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Endorsing the front-runner

February 18, 2008 - Steve Murch
The first President Bush endorsed John McCain for president today. He spoke of McCain’s heroism and dedication to protecting our country. While Bush was never a dynamic fire-up-the-troops speaker, he always got his point across. This speech was no different.

Now here’s the question, and it applies to every politician out there: If you firmly believe in John McCain, why wait until he nearly has the whole thing clinched? A much earlier endorsement would ring of sincerity, don’t you think?

Most politicians wait until the process if virtually a shoo-in before giving their ringing endorsement. They’ll say it’s because they don’t want to split the party and have in-fighting during the all-important primary season. But if you feel that passionate about someone, then say it right away.

While the elder Bush has nothing to gain politically, the guess would be that most won’t say anything earlier because they don’t want to hinder their political careers. Besides, it’s better to say you backed the winner as opposed to the guy (or gal) who didn’t even compete in November.

It’s a bit like the big newspapers endorsing a candidate in both the Democratic and Republican primaries or caucuses. It’s as if they are trying to make sure they pick a winner. It seems kind of silly during the primaries for a more conservative paper to endorse a Democrat and a more liberal paper to endorse a Republican, all the while also backing someone more to their leaning. It’s an entirely different scenario if during the general election the conservative paper endorses the Dem and the liberal paper endorses the GOP candidate. In that case the paper is making a choice and not hedging its bet.

It would be nice to see all endorsements of politicians by other politicians be made prior to the whole election process. And if that person’s candidate drops out then they can endorse someone else. Now THAT would make for an interesting primary season.


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