If you had "the fifth of never" in your office betting pool for the date when Ron Paul would drop out, you not only work in a very weird office where people should consider betting on things like the NCAA tournament instead, but you lost. Paul announced today that he will "partially suspend" his campaign. Per an e-mail to supporters, that obfuscating language means, more or less, that he's dropping out of the campaign — though you can pry his delegates out of his cold, dead hands.
Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. 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. I encourage all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and Congressional elections, where so many defenders of Freedom are fighting and need your support.
The campaign told Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray that this is "absolutely" not a dropout, and while it's true that if any candidate could continue to grab delegates without actively trying to do so, it would be Paul, the nation's pot-smoking, liberty-lovin' 22-year-old men should prepare themselves for the worst.
The move isn't exactly a surprising one: Paul's son Rand said last week that "For all practical purposes, it is over. The numbers are there and Mitt Romney’s going to win the nomination." Supportive stuff! But at least according to Slate's Dave Weigel, a fatherly concern for Rand's political fortunes might have played a not-insignificant role in the timing of Paul's decision. A poor performance in Kentucky, Rand Paul's home turf, might have been almost more damaging for the son than for the father. And by pulling out sooner rather than later, Paul will have more time to spend befriending giants, concocting new ways to cook with Velveeta, and researching eyebrow adhesive options.