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Having departed the Republican presidential field, businessman Herman Cain still retains a substantial amount of power over this race.

He can (and, he promised Saturday, will) endorse another candidate, and while many of his supporters will find a new favorite on their own, we have to imagine at least a few will take Cain’s pick seriously.

With reports emerging that he’ll likely choose fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House might then find himself in a position to complete his absorption of the anti-Romney vote among conservatives, a feat he has accomplished in a remarkable few weeks.

But what if that’s wrong, and Herman Cain — sleazy, rude, prone to sexual harassment and generally awful treatment of women — getting behind fellow philanderer and two-time-divorcee Newt Gingrich only reminds conservatives of everything they dislike about Newt Gingrich, halting his rise and even damaging his candidacy?

This is not to say conservative activists will have a feminist awakening and decide they need someone to lead them who respects women as equal members of society. No, rather it is that a Cain endorsement — with all the weird, tacky implications — might remind conservative activists, for example, of Newt’s cynical conversion to Catholicism in advance of his third marriage (to a former congressional staffer he cheated on his previous wife with).

Newt’s path to the Republican nomination is as an intellectual in a party that hates them, a thinker in a movement that wants to move past them. His characterization of Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization scheme as “right-wing social engineering” was that of a history professor, not a politician, and yet these same academic tendencies have made him a solid debater and confident general election opponent for conservatives’ greatest foe: Barack Obama.

The former Speaker’s brand only flies when he’s in the ring and not drawing attention to his conduct on the sidelines. A Cain endorsement does exactly that: reminds us of what we don’t like about Newt. Which is why he should be wary of publicly seeking or embracing it.

Follow Political Correspondent Matt Taylor on Twitter @matthewt_ny.

Donald Trump has been hit with yet another allegation of sexual assault, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

Amy Dorris, a former model, said Trump kissed and groped her without her consent during the 1997 US Open tennis tournament in New York.

She is at least the 42nd woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault or rape.

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