What does a ‘suspended’ campaign look like?

WHAT DOES A ‘SUSPENDED’ CAMPAIGN LOOK LIKE?…. Just this morning, in New York, John McCain was pretty straightforward about his perspective on the campaign: “I cannot carry on a campaign as though this dangerous situation had not occurred, or as though a solution were at hand, which it clearly is not. As of this morning I suspended my political campaign.”

Got it. So, what does a “suspended” campaign look like? As it turns out, it’s eerily similar to a regular ol’ campaign.

What have we learned since McCain suspended his presidential campaign?

* McCain campaign offices in battleground states are open and operating, just like yesterday.

* McCain’s television ads are on the air, just like yesterday.

* McCain media flacks are all over the news networks, just like yesterday.

* McCain’s campaign staffers are working, just like yesterday.

* McCain’s campaign website is up, soliciting contributions and promoting McCain’s message, just like yesterday.

* For the big White House meeting today, Barack Obama was told not to bring any campaign aides, so he’s bringing a legislative assistant from his Senate staff. John McCain is bringing a campaign advisor.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I get the sinking feeling that maybe, just maybe, the “suspension” announcement was some kind of (gasp!) gimmick, and that nothing has actually changed at McCain Campaign HQ.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.