(Charles Dharapak/AP)

In the space of 24 hours, Eric Cantor went from the second most-powerful Republican in the House to just another rank-and-file member playing out the string in the wake of an embarrassing primary defeat.

The photo above captures Cantor's emotion as he addressed reporters Wednesday after a closed-door meeting of his House GOP colleagues in which he confirmed that he would resign as House Majority Leader effective July 31. "I may have had a -- suffered a personal setback last night [but] I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country," Cantor told reporters.