The return of Herman Cain to CPAC was all about Herman Cain.
"A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away," the former pizza chain CEO told a jam-packed ballroom of conservative activists Thursday afternoon.
"Ain't going to happen."
Cain thanked those who worked for him in the presidential race, and explained that he dropped out only for two reasons: "gutter politics," and family considerations.
He's no longer a candidate, a David in the race against Goliath. But he said he still needs his "We the People" crusaders to take the country back.
"What I decided to do is create an army of Davids. And you will be a part of that army," he said.
Of course, the 9-9-9 plan is still on Cain's agenda. He said conservatives should press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution, "the most bold economic growth and job plan on the planet." He singled out one who already has -- "Joe The Plumber," Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio's 9th District.
Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination just before the Florida primary. But he made no mention of the former House speaker in his remarks.