Herman Cain, the US presidential contender, says he is suspending his Republican nomination campaign after allegations of adultery and sexual harassment.
The Georgia businessman has been under mounting pressure to quit following the claims, which he denies.
"I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family," he told supporters in Atlanta, Georgia.
"These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family," said Cain.
Cain said distractions of hurt caused by "false and unproved allegations of harassment and infidelity have taken toll on my family, but I am at peace with my God."
The only reason Herman Cain was in this race in the first place is because the Republicans needed one black face running; this cycle it was Herman Cain. The TEA Party especially needed Pizza Guy as a shield against charges of racism. That Herman was following their lead was a special bonus.
Yet the man was profoundly ignorant about, well just about everything. Nine, Nine, Nine was quite possibly the most foolish bit of economic policy to come down the pike since the gold standard during the Great Depression. But how Herman loved that bumper-sticker tax proposal. And how his rabid followers in the TEA Party loved it too. It was a simple, easy to understand, catchy, and plain awful tax and economic policy once you looked under the hood.
Once Herman wandered away from his signature tax proposal, it only got worse. He made no friends among Hispanics with his electrified border fence proposal, not that he was really looking for any support there.
Cain was equally clueless on foreign policy and proudly so. His remarks about Uzbekistan were especially belligerent. He was proud of his ignorance, and more than willing to broadcast it in the most literal sense.
None of that mattered in the clown car that is the Republican Primaries. Herman Cain's profound lack of qualifications for the position of President had zero impact on the polls. As the non-Romney de jure after Rick Perry's run imploded, Cain had quite a run. Nothing substantive touch him. But all good things come to an end, and the good times of Herman Cain came to a screeching halt when Herman's many trouser malefactions came to light.
What finally did him in was the revelation of a thirteen year consensual affair with an Atlanta businesswoman. That final nail in Herman's coffin was a bit odd. One would think that the four separate charges of sexual harassment would have been the killer, but no. Apparently, rank misogyny and patriarchal privilege are ok with hard right conservatives; but consensual sex of any kind is not. Sex as a weapon to keep women in line is OK, sex as enjoyment? Sorry, no dice.
While the comedians will miss Herman Cain, most serious people will not. He can now go back to his book tour, safe in the knowledge that he can now raise his speaking fees.