Herman Cain's Endorsement Saga

PHOTO: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., appeared at the Capitol Hill Club with former GOP presidential contender Herman Cain, who announced his support for Mitch Romney to be President, May 16, 2012.
Chris Maddaloni/CQ/Getty Images

Apparently the fourth time's the charm for Herman Cain when it comes to making an endorsement in the 2012 presidential race.

When the former Godfather's Pizza CEO officially put his support behind Mitt Romney today, it was his fourth sally into the endorsement-sphere this year.

The never-ordinary conductor of the Cain Train has now voiced his support for two candidates, one abstract concept and the entire American populace.

Here's a look back at Cain's saga of giving, rescinding and redistributing his support in the Republican primary election.

The Unconventional Endorsement

VIDEO: Herman Cain Makes Odd Presidential Endorsement

When Herman Cain ended his own bid for the White House in December amid accusations of sexual harassment, he promised to make an endorsement "in the near future."

He did not specify, however, that he would be endorsing one of the people actually still in the running for the GOP nominee.

Warning reporters and supporters that his January announcement would be "unconventional," Cain made his first endorsement in support of "the people."

"Here is my unconventional endorsement," Cain boisterously proclaimed to a mostly-empty room at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. "Not a candidate seeking the nomination. Not someone that's not running. My unconventional endorsement is the people. We the people of this nation are still in charge."

In exactly one week, Cain would hop into the spotlight again to make his second endorsement.

The Conventional Endorsement

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidates, businessman Herman Cain, right, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talk during their appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" in Washington, Oct. 8, 2011.
Chris Usher/AP

For his second endorsement Cain took a more traditional tack, appearing on stage in Florida before one of Newt Gingrich's speeches to announce that he "hereby officially and enthusiastically endorse[s] Newt Gingrich for the president of the Unites States."

Cain said he picked Gingrich because the former House speaker is a "patriot" with "bold ideas" and who was also put through the "sausage grinder" in his campaign.

During Cain's GOP primary bid he was accused of sexually harassing three women and having a 13-year affair. Gingrich faced similarly personal attacks over his two divorces and accusations from his ex-wife that he asked her for an "open marriage."

When Cain endorsed Gingrich, the former speaker was riding high in the polls, pulling hefty fundraising loads and fresh off of his victory in the South Carolina primary.

But when Gingrich's political fortunes changed, so too did Cain's support him.

The Un-Endorsement

PHOTO: Herman Cain
David Tulis/AP Photo

By April, as Gingrich toyed with the idea of ending his floundering campaign, Cain sought to speed up the process, telling the man he had endorsed that he "doesn't have a shot."

"With all due respect, let's get on with this, OK?" Cain told the Washington radio station WMAL.

Two weeks after Cain dubbed Gingrich's campaign over, the former House speaker officially ended his bid for the White House and endorsed Mitt Romney.

Today, two weeks after Gingrich's Romney endorsement, Cain is following suit, dolling out his fourth endorsement of the year.

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