So that happened.
Former restaurant industry lobbyist, talk-show host, motivational speaker, and Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain dropped out of the GOP presidential race at a rally in Atlanta on Saturday, citing “false” attacks on his character that prevented him from getting his message out. Cain, in a noticeably less caffeinated speech than has been his custom, alleged that “elites” and political reporters had conspired to take down his reputation. Cain’s not exiting politics, though; he’s moving on to what he repeatedly referred to as “Plan B”—a new website devoted to sharing his solutions for fixing America.
The site, “Cain Solutions,” is currently empty.
In the end, despite demonstrating a total lack of interest in the rest of the world, the intricacies of politics, or basic Constitutional principles, Cain was undone not by ignorance or even a parade of sexual harassment complaints, but by alleged infidelity. For many, the main question wasn’t whether Cain would drop out today, but whether Gloria Cain would stand by her husband’s side when he did it—she did, taking the stage to chants of “Gloria! Gloria!” from the crowd.
After spending much of his address chiding the political establishment for not taking him seriously, Cain closed the speech with an extended quote from the theme song to the Pokemon movie: “Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It’s never easy when there’s so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference. There’s a mission just for you and me.” Sometimes you just can’t catch ’em all.
The dream is dead. But what a journey it’s been. Here’s a guide to some of Cain’s greatest (or not) hits:
- The time he set up a special “Women for Herman Cain” website, one day before exiting the race, using a stock image of “four happy young women holding their thumbs up,” and then in a half-baked attempt at damage control, took down not just the stock image, but the word “for” as well.
- The (multiple) times he worked a story about his fear of being operated on by a non-Christian doctor into his stump speech.
- The time he defended himself against allegations of sexual harassment by pointing out that most of the women he’s met in life didn’t accuse him of sexual harassment.
- This and this:
- The time he revealed that his top economic advisor was an accountant at a Wells Fargo in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and then refused to reveal the names of any of the rest of his advisors, for the remainder of the campaign.
- His plan to build a lethal, 2,000-mile electrified fence the length of the Mexican border, subsequent retraction, and subsequent retraction of the retraction.
- The second-most bizarre campaign ad in recent American history. And the most-bizarre campaign ad in recent American history:
- His inability to articulate anything resembling a coherent policy position on Libya, and his suggestion that the Taliban are on the verge of taking power in North Africa.
- His campaign staff, which seemed like the cast for a rejected heist movie.
- The time he called the most powerful female elected official in American history, “Princess,” even as he was facing aforementioned charges of sexual harassment.
- The time he said he was worried China might someday have nuclear weapons, even though they already have nuclear weapons.
- The possible IRS violations committed by his campaign chief of staff, who was once banned from working on elections in the state of Wisconsin.
- His plan to reduce health care costs: Think happy thoughts.
- His fixation with Chilean models.
- His unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the Obama administration was behind Occupy Wall Street. And of course…
Share your own memories in the comments.