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Who Is Gloria Cain? Meet the Presidential Candidate's Wife

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"She's a woman of deep faith involved in a lot of church activities."

ATLANTA (The Blaze/AP) -- Gloria Cain is hardly the traditional presidential campaign wife.

She has been virtually absent from the campaign trail as her husband, Herman, runs for the Republican presidential nomination. And she's been silent this week as the businessman fights to overcome allegations that he sexually harassed women while he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

"She's doing fine, and she's still 200 percent supportive of me in this whole race, 200 percent supportive of me as her husband, because I haven't done anything," Cain told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on Thursday. He added: "She is feeling for me more so, because she knows that it's baseless."

Those who know Cain's wife of 43 years say she backs her husband's candidacy. Mrs. Cain is often described as "gentle" and "the nicest woman you'll ever meet," and people frequently remark on her faith and dedication to her husband and her family.

But it's unclear whether Mrs. Cain, 65, will step into the national spotlight to defend her husband the way so many spouses have done over the years when politicians are rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Numerous reports -- including the Blaze blog -- have indicated that Gloria Cain will appear tonight on Fox News for the first time. "You will meet my wife publicly, in an exclusive interview that we are currently planning and anticipating,” her husband explained on Monday. The Washington Post reports:

Gloria Cain’s appearance on the stump could not come at a more awkward and crucial time for the GOP contender, who sits atop some polls, yet seems vulnerable to an implosion after acknowledging that he was accused years ago of inappropriate behavior toward a female employee.

Relatively little is known about Mrs. Cain beyond what Cain writes about her in his 222-page book: "This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House."

Cain devotes a chapter to his wife; it's 3 1/2-pages long. He also dedicated the book to three groups of people, including his wife "for her unwavering support, patience, and sacrifice."

The chapter begins: "Gloria Etchison was beautiful. Let's face it; I was first attracted by her looks. And then I figured out she was also smart."

Cain writes that the two first saw each other on the street corner near the family owned grocery store where he worked as a college freshman. The future Mrs. Cain was walking down the street with a high school friend of his. It would be almost a year before the two went out on their first date - to the movies - while she was attending Morris Brown College and he was at Morehouse College.

"It was magic from that moment on, and so I didn't go out with anyone else. Neither did Gloria," Cain wrote.

The two were married June 23, 1968. They have two adult children - a daughter, Melanie, and a son, Vincent - and grandchildren.

As he runs for president, Cain wrote: "Gloria continues to be a steady source of devotion and inspiration, never more so than now." But, in the book, he admits that she wasn't originally sold on his campaign plans. He wrote:

“Gloria didn't immediately jump up and down and cheer. In fact she was terrified! Scared to death! That was because of the widely held perception of what it's like to be in politics — of what it can do to your family and to you, the candidate.”

Cain acknowledges that people often ask why she doesn't campaign with him, and he tells them that she's at home. "And Gloria will tell them that she's not running but supports me 100 percent. That's all I need."

The Daily Beast backs up these claims about the campaign and her character, writing:

...people close to the Cains in Georgia describe the missus as a warm, friendly, traditional wife who is more interested in keeping the sanity of her and her family's life in McDonough, Ga., than in traipsing through corn fields in Iowa or snow drifts in Manchester.

“He is the big, gregarious personality. She is this tranquility of the campaign,” says Martha Zoller, a GOP Congressional candidate and a friend of Herman Cain. Zoller continues:

“She is very supportive, but her one reservation was that she did not want to be in the spotlight. She understands that at some time that may come. Until then, he loves her so much that he's going to protect her. They're crazy about each other.”

Mrs. Cain was with her husband in Omaha, Neb., during his years as a restaurateur and by his side as he beat colon cancer. In 1998, when the Cains returned to Atlanta, they also went back to Antioch Baptist Church North, Herman Cain's longtime spiritual home.

"She's a woman of deep faith involved in a lot of church activities," said Matt Carrothers, who worked on Cain's failed campaign for U.S. Senate in 2004 and later worked for Cain from 2004 to 2007.

Carrothers said that while going out on the campaign trail isn't her primary interest, Gloria Cain supports her husband in other ways.

"Whenever I would go to Herman's house, there were grandkids running around. She has her own activities, but she's fully supportive of everything he does," he said.

Regardless of Cain's current scandal, it will be intriguing to gain more perspective into his life if his wife does, indeed, speak publicly for the first time during the 2012 campaign.

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