Well, Newt Gingrich can say he’s in the campaign til Tampa all he wants, but increasingly, he’ll be doing so without the assurance that anyone other than the people right in front of him will hear about it. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politico have withdrawn their “embedded” reporters from his campaign, which means he’ll have to rely on the television networks and local media to report his pithy utterances.

It’s really sad when you are running a campaign based on feeding resentment of the media, and you can’t get your hometown newspaper (yes, I know Newt doesn’t live in Georgia any more, but the Atlanta papers have been covering the guy for more than forty years) and the omnisicient Beltway outlet to follow you around any more. Earlier Ron Paul lost not only his print embeds, but even network television coverage. Seems that decision, however, that had a lot to do with Paul’s very limited event itinerary. Can’t have those reporters sitting on their hands.

I guess these developments also create a bottom-line measurement for when Rick Santorum’s campaign crosses the line from being all-but-finished, or mathematically finished, to really finished. So long as there is a bus, and boys-and-girls from the Fourth Estate riding it, and he still has someone to shout obscenities at, then he’s a candidate, however diminished.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.