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Cain communications director resigns

Herman Cain's communications director resigned today. Ellen Carmichael confirms to First Read that she has stepped down from the campaign, amicably, she says, to pursue other career opportunities.

"I'm eager to move back to Washington, D.C., where I used to live and all my friends are and just kind of get into a different aspect of the political arena," she said in a telephone interview. "I've been with Mr. Cain for more than a year, and I'm very, very fond of him and think the world of him, and we're close, and I have a great deal of admiration and respect for him. And after a year, you just get to the point where you're ready to go. I came to that point. So there's no ill will. It's a very amicable split."

Carmichael said she thinks Cain is doing well and gaining momentum, but "it just came to a point, where I was at peace with the decision to leave. I have been with the campaign for the good days and the bad days. When others left, I stayed. I've just gotten to the point where he's in a great place, and I'm really confident in what he's able to do. And because of the fact that he's in such a good place that I feel comfortable in leaving. Not leaving when he was down and out. I feel comfortable in moving along with my own life. It's nice to know that you were one of the original people when this thing started and to watch what it's become has been an unbelievable joy, and I'm grateful for the opportunity. To know that he's in a good spot, I know that I'm not abandoning him. He's going to be well taken care of."

Cain has seen a rise in some polls, with the stumbles of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. But some have questioned why then Cain wasn't going to be in the key early state of Iowa again until November. Instead, he's on a book tour, leading observers to question if he's a serious candidate.