Herman and Gloria Cain
Herman Cain has officially withdrawn from the 2012 presidential race, citing the "hurt" to his family and the "distractions" of the media for his faltering campaign. Wife Gloria was by his side. Examiner/Creative Commons

Herman Cain has officially withdrawn from the presidential primary race, suspending his campaign and hinting at an endorsement for one of his fellow GOP contenders in the coming weeks.

When Cain told reporters that he would make an announcement on the future of his candidacy, many were convinced that Cain was planning to drop out. The Atlanta businessman met with his wife, Gloria Cain, on Dec. 2, and told supporters that he was reassessing his campaign's future.

At 1:00 pm EST, he told a throng of devoted followers in Atlanta, Ga. that his initial plan to change Washington politics from the inside would have to be put on hold. Due to the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, Herman Cain was bowing out of the 2012 GOP primaries for President of the United States.

Not Going Quietly

While suspending (and, essentially, ending) his 2012 election run, Cain also assured voters that he would not fade into the background. I am not going to be silenced, and I am not going away! he told the cheering crowd.

Cain then hinted at a move he called Plan B.

We are going to have to change it [Washington, D.C.] from the outside, Cain said. It'll take a little longer. We're going to have to work a little harder. But we will change it from the outside.

Plan B: The Cain Solutions

Part of this outside initiative is a recently launched website called The Cain Solutions (thecainsolutions.com).

The site has not officially launched, but a preview page shows a black farmer walking through a field. There is a sign-up section to notify supporters when the website launches.

The People Will Choose, the website's banner reads. Not Politicians. Not Media Outlets. The People.

Twitter Speculation About Announcement

Even before Herman Cain announced his decision to leave the Republican primary race, Twitter was abuzz with anticipation over what the candidate would say.

Though the social media site is largely used for humor or instant communication, recent instances like the Emma Sullivan case have illustrated just how influential sites like Twitter can be, and how much the site can be used as a barometer of public opinion.

In the hours leading up to the candidate's mysterious announcement, some twitter users posited serious scenarios about Cain's options, including whether he would admit to an affair with Ginger White and how he might continue his presidential campaign.

Many more, however, began to tweet hilarious alternative speeches the candidate could give, with some continuing to post as Cain's announcement began.

Below, some of the best Twitter posts from the trending hashtag #possibleHermanCainaanouncements.

  • I'm single and I'm ready to mingle.
  • I slept with Ginger White, but I didn't inhale.
  • Sings Don't know much about history, don't know much foreign policy, but I know women's anatomy...
  • Don't rush me.
  • In drag, he sings And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going from DREAMGIRLS.
  • I am the new head coach at penn state
  • Whassat? Hmm? Oh man, I had this terrible dream where I was running for president.
  • Well, I got 999 problems...
  • It's with a heavy heart that I have decided to withdraw from this extended book promotional tour.
  • Gloria insists that i stay in the race as punishment for my adultery.
  • I'm pregnant.

#CainWreck: Reactions to Announcement

As Cain began to speak about the reasons he was quitting the presidential race, meanwhile, users took to the social media website yet again, tweeting their reactions to his decision and the reasoning behind it.

From his choice to once again quote lyrics from the Pokemon movie soundtrack to his allusions to Plan B, Twitter users were merciless.

Below, some of the best tweets from burgeoning Twitter trend CainWreck:

  • I thought republicans were against Plan B.
  • He quit now because he didn't want to face The Donald without a fork.
  • Unfamiliar with Libya conflict and China's nukes, but VERY familiar with Pokemon.
  • Why, why, why couldn't some one have Hummed this behind him as he spoke? youtube.com/watch?v=_evp0D...
  • It's like they say, If you can't stand the heat, don't be a remarkably terrible Presidential candidate.
  • If Cain sees his shadow today that means six more weeks of campaigning.
  • Not to be outdone, Rick Perry just put out a press release citing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Nothing says I'm a serious, honest person like wearing sunglasses to your press conference.
  • Okay, the #CainSolutions .com shows a southern black man in a field. Really, Herm?
  • Cain's closing lines echo with history, reminiscent of Nixon's I am not a Smurf speech.

Aftermath of Announcement: Glora and Legacy

Finally, as his speech ended and the candidate began to exit the stage, Twitter users again took to the Internet to vent their reactions to Herman Cain's exit from the 2012 presidential campaign.

Here, however, jokes gave way to more serious (or at least more whimscal) reflections on Cain's legacy as the minutes rolled by.

One part of the GOP presidential hopeful's announcement that was especially noted was the overwhelming love and support given to Gloria Cain, who was repeatedly applauded and cheered throughout Cain's speech. Others reflected on how far the inexperienced businessman had come, and who he might endorse from among his fellow Republican candidates for the nomination.

Below, a sampling of Twitter reactions to Herman Cain's campaign legacy:

  • Gloria via CBS: Cain made the decision before he got home -- and she would have supported whatever he decided b/c believes him.
  • Cain says he's suspending his campaign but then says he will endorse someone else. He isn't ending campaign b/c he wants ppl to send him $$$
  • Shorter Cain: I'll endorse the guy who might make me VP. Will be awaiting offers
  • Is Cain's choice on Plan B the most unintentionally hilarious thing he could have done in the wake of a sexual harassment controversy?
  • Is it possible that Herman Cain will leave a legacy of thinking twice before jumping into a presidential race? We can only hope.
  • Suspension is temporary but irrelevance is forever. 10 mins after announcement Herman Cain NOT the lead story on all-news radio in NY
  • Did you hear all those people cheering for her? We just saw the launch of Gloria Cain 2016.