. Then an­other woman, Bev­erly Young Nel­son, ap­peared at a press con­fer­ence with lib­eral lawyer Glo­ria Allred and ac­cused Moore of try­ing to force him­self on her in his car when she was 16 years old.

Moore nat­u­rally slammed the in­tegrity of the Post and Allred. None of Moore’s ac­cusers are lib­eral jour­nal­ists work­ing for The Wash­ing­ton Post, though. And Bev­erly Young Nel­son stip­u­lated that she and her husband voted for Don­ald Trump last year.

Moore’s other re­frain is to ask why, af­ter he’s been in the pub­lic eye for decades, are these al­le­ga­tions com­ing out now a month be­fore a Se­nate elec­tion?

It’s a fair ques­tion. But Moore, long a ra­dioac­tive fig­ure at the state level, has never felt the heat of the na­tional press corps quite like this be­fore. He just won a Se­nate pri­mary race that gained na­tional at­ten­tion as a front in a GOP civil war, and he’s gained new promi­nence at a time when women are, en masse, telling of their ex­pe­ri­ences with sex­ual ha­rassers.

Moore hasn’t done him­self any fa­vors.

Of one of the girls, he said: “I don’t re­mem­ber go­ing out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go on dates then we did.” How many men in their 30s are “friends” with teenage girls who they may or may not have dated?

Asked point-blank if he dated girls in their teens, he replied with the less than Sher­manesque, “Not gen­er­ally, no.”

Moore stren­u­ously de­nies Leigh Corf­man’s al­le­ga­tions, but she has cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence for her cred­i­bil­ity. The Post con­firmed that she told one friend at the time that she was see­ing an older man and an­other that she was see­ing Moore, and court records con­firm that her mother was at an Alabama court­house around the time Moore al­legedly of­fered to watch the 14-year-old Leigh while she at­tended a hear­ing.

No doubt, Moore will just as strongly re­ject Bev­erly Young Nel­son’s damn­ing story. She said that Moore ex­pressed an in­ter­est in her when she was work­ing as a wait­ress and signed her high-school year­book with a flirty mes­sage. Sure enough, she pro­duced the year­book with a cringe-in­duc­ing in­scrip­tion say­ing how beau­ti­ful she is, signed, “Love, Roy Moore.”

At this point, there are two op­tions: Ei­ther sev­eral dif­fer­ent women who don’t know one an­other have de­cided to take the enor­mous per­sonal risk of mak­ing up sto­ries about Roy Moore in a vast po­lit­i­cal con­spir­acy, or a politi­cian caught up in a scan­dal with ev­ery in­cen­tive to dis­sem­ble is do­ing it — and not very well.

How many men in their 30s are ‘friends’ with teenage girls who they may or may not have dated?

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