Open thread: The Herman Cain "will he or won't he" presser; Update: Campaign "suspended"

So today is the day. Or not. A live event is scheduled to kick off around noon today (check C-SPAN and the rest of the usual outlets for coverage) where Herman Cain will tell us “where he goes next” in terms of his presidential campaign. The event is taking place in conjunction with his previously scheduled grand opening of a new campaign office in Georgia, but it comes on the heels of his dinner date with Gloria last night. It seems rather odd that such a drawn out event and opening of the HQ would be followed an hour later by his pulling out and closing said office, but hey… this is American politics. You never know.

I thought for a while that the President might jump in on the side of Herman staying in the race, but alas… that was not to be either. It seems that Obama has tossed his support to Newt.

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows that 51% think Cain should end his troubled campaign, while 28% want him to keep on keeping on. I already gave my reasons for thinking he might be better off sticking around this morning, but I also picked the Jets to go to the Super Bowl this year, so you probably shouldn’t listen to me. In any event, chat amongst yourselves and we’ll keep this post updated as developments dictate.

Update (Allahpundit): The word on Twitter is that Cain won’t speak until 1:30 p.m. ET. Jan Crawford of CBS says the atmosphere outside Cain HQ is “very festive.” The Times is on the scene too: “If this is the way a presidential campaign ends, it is certainly a new chapter in the annals of politics.” Sure sounds like he’s staying in.

Update (Allahpundit): Things are in flux — Fox News is now reporting that Cain could speak as early as 12:30 p.m.

Update (Jazz): An early comment section favorite:

Herb Cain in pain stays mainly on train.
William Amos on December 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Update (Allahpundit): Now I’m really confused:

In the hours before he made his planned midday announcement about the future of his presidential campaign, Republican candidate Herman Cain reached out so some of his rivals.

“We have talked to the Cain Camp, but we don’t want to characterize the conversations,” said Alice Stewart, a spokesman for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Surely he’s not phoning the field just to tell them he’s staying in. But if he’s getting out, why the party outside Cain HQ replete with barbecue? But if he’s not getting out, why hold an event today at all? Man, when Mark Block said America’s never seen a campaign like this, he wasn’t kidding.

Update (Allahpundit): Dude: “Organizers here have just brought out a large covered…thing. 6 feet plus tall. Covered and tied with rope. Placed behind podium.”

Update (Jazz): If you’re not near a TV, here’s the embed of the live feed.

Update (Jazz): As of 1:20 PM, the reporters have become so bored they’ve begun interviewing each other in the audience.

Update (Jazz): Cain says he is suspending the campaign, not ending it. But he and his wife are standing strong together.

More to come.

Update (Allahpundit): The “suspension” language is simply a legal formality driven by FEC rules. If he says he’s quitting, certainly legal consequences flow from that; if I’m not mistaken, it would render him ineligible for federal matching funds. “Suspending” carries no such implications. Essentially, he’s saying he’s out without saying it legally.

Said Jan Crawford of today’s address, “This sounds like a speech to relaunch a new career as talk show host.” Hmmmm. Here’s his new website, by the way. He says an endorsement will come soon. Exit question: You know who this doesn’t benefit?

Update (Allahpundit): Here’s the video.