Newt Gingrich's flailing campaign announced that it will lay off one-third of its staff, cut back the travel schedule and fire its manager, essentially putting the entire operation in shutdown mode until the Republican convention. Communications director Joe DeSantis told Politico's Mike Allen about the changes saying, "We’re focusing exclusively on what it’ll take to win what we’re going to be calling a big-choice convention in August.”

So it appears that Gingrich's strategy at this point is simply to stay alive (without technically dropping out) in the hopes that that the GOP convention will be a brokered one that he can swoop into and steal, or at least get one last prime-time speech. As has been reported, Gingrich's campaign is carrying a massive amount of debt while adding no new delegates to his account after getting drubbed in Louisiana's primary. It seems pretty obvious that cutting back on staff and campaign appearances won't suddenly win him more votes, but Newt refuses to concede the race.

He's effectively running a protest campaign now, even if the only thing he seems to be protesting against is Mitt Romney. What isn't clear is what he thinks he can realistically accomplish by hanging on. If he really wanted to deny Romney the nomination, he'd team up with the slightly more viable Rick Santorum. If he really thinks the "big choice" that convention-goers will make is to appoint him their savior, then he's probably kidding himself. At this point, the campaign is existing only for its own sake and the sake of Newt's ego.

Realistically, Gingrich's presidential run is over ... even if he doesn't want to admit it. We know that you've heard that before — read Walter Shapiro's "eulogy" at The New Republic for a full accounting of Newt's journey — but it appears that with states and money running out the truth may finally be unavoidable.