You gotta credit Donald Trump with one thing — the man sure knows how to get media attention. Last night, we read that he was set to endorse Newt Gingrich. Today, we learn he’s going to “endorse Mitt Romney for president“.
Jennifer Rubin fears this may hurt her candidate:
Trump is certain at some point to say outrageous and embarrasing things, which then become messes for the Romney team to clean up. He is all risk and no gain. After all there can’t be many actual voters who think: “Gosh I was going to vote for Newt Gingrich but now that Trump is going with Romney I’ll switch.”
Jim Geraghty calls this a “bad break” for Romney. Ed Morrissey is a bit more sanguine, “The value for Romney isn’t so much that he’d get a boost from voters, but that he keeps Gingrich from getting one.”
This endorsement does plan into the narrative our friends in the legacy media are trying to create — of the battle for the Republican nomination as a kind of a circus, with the various candidates engaging in stunts rather than offering serious proposals to address our nation’s pressing problems.
I doubt this will help Romney in the short term, but may provide a long-term benefit for the former Massachusetts governor should he secure the GOP nomination as Morrissey puts it:
Assuming this is accurate and Trump endorses Romney, it would seem to signal (as some have said in the comments) that Trump won’t go for an independent bid in the fall. That isn’t good news for Democrats, who would have to then hope that Ron Paul would give it a try, even though Paul would have almost none of the resources that Trump could use to make an impact.
And Ron Paul, as I will explain later, won’t be running on an independent — or Libertarian — ticket should he fail in his bid for the GOP nomination.
*After dropping hints he’d be backing Gingrich.
UPDATE: Maybe the lesser Donald is playing into Obama’s hands. Michelle Malkin finds the timing of his endorsement draws attention away from the “Fast and Furious” hearings on the Hill where Eric Holder is beclowning himself:
Side note: Donald Trump stepping on this important hearing tells you everything you need to know about his purported interest in advancing conservative/GOP interests. Circus, circus.
UP-UPDATE: Allahpundit offers an interesting (and sensible) explanation of Romney’s decision to appear to receive the real estate mogul’s endorsement in person:
Conservatives are grumbling on Twitter that he shouldn’t have stooped to doing this but I don’t think he had a choice. If he refused to kiss the ring, Trump would have spent the next nine months attacking him publicly on oafishly over-the-top populist grounds. There’s a market for that, and with the election likely to be close, Romney probably figured he’d better do whatever he can now to avoid losing any support on his right flank. Special thanks to all the grassroots voters who briefly made Trump the GOP frontrunner last year; without that fleeting benediction of him as some sort of serious political player, this spectacle wouldn’t have happened.