Mitt Romney has made an early push, winning a slew of backers. But can carry him to the nomination?
It seems a bit early for endorsements. No one really cares if County Commissioner X supports presidential candidate Y. Attention spans are short at this nascent stage of the 2012 race.
But candidates are rolling them out nonetheless. On Monday, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) unveiled the backing of three state legislators and two conservative activists in New Hampshire. In the last five weeks, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has unfurled the endorsements of Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine (R), nine Iowa state legislators, an Iowa GOP co-chair, the future speaker of Florida's state House, South Carolina's former attorney general, and, most notably, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), the former Victory in Iraq Caucus leader who yelled "You lie!" at President Obama.
So far, Mitt Romney has harvested the most support from federal officeholders. Last week, in a coup over the only other Mormon in the presidential race, the former Massachusetts governor announced the support of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who formerly served as chief of staff to former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, one of Romney's rivals for the 2012 nomination. Last month, he secured the endorsement of Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), and this week he rolled out an endorsement from former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.).