This is something I found interesting.
Having followed the Republican presidential nominating process for 2012 for some time, it’s telling to me that three candidates who have either bowed out or said they were never in the race have endorsed Mitt Romney. The latter category was filled yesterday by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, with both Tim Pawlenty and Thad McCotter also choosing Romney after exiting the race.
Of course, that’s not to say that many other politicians haven’t endorsed Mitt Romney – heck, Maryland has its own list of Republicans who back him. I just don’t happen to be one of them.
So the question has to be asked – are these people endorsing Romney because they believe in what he says, or are they falling prey to the conventional wisdom that Mitt is electable? Well, there are a number of issues where Mitt has been on both sides, and that’s a criticism leveled even by those who now endorse him.
And the fact is Romney hasn’t done all that well in the electoral process as he’s only won one election (for governor of Massachusetts in 2002) while losing two others (U.S. Senate in 1994 and president in 2008.) That’s not exactly a sterling record of accomplishment.
So it must come down to toeing the “establishment” line that it’s Mitt Romney’s “turn” now, just as it was John McCain’s in 2008 or Bob Dole’s in 1996. Both were former candidates who finished as a runner-up to someone named Bush (Dole in 1988, McCain in 2000) and reappeared a couple elections later once the Bush was out of the picture.
Yet the other interesting thing to see will be whether Sarah Palin decides to place her imprimatur on one of the candidates in the race. Even though both were governors (but not at the same time) it doesn’t seem that Palin would be wild about endorsing Romney based on the stated positions of both. Of course, Palin will keep her cards close to her vest until it’s of maximum advantage to her to reveal them.
Still, as the process sends more and more contenders to the wayside, it will be interesting to see who else endorses Romney – at least at a time prior to the point where Romney’s nomination would be a fait accompli. We still have a wide open race because no votes have been officially cast, but the time is getting closer.