It's conventional wisdom that political endorsements don't have a significant impact on elections. But today's double-header endorsements from former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (pro-Romney) and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (pro-Perry) have even some of the more skeptical political observers citing exceptions to the rule. Here's how Jindal and Pawlenty will help the respective campaigns
This is big for Romney, writes Matt Yglesias at Think Progress:
Mitt Romney has a lot going for him as a candidate. As a former governor, he’s a plausible president. As a former governor of a blue state, he has a demonstrated ability to get voters who don’t normally vote Republican to vote for a Republican. He polls well in head-to-head match-ups against President Obama. He has a nationwide fundraising base grounded in the financial services industry and the LDS community. But he also has a number of well-known weakness, and key among them is the idea that some elements of his record should make him ideologically unacceptable to conservatives...
No single endorsement matters very much, but Romney’s ability to wrack up a series of endorsements from blah plain vanilla current and former Republican elected officials probably matters a lot in a matchup against Perry.
Pawlenty will help Romney on the health care issue writes Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post:
[Pawlenty] clearly wants to play an active role in the campaign and can be another semi high-profile surrogate for Romney as the race heats up. Pawlenty may well be tasked with trying to defend Romney’s record on health care against the attacks to come. After deriding it as “Obamneycare”earlier this year, Pawlenty said today that “Mitt Romney is 100 percent dedicated and committed to repealing Obamacare.” To win the nomination, Romney needs to make believers out of voters like he did out of Pawlenty.
The Jindal endorsement is even more significant, writes Allahpundit at Hot Air:
Jindal’s endorsement matters more, though, because Perry’s immediate problem is proving that he’s electable. The more big-name conservatives bypass the 'safe' choice in the field to roll the dice on him, the more credible Perry looks.
When Romney inevitably hits him again tonight on Social Security, Perry can point at Jindal in the audience and say that the governor of Louisiana — and esteemed policy wonk — would never throw his endorsement away on an unelectable candidate. Which is true enough: For Jindal to commit this early in the race, he must be awfullly confident in Perry’s chances. If he’s right, there’s bound to be a cabinet position in it for him. But probably not VP due to their regional overlap.
Jindal helps Perry on the intelligence issue, writes Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner, noting Jindal's "youth and diversity" and "unquestioned intelligence." Christian Heinze at The Hill adds "His profile fits far better with Perry than with Romney. He's a southern governor with a great executive record and charisma on the stump. He's a young minority the GOP would like to make the face of the party. Tim Pawlenty is the face of the GOP that the DNC would like to make."