The Fix: endorsements

Mike Huckabee, Mitch McConnell and The Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

Mike Huckabee, Mitch McConnell and The Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

Mike Huckabee has Mitch McConnell’s back. He made that clear with an endorsement on Thursday.

“It isn’t easy fighting on the front lines against Barack Obama and his allies in Congress every day but someone has to do it,” wrote the former Arkansas governor on his Facebook page. “There is nobody who has done it more effectively, who asks for less recognition for his work, than Mitch McConnell.”

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Cutter: Des Moines Register’s Romney endorsement not ‘based at all in reality’

Cutter: Des Moines Register’s Romney endorsement not ‘based at all in reality’

Top Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter said Sunday that the Des Moines Register’s endorsement of Mitt Romney “didn’t seem to be based at all in reality.”

“It was a little surprising to read that editorial, because it didn’t seem to be based at all in reality — not just in the president’s record, but in Mitt Romney’s record,” Cutter said. “It says that he’d reach across the aisle, which he’d do the exact opposite. It’s the exact opposite of what he did in Massachusetts.”

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Colin Powell’s former chief of staff: GOP is ‘full of racists’

Colin Powell’s former chief of staff: GOP is ‘full of racists’

Colin Powell’s former chief of staff says the Republican Party is “full of racists” who only want President Obama out of office because he’s black.

“Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists,” Col. Lawrence Wilkerson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.” ”And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.”

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Top Romney aide Sununu suggests Powell endorsed Obama because hes black

Top Romney aide Sununu suggests Powell endorsed Obama because hes black

John Sununu, a top adviser to Mitt Romneys presidential campaign, suggested Thursday that Colin Powell endorsed President Obama because both men are African American.

Asked Thursday on CNN about Powells endorsement, Sununu said the endorsement might be for reasons other than policy.

Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether thats an endorsement based on issues or whether hes got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama, Sununu said.

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Colin Powell and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

Colin Powell and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

Back when former Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell endorsed then candidate Barack Obama for president in the 2008 campaign, we described it as a “symbolic endorsement” — the best sort of endorsement in our Fix Endorsement Hierarchy.


Video: Colin Powell says he is still a Republican even though he endorsed President Obama.

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The newspaper endorsement battle — in one chart

The newspaper endorsement battle — in one chart

Some of the biggest newspaper endorsements in the country have been handed down in recent days, with a big chunk going to President Obama and a big chunk going to Mitt Romney.

Top endorsements for Obama include the Tampa Bay Times, the Denver Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Philadelphia Inquirer, while Romney has gotten the support of the Orlando Sentinel, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Columbus Dispatch.

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Bruce Springsteen, Barack Obama and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

Bruce Springsteen, Barack Obama and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

In Ohio today, Bruce Springsteen will formally endorse President Obama’s bid for re-election.



The endorsement begs two major questions: 1)  Where does his endorsement fit on the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy and 2) What songs will Springsteen play at the event in Parma?

(Our guess on the answer to question two: “Land of Hope and Dreams”, “The Rising” and “We Take Care of Our Own” and “Promised Land”.)

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Top Obama adviser backs Rep. Steve Rothman over Rep. Bill Pascrell

A top Obama campaign adviser is taking sides in a member-versus-member primary in New Jersey, with senior adviser David Axelrod set to campaign for Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), according to a national Democratic aide.

Rothman faces Rep. Bill Pascrell in a North Jersey district that was merged by redistricting. Details of Axelrod’s visit weren’t immediately known.

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Bill Clinton: The best surrogate in the country

Bill Clinton is the best surrogate in the country.

When it comes to primaries, especially, the man just wins.

On Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Clinton’s endorsement helped guide Rep. Mark Critz and attorney general candidate Kathleen Kane both to come-from-behind victories in their respective primaries.
Former President Bill Clinton, center, speaks with Brett Egan, left, and his mother Charlotte Egan at an Arts summit at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., on April 17. (Danny Johnston/AP)

Earlier this month, his endorsement carried businessman John Delaney to an unlikely victory in a congressional primary over a Maryland state legislative leader who had the backing of Gov. Martin O’Malley and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). And it wasn’t close.

Think back two years, and Clinton had a major impact in two big-time Democratic Senate primaries, helping Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) win renomination and nearly helping Andrew Romanoff upset Sen. Michael Bennet — against the wishes of the White House, we might add.

In almost every case, Clinton’s candidate exceeded expectations significantly, which heavily suggests that the president can still move votes.

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Rick Perry endorses Mitt Romney

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, switching his endorsement now that reports indicate Newt Gingrich will drop out of the race.

Here’s the full Perry statement:

“Mitt Romney has earned the Republican presidential nomination through hard-work, a strong organization, and disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration. So today I join the many conservative Republicans across the nation in endorsing Mitt Romney for President and pledge to him, my constituents and the Republican Party that I will continue to work hard to help defeat President Obama. American jobs, economic stability and national security depend on electing a new president. Mitt’s vision and record of private sector success will put America back on the path of job creation, economic opportunity and limited government.”

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Bill Clinton’s endorsements: loyalty or payback?

Call it loyalty or call it payback: The 2008 Democratic presidential primary lives on in Bill Clinton’s 2012 endorsements.


Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a 100th anniversary program for Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, March 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Clinton has now endorsed in at least six Democratic primaries this year, according to our count. In all six of them, the candidate he’s backing supported or was tied to his wife, Hillary Clinton, in the Democratic primary four years ago, and their opponents supported President Obama in that race.

Allies of Clinton note that he makes no apologies about being loyal to those who have been loyal to him and his family. And, they add, he is the only member of the Clinton family free to dabble in politics — his wife is Secretary of State while his daughter works for NBC — which keeps him very busy in the endorsement game.

Drawing any conclusions beyond that — particularly regarding any sort of payback — is absolutely misguided, they argue.

Still, it’s an interesting trend. A quick rundown of where Clinton has chosen to play in the primary season is below.

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The next big endorsements for Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney landed one of the biggest fish left in the GOP endorsement pond on Wednesday in Jeb Bush , and the thinking among many in the GOP is that the party will begin publicly coalescing around the former Massachusetts governor soon.

But what would that look like? How will we know when that’s happening?

Below, we look at the endorsements Romney can get that would signal such a shift — followed by some endorsements that he probably can’t or won’t get (until the race is decided, at least).

What did we miss? The comments section awaits. (And be sure to check out the Post’s endorsement tracker for the latest on who’s backing who.)

ENDORSEMENTS ROMNEY CAN GET

* Rand Paul: This one makes too much sense. The Kentucky senator’s dad, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), of course is
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) walks through the Senate Subway at the U.S. Capitol in August. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
still a candidate, so nothing’s happening while he’s still in the race. But Ron Paul and Romney have been friendly on the campaign trail for a long time, and now that the elder Paul’s campaign seems to have wound down in recent weeks, there are increasing rumors about Romney’s team cutting a deal with him.

What better way to cement the alliance than have Ron Paul drop out and Rand Paul endorse Romney? It would certainly help Romney with the tea party, but it might not sit well with Paul’s base.

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House GOP leader Eric Cantor endorses Mitt Romney

This post has been updated.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Sunday, becoming the first member of GOP leadership to back the GOP frontrunner.

Cantor announced his endorsement two days before his home state, Virginia, is set to hold its primary. Romney is a strong favorite in the state, because Ron Paul is the only other candidate who managed to qualify for the ballot.

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Do endorsements matter? Almost never.

Do endorsements matter? Almost never.

The Fix is fascinated with political endorsements. Heck, we created an entire Endorsement Hierarchy aimed at classifying and ranking the various sorts of endorsements in the political world.

But even as we — and the rest of the politically inclined media — spend hours wondering who might endorse whom and what it all means, we’ve always had a niggling little voice in the back of our mind that squeaked: “Endorsements don’t matter.”

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Mitt Romney, establishment candidate

In case you’ve missed it, the fire hose of Mitt Romney endorsements has begun, and we wouldn’t count on it stopping.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), the Des Moines Register, former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) all endorsed the former Massachusetts governor in recent days, reinforcing the fact that Romney is going to have far more big-name endorsements than anybody else in the 2012 Republican presidential race. (For proof, check out our endorsement tracker.)
Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting at Memminger Auditorium on Saturday in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

All these endorsements have made it pretty clear – if it wasn’t already – that Romney is the favored candidate of the Republican Party establishment.

But that cuts both ways.

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Steve King: No ‘full spectrum conservative’ has emerged in 2012 field

Steve King: No ‘full spectrum conservative’ has emerged in 2012 field

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King acknowledged that he had hoped a “full spectrum conservative candidate” would have stepped forward by this point in the 2012 Republican presidential race and the fact that one hasn’t emerged has kept him from endorsing anyone in the current field.

In an interview Tuesday with the Fix, King said that while the race’s two current frontrunners — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — have “articulated” a conservative policy platform “when you look at the records it’s a little harder to accept it all as its delivered.”

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Rick Perry=Rick Scott?

Rick Perry=Rick Scott?

As his campaign seeks to re-establish itself in the top tier of the Republican presidential nomination fight, suggest that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is hiring on a series of consultants who last worked together on the 2010 campaign of Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Curt Anderson, a partner at OnMessage Inc. and Nelson Warfield will bulk up Perry’s media and advertising operation while Tony Fabrizio will help direct polling. (Mike Baselice, Perry’s longtime pollster, confirmed to the Fix that he will stay on board as well.)

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Bobby Jindal to endorse Rick Perry

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will endorse Rick Perry for president, becoming the second major GOP governor to offer a presidential endorsement Monday.

A source close to Jindal confirms the endorsement, which was first reported by CNN’s Mark Preston.

Jindal, who is often thought to be a potential future presidential candidate himself, has worked closely with Perry on hurricane-related issues and, as the governor of a neighboring Southern state, was a logical pick to back the Texas governor.

Earlier Monday, former presidential candidate and Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

Both Pawlenty and Jindal are expected to serve as important surrogates in the 2012 race.

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