WASHINGTON -- Herman Cain is out of the presidential race, but not out of the mix.
Reports suggest Cain, the one-time leader of the GOP pack, will lend his fading star power to former House Speaker and rival Newt Gingrich.
If and when the endorsement does happen, the move would give Gingrich even more momentum as he moves to the top of recent polls.
And his campaign isn't wasting any time, airing their first ad in Iowa on Monday. Gingrich's new TV spot promotes American exceptionalism.
"Working together, we can and will rebuild the America we love," an announcer says in the ad.
But the crowded GOP field isn't willing to crown Gingrich just yet.
"We've had the flavors of the month up and down so far in this campaign," candidate Ron Paul said. "I'd like to think of myself as the flavor of the decade."
With so many turnovers, even Gingrich concedes his frontrunner status isn't guaranteed.
"I was supposedly dead in June, July. I am apparently not now, so I'm not gonna say any of my friends can't suddenly surprise us," he said.
Instead of waiting for Gingrich to slip up, opponents are lining up to question his conservative credentials.
"He's been a part of Washington, D.C., for over 30 years. He's as 'establishment' as you get," Rep. Michele Bachman charged.
"I think Newt has consistently put (social conservative values) in the back of the bus," candidate Rick Santorum added.
While Gingrich's rivals focus on his record, team Obama appeared to be eyeing someone else as the likely Republican challenger: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whom they attack as a perennial flip-flopper.
"He's a political gymnast of the highest order," former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "He will say virtually anything to get elected to any office."
With less than a month before the Iowa caucus, the race for the Republican nominee is far from certain.
Monday, Gingrich met with Donald Trump in New York, hoping to get the businessman's endorsement.
Trump is set to moderate a GOP debate later this month. Paul and former Utah Gov. John Huntsman both say they are not coming to the debate.
Trump responded by calling the men "clown-like" candidates.
Bachmann, Romney and Rick Perry have all met privately with Trump at some point during their campaigns.