As the 2012 presidential race continues, Mitt Romney might hope that key endorsements will ameliorate some of his weaknesses, including perceptions that he is too moderate, or unfaithful to the Republican party, or too East Coast, too elitist, or too “establishment” — but many of his endorsers seem just as likely to confirm that impression.
1. George Pataki: The former governor of New York may have fought the good fight, like Mitt, in a blue state, but his profligate spending, large amounts of state debt accumulated, and testy relationships with Albany Republicans make him unlikely to win over too many for Romney.
2. Lisa Murkowski: Alaska’s senior senator was defeated by a tea-party insurgent, Joe Miller, in her 2010 primary, and, though she succeeded as a write-in candidate, she came to symbolize the embattled Republican establishment.
3. Bob Dole: Dole’s unsuccessful presidential run in 1996 doesn’t seem to bode particularly well for Mitt’s chances.
4. George H. W. Bush: The Eastern Establishment president famed for breaking his “no new taxes” pledge, among other moderate stances, doesn’t seem likely to solidify conservative confidence in Mitt Romney.
5. Jon Huntsman: No further explanation.
6. Nikki Haley: South Carolina’s governor was elected on a wave of tea-party support, but she has disappointed them since, now registering an approval rating of 35 percent.
7. Scott Brown: Brown has established one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate Republican caucus, including a vote for Dodd-Frank, which Romney has promised to repeal.
8. Ray Flynn: The Democratic former mayor of Boston has crossed the aisle before, to endorse George W. Bush and Scott Brown, but has spent years in Massachusetts politics, and served as President Clinton’s ambassador to Vatican City.
9. Cindy Crawford: The supermodel certainly won’t help show off the contrasts between Romney and Obama, since she supported the latter in 2008.
10. Susan Molinari: An endorsement by the former New York congresswoman doesn’t seem likely to reinforce Mitt’s social-conservative credentials, given her years as a pro-choicer and her opposition to Bush’s traditional-marriage amendment.
11. Tom Ridge: Pennsylvania’s former governor doesn’t exactly have a record of going for the most conservative candidates, either, having endorsed John McCain last cycle and Jon Huntsman earlier in this one.
12. Thaddeus McCotter: The quixotic Michigan congressman never garnered any real support for his own presidential campaign, the first explicitly pro-labor Republican effort in a while.