Back in Iowa and New Hampshire, Ron Paul's campaign spent some serious coin on chartered planes whistlestop tours, and event-staging. Since Super Tuesday, when Paul failed to win any caucus state straw polls -- technically meaningless, but nice opportunities for bragging -- Paul scaled down to mega-rallies and town halls on college campuses in primary states.
Today, the campaign scales back further. The statement from Paul:
We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future. Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.
Practical, and yet still bad timing. Still on the calendar are primaries in Arkansas (May 22), the last of the deep South states that have proven inhospitable to the grandaddy of health care mandates; Kentucky (May 22), where Paul's son is a U.S. Senator; Texas (May 29), where Paul lives; Montana (June 5), where Paul won votes as a third party candidate* in 2008; and California (June 5), where Paul can pick up hundreds of thousands of protests votes.
The Kentucky factoid's probably the relevant one here. Eight days out, Paul wants us to know that his crushing defeat in the state will have no impact whatsoever on Rand Paul's rising star.
*The local Constitution Party put Paul on the ballot without his say-so.
UPDATE: This is how the story's being played on www.mittromney.com/drudge:
Please note: This is not true. Paul is not suspending his campaign. "It makes for a flashy headline," says Paul spokesman Jesse Benton, "but it is not correct."