CHARLESTON, S.C. — Herman Cain gave his blessing Thursday to another force in the GOP race for president. But it wasn’t another candidate.

In a keynote speech here at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Cain finally unveiled his “unconventional endorsement” — the people who will decide the race. The endorsement is a fitting coda to a candidacy that was nontraditional to begin with, but it’s unclear what kind of traction such an announcement will give Cain in his bid to coalesce an enduring movement.

“Here is my unconventional endorsement: not a candidate seeking the nomination, not someone that’s not running. My unconventional endorsement is the people,” he said.

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