Businessman Herman Cain pulled together press conference/rally event that lasted over an hour today, in which he eventually announced his plans to suspend his presidential campaign. “I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family,” Cain told a large group in Atlanta at what was supposed to be the opening of a new campaign headquarters in his hometown.
Cain, who has been plummeting in the polls since news of past settlements for sexual harassment claims, and now a new accusation of a decade long affair has hit the airwaves, has said in recent days that he would be “reassessing” his campaign, although he hadn’t made it clear until today exactly what that could mean.
Cain made a few last minute attempts to keep the campaign alive. Friday, he launched “Women for Cain,” a new section of his website dedicated to making the presidential contender seem popular with women. Instead, the site quickly got mocked, both for the vitriol of the supporters — many of whom accused the alleged harassment victims of just being jealous, bitter and unmarried — and their quick use of stock photo images to create the section. The “Women for Cain” movement boasted of Cain’s wife Gloria as its campaign chair, despite the fact that Mrs. Cain was reportedly trying to stay far out of the spotlight and asking her husband to drop the presidential run.
So what exactly is the does a campaign suspension mean for the businessman? Cain has made it clear that no one has seen the end of him, stating that he will continue to do public appearances to push his 9-9-9 tax plan, and will eventually endorse a candidate on his own. Cain has had a longstanding friendship with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, making his the likely front runner for that eventual announcement.
In other words, Cain will do much of what he has already done, but without any pesky debates or probing media interviews. And that’s likely to suit the former GOP candidate just fine.
Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr creative commons