Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ended his run for the Republican presidential nomination this week by "suspending" his campaign -- a term exiting candidates use to keep the money door open.
Mr. Gingrich was an active candidate for a year, holding on as long as he could against presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. His financial support came largely from the Winning Our Future super-political action committee, fueled by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who gave more than $5 million.
Mr. Gingrich's campaign is $4.3 million in debt; he apparently hopes a super- PAC, the Republican National Committee, or Mr. Romney's campaign will cover that shortfall. His campaign clearly was near its end when a $500 check it wrote to register for the Utah primary bounced.
As he bowed out, Mr. Gingrich did not give Mr. Romney a clear endorsement or a pledge to campaign on his behalf. Instead, he graciously remarked that Mr. Romney's bona fides as a conservative were not as strong as Ronald Reagan, but exceeded President Obama's.
It is hard to see where Mr. Gingrich goes from here. He does not hold public office, and it is unlikely that Mr. Romney would give a Cabinet post to a prickly, unpredictable ex-opponent who once called him a liar. Mr. Gingrich's fees on the speakers' circuit were probably boosted by his presidential run, even though the only state he won other than his native Georgia was South Carolina.
Mr. Gingrich was colorful and full of fantasies -- a U.S. colony on the moon, $2.50 a gallon gasoline. But in the end, his campaign had negligible credibility.