Time will tell which course he’ll really choose. But for weeks, Gingrich has seemed, to a wide swath of political observers, like someone publicly going through a state of grief over the collapse of his poll numbers.

“He was ‘the ideas guy’ until three weeks ago, when he became a process guy,” said one veteran GOP strategist, who is neutral in the race. “Now all he talks about is process, polling, negative ads, gross ratings points. He has no campaign. He has a moving think tank. The psychology that’s going on is, he thought he was going to win. And he’s devastated with what happened to him and he can’t quite comprehend it. He’s just fuming inside. He can’t believe it happened to him.”…

“I think, intellectually, he thought he and Callista could basically use the power of debates to argue things are different, and you don’t need consultants … and ironically, it was the consultants in the super PACs and working for other candidates that pounded him into the ground,” Rollins said.

“It was sad, because he has many gifts as an idea generator and cause-rallier but he is clearly miscast as a happy warrior,” said veteran Democratic strategist Dan Gerstein. “And the best evidence of that was the sense of grievance/entitlement we saw in his caucus-night speech. It was as if he almost couldn’t help himself. [He] lost all perspective.”