Rick Santorum's campaign for the presidency is over but instead of throwing in the towel with a decisive phrase like "I'm finished," he announced that "we'll suspend our campaign effective today." It's a phrasing that suggests open-endedness or some sort of pause and it was irritating to political observers looking for a sense of finality. "Who introduced 'suspend' as the weaselly and now obligatory euphemism for 'quit'?" tweeted author and Studio360 host Kurt Andersen. Good question!

The answer is that Santorum—or any candidate—protects himself both politically and financially by suspending a campaign rather than terminating it. On the political front, let's say a hot mic catches Mitt Romney secretly pledging his love for Al Qaeda (perhaps the only gaffe he hasn't committed yet) and his polling plummets. Or worse, he croaks tomorrow. Suspending your campaign gives you political cover to re-enter the race.

Financially, the benefits of a suspension are even more important. "By not officially terminating his campaign, a candidate can continue to raise money to retire debt," ABC News' Domenico Montarao explained after Herman Cain similarly announced the suspension of his campaign in December. "But a candidate would not be ALLOWED to terminate unless they paid off their obligations and debts." That's why Hillary Clinton never actually officially terminated her 2008 campaign. In fact, last time Politico checked in on the campaign's status last year, she still owed pollster Mark Penn $329,000.

So, there you have it: money and opportunism prevent our candidates from officially "terminating" their campaigns. Or as Andersen puts it "private campaign $ corrupts not just politics but the semantics of politics."