Word of a McCain endorsement of Romney first surfaced two weeks ago, but the announcement was shelved. Until now.
A Republican official now states that on Wednesday, the 2008 Republican standard bearer with go public with his endorsement of Romney for the G.O.P.’s 2012 nomination.
The timing is most likely based on the need for Romney to start looking more like a clear frontrunner than his near loss in Iowa depicted him as and to help ensure that he can hold on to his wide lead over the rest of the field in the New Hampshire primary.
McCain remains relatively popular among New Hampshire Republicans and in 2008, McCain just so happened to beat Romney in New Hampshire.
For Romney, the need to create a sense of inevitability about his becoming the nominee is increasingly important. Such a perceived inevitability will help Romney to wrap up the nomination early by limiting the momentum that rivals like Santorum might capture. However; McCain’s endorsement may be more damaging to Romney than helpful. While McCain may provide Romney with a boost in the Granite State, how well his endorsement plays elsewhere is very questionable.
One of the knocks on Romney is his establishment Republican image. That image is only reinforced by the signal that McCain’s endorsement sends, which is that the Republican establishment is lining up behind Romney.
In this anti-establishment atmosphere and age of TEA movement sentiments, the establishment label is hardly something that will help a candidate win favor with the electorate.
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