Herman Cain really endorsed Mitt Romney Tuesday, though not without saying a number of embarrassing things, like "What Governor Romney did in Massachusetts, I does not care." It made us kinda miss the guy, and wonder what the rest of the failed Republican primary field are up to. Here's a look at where our favorite former candidates are now.
Ex-Candidate: Herman Cain
Last known whereabouts: Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Cain officially endorsed Mitt Romney for president, a month after it became perfectly clear Romney would be the nominee and a couple weeks after Cain had unofficially endorsed Romney. The Atlantic's Molly Ball's tweeted the all-star photo at left.
Bold announcement of future plans at moment of defeat: Cain told his supporters to visit a website called TheCainSolutions.com when he dropped out. There he would advocate for his 9-9-9 plan. Since then, for some reason, TheCainSolutions.com has been replaced by TheCainSolutionsRevolution.com. We are not sure why he switched to the tongue-twisting new name.
Progress on those plans: Some Republican candidates have endorsed Cain's "9-9-9 plan," including Florida Senate candidate George Lemieux (Mitt Romney endorsed LeMieux's opponent, Rep. Connie Mack, Wednesday). LeMieux's endorsement was qualified, however: "9-9-9 is one kind of reform that would be a definite improvement over our current existing tax system," the candidate said. On May 2, Cain published a book, 9-9-9: An Army of Davids. On Wednesday it was No. 21,198 on Amazon's Best Sellers Rank in Books.
Post-candidacy humiliation: Cain touted the endorsement of his tax plan by Richard Mourdock, who defeated Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar in the primary last week. But Mourdock's campaign said, well, actually…. No. "Richard Mourdock does believe that we need a major change in the federal tax code, which makes it flatter, fairer and broader… Our campaign, however, did not officially endorse Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan."
The Future Is [check one]: __ Bright; _√_ Grim; __ Undetermined. When he started running for president, it seemed like Cain had nothing to lose. At first.
Ex-Candidate: Michele Bachmann
Last known whereabouts: Standing next to Herman Cain as he endorsed Mitt Romney for president, as NBC News' Andrew Rafferty's photo at left shows.
Bold announcement of future plans at moment of defeat: "I'll continue to be a strong voice," Bachmann said when she quit the presidential race. "I'll continue to stand and fight for the country and for the American people and for our freedom… I look forward to the next chapter in God's plan. He has one for each of us, you know, if we will only cooperate with him. He has always had something greater around the corner, far beyond what any of us have ever thought or imagined."
Progress on those plans: Bachmann is running for reelection to Congress. In a recent fundraising email, she said, "You see, in retaliation for repeatedly standing up to President Obama on the national stage, liberal judges have redrawn the lines of my Minnesota Congressional District to try and wipe me off of the political map once and for all." But three of the judges on the five-judge panel were appointed by a Republican governor, the Huffington Post explained, and her seat actually got more Republican. So her reelection looks more likely.
Post-candidacy humiliation: Bachmann was revealed to be a citizen of another country -- a horrible girly socialist European country! Bachmann became a dual citizen of Switzerland and the U.S. when she got married, and after denying her citizenship was a story, she asked the country to cancel her citizenship. Bachmann said in a statement, "I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen. I am, and always have been, 100 percent committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America."
The Future Is [check one]: __ Bright; __ Grim; _√_ Undetermined
Ex-Candidate: Rick Perry
Last known whereabouts: Texas
Bold announcement of future plans at moment of defeat: "I will continue to fight for these conservative reforms because the future of our country is at stake and the road we are traveling today - President Obama's road - endangers our future," Perry said when he dropped out. He hasn't ruled out running for a fourth term as Texas governor in 2014 or for president in 2016. He told a local TV station in April, "2016 is way down the road, but I’ll assure you one thing. If I decide to run for the presidency in 2016, I’ll be in way before the summer of 2016, 2015 even."
Progress on those plans: He's been traveling around the state giving speeches in support of his agenda ahead of the upcoming legislative session, and he cut an ad backing his lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, for Senate.
Post-candidacy humiliation: Perry tried to tweet in defense of companies supporting the model legislation mill that created Florida's Stand Your Ground legislation, and failed. Oh, and that photo to the left? That's Perry on a pink slime plant tour in March.
The Future Is [check one]: _√_ Bright; __ Grim; __ Undetermined. Perry is still pretty young and handsome, and Texas doesn't seem to mind if its governors make some gaffes now and then.
Ex-Candidate: Newt Gingrich
Last known whereabouts: Virginia
Bold announcement of future plans at moment of defeat: "Callista and I are gonna focus on a series of key issues and try to find ways to help educate and move the country and to try to educate and move policy in Washington, D.C.," he said when he for-real for-real quit the race. "I am not totally certain I will get to the moon colony. I am certain [grandchildren] Maggie and Robert will have that opportunity should they choose to take it."
Progress on those plans: Newt has just released an ebook! It's called $2.50 A Gallon: Why Obama Is Wrong and Cheap Gas Is Possible (it is actually not possible). Gingrich Productions have been sending out ads for his books that seem to say something about his mood. Instead of promoting the books about Ronald Reagan, he's promoting historical novels with grim titles: To Try Men's Souls, To Make Men Free. But even if he's sad, Gingrich has stayed his soundbitey self, telling Newsmax that President Obama endorsed gay marriage because "The fact is the gay caucus, the gay millionaires, gay activists are at the heart of the Obama system, and they had finally gotten tired of his equivocating. So he said what they wanted him to.”
Post-candidacy humiliation: Gingrich is America's most indebted politician, Forbes reports. His campaign owes $4.3 million, almost a quarter of that thanks to his taste for private jets.
The Future Is [check one]: __ Bright; __ Grim; _√_ Undetermined. Newt has always been good at getting on TV. But his for-profit organization has declared bankruptcy.
Ex-Candidate: Tim Pawlenty
Last known whereabouts: On CNN Tuesday, defending his old rival Mitt Romney.
Bold announcement of future plans at moment of defeat: "I wish it would have been different," he told ABC News' Jake Tapper.
Progress on those plans: Romney helped Pawlenty pay off all his campaign debt. He's been defending Romney, but he says he's done with this race. "I'm going to take my name off the list, so if ... you're a journalist, an observer, remove my name from the list," he told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I went through it before with McCain."
Post-candidacy humiliation: Pawlenty's team refused to comment when BuzzFeed asked whether he was boring enough to be one of the "boring white guys" Romney's considering for running mate.
The Future Is [check one]: __ Bright; _√_ Grim; __ Undetermined. Can there be a political future for a guy too boring to make a joke about how boring he is?
(Photos via Associated Press, CNN.com.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.