Donald Trump to join Mitt Romney’s lackluster endorsements


Groundhogging the spotlight. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (Richard Drew/AP)

A list of people Americans don’t want to hold important offices like senator, Supreme Court justice or president of the United States?

Nope.

People who’ve endorsed Mitt Romney.

One might be forgiven for thinking the only thing that unites these folks is the fact that people, don’t, well, like them.

Seriously, what was the thought behind these endorsements? Christine O’Donnell? If she endorsed a paper bag, a large number of Americans would become concerned that the paper bag didn’t know what it was doing. John Bolton? He can’t even win Mustached American of the Year! What makes us think his endorsement will sway anyone? Even Herman Cain is more prominent among mustached Americans — and he endorsed Gingrich. John McCain? He lost the presidency to Barack Obama! He won the Republican nomination because his stiffest competition came from Mitt Romney.

And joining the dolorous march is Donald Trump.

This afternoon, he’s slated to endorse the Great Whitebread Hope of the Republican party.

It’s no surprise that Donald Trump is endorsing on Groundhog Day.

It’s the day in February when people frequently approach Trump to inquire if that thing on the top of his head has predicted six more weeks of winter or not.

At first, it was reported that he’d endorse Gingrich. I think what’s most likely to happen is that the groundhog seated on Trump’s head will endorse either Mitt or Newt depending on whether he spots his shadow. And his endorsement is likely to have the same amount of impact as a large, self-important tree falling in the middle of a forest with a lot of press coverage but no voters willing to listen.

If anything, this will hurt.

In fact, contemplate the stats on both the Trump and the McCain endorsements, and the facts agree with me. The facts do not always do this. Usually they mutter something under their breath about how we’ll discuss it in the car.

According to the Pew Research Center, McCain’s endorsement made 19 percent of voters more likely to vote for his pick — and 17 percent of them less likely. Trump’s endorsement? A mere 13 percent more — 20 percent less. In fact, the only two endorsers listed who might have a strong net positive are Sarah Palin and George W. Bush. Michele Bachmann’s negatives outweigh her positives, too. So look for her to sign up for Romney next.

 Sure, there are exceptions to the Romney rule. Chris Christie endorsed Romney, after all. But then one remembers that the reason people liked him in the first place was that he wasn’t Mitt Romney and might run against him.

And Donald Trump is apparently coming out in favor of Romney this afternoon, in Las Vegas, of all places.

Stop it! Romney has a lot on his plate these days, what with not being concerned with the very poor and all, and you’re just making it harder!

If Romney had any sense, he’d try to spook the ’hog toward Gingrich instead.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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