So much can change in a few short weeks during campaign season. Just last month, Herman Cain was pulling to the front of the pack of Republican presidential candidates, but now his future prospects have dimmed considerably after yet another salacious headline hit the wires. Even more startling, perhaps, is the resurgence of Newt Gingrich, but let’s stick with this story.

Although Cain denied that he had a 13-year affair with one Ginger White, he didn’t do much to boost supporters’ confidence by telling his top staffers on Tuesday that the news was “cause for reassessment.” Read the full text of his statement here. Cain pointed to the upcoming Iowa caucuses to make the case that bad timing, rather than a guilty conscience, was directing his decisions at this point. Whatever the reason, we’ll all apparently know the outcome in the next few days.

As Politico’s Maggie Haberman pointed out that same day, Cain canceled a dinner he was planning in New York with some of the city’s big media players that was to be hosted by Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams. Probably a good call. –KA

The New York Times:

“This is cause for reassessment,” Mr. Cain said, according to one participant on the call who spoke on condition of anonymity. “During the summer we had to make some reassessments based on our financial situation. We were able to hang in there.”

Mr. Cain denied the accusations from the Atlanta woman, Ginger White. But he acknowledged that the latest report of sexual misconduct might be more difficult to overcome, considering that the first voting is set to take place in five weeks at the Iowa caucuses. He said that he had not lost his enthusiasm to run, but suggested it was a distraction that could be difficult to recover from.

“With this latest one, we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud in some peoples’ minds as to whether or not they should support us going forward,” Mr. Cain said, according to the participant on the call.

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