Herman Cain got lucky in last night’s debate as Rick Perry’s Dept. of Energy meltdown overshadowed his smart alec “Princess Nancy” reference to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

One would think a guy who has sexual harassment charges lodged against him by four different women wouldn’t take such an unfortunate slap at the San Francisco Congresswoman who made history when she become the first female elected to head the House and stood second in line to succeed the president. Cain made the Princess remark when criticizing Pelosi from blocking a Republican healthcare bill proposed by Rep. Tim Price of Georgia. Conservatives hailed HR 3000 as a measure to kill “Obamacare.” The bill died in committee. Pelosi was right to kill it off.

The insulting Pelosi remark along with the harassment allegations are bound to cause Cain more headaches with the press. Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released a report today, showing the media’s honeymoon with Cain is over. Coverage is becoming more negative. The study, which predates the first harassment charge lodged against Cain, found that 39 percent of the stories about the candidate in 11,000 news outlets (Oct. 31 to Nov. 6) carried a negative tone. Twenty-six percent were positive. The numbers are worse in Pew’s sample of its “elite” media world of 47 outlets. Half were negative and only 19 percent were positive. Pew speculates that Cain’s negatives rose once the media began considering his cornerstone “9-9-9” tax plan as something more than a novelty or slogan. When the numbers were crunched, Cain was crushed.

Erick Erickson, of the conservative RedState.com, today released his weekly “horserace” analysis of the Republican presidential race. He believes Cain would make a “great” president, but he’s not going to get the nomination unless he shakes up his Keystone Kops-like staff. Though Cain professes to be a great manager, a great manager wouldn’t have doltish advisers, according to the analysis. Erickson says Cain “might as well go on and endorse Mitt Romney as he no doubt will eventually.”

Ron Paul, an entertaining guy who has no absolutely no chance to become president, also should line-up behind Mitt. The Congressman could have tossed a lifeline to Perry last night when he was mentally adrift. As the Texas Governor tried to remember the third federal agency that he’s going to get rid of once he becomes president, Paul could have given Rick the right answer. Did Paul sandbag his fellow Texan? It could very well be.