The New York Times reports:
ATLANTA — An unapologetic and defiant Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign on Saturday, pledging that he “would not go away,” even as he abandoned hope of winning the Republican nomination. Instead, Mr. Cain announced what he called a “Plan B,” continued advocacy of his tax and foreign policy plans.
“As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign,” Mr. Cain said. “Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I’m not a fighter.”
Mr. Cain, with his wife at his side, adamantly professed Saturday that the accusations of sexual harassment and of a long-term affair that have swamped his campaign were not true. The circus-like atmosphere surrounding Saturday’s announcement – complete with numerous postponements, barbecue, a blues band and supporters in colonial-era dress – was in keeping with the campaign’s irreverence and disarray since its inception: Mr. Cain, a self-styled rebel, announced his intention to run earlier this year at a rally, also in Atlanta, with the nonsensical phrase, “Aw, shucky ducky!”
For days now, the campaign has fueled a “will he or won’t he?” storm of speculation, at once thriving on the media’s attention while denouncing it as the source of Mr. Cain’s plummeting popularity. Mr. Cain’s critics have long posited that he was more interested in creating celebrity for himself – as a means to sell books and increase speaking fees – than in any serious candidacy.
Hat tip: Memeorandum
I think The Onion may have summed it up best with this headline: "Rumors of Extramarital Affair End Campaign of Presidential Candidate Who Didn't Know China Has Nuclear Weapons."
No, actually I think I summed it up best with the headline: "Herman Cain is NOT a True Tea Party Candidate." He's not. And I have a special abhorrence for big government, establishment types that disguise their views with the rhetoric of liberty. That's the most insidious kind-- far worse than the most vehement, but explicit and straightforward socialist.
The question now is, who will Cain's supporters migrate to? One pollster suggested that Romney and Perry would be the top two choices with Ron Paul a close third. I also wouldn't discount Bachmann as a candidate with an anti-establishment brand (and I would emphasize that it's mostly just a brand) that might appeal to the Cain crowd. We'll see what happens...
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