THE TRUTH ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA: Herman Cain May Have Just Killed The Tea Party

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After weeks of anticipation, Herman Cain made his “unconventional endorsement” — and it was the biggest disappointment since Sarah Palin told us she wasn’t running. Rather than endorse an actual candidate — or even his own 9-9-9 plan, as sources close to the Cain campaign had speculated — Cain gave his support to “We the People.”

Seriously. The people.

And in that moment of supreme anticlimax, the nation bid goodbye to Herman Cain, the former pizza titan who just a few months ago was at the top of the Republican presidential race.

Sure, Cain still has a bus with his face on it. And apparently some kind of plan to get lawmakers to sign on to his as-yet-unwritten “9-9-9 legislation.” But his 15 minutes are effectively over. Even Stephen Colbert can’t rescue him from political oblivion. 

That poses a little bit of a problem for the Tea Party, who has already selected Cain to deliver its response to President Obama’s State of the Union. One can only imagine that the Tea Party higher-ups were trying to get an early ride on the Cain wave, but the decision was probably premature. After today’s performance, making Herman Cain the face of the Tea Party seems like the quickest way to make their once-powerful message totally irrelevant.

It’s a rather unfortunate end to Cain’s fabulous ride. But in hindsight, a pizza-ballad-singing president was probably too good to be true.