Trailhead

Endorsement-palooza: McCain Cleans Up

The recommendations are coming so fast, it’s getting a little hard to keep track. Here’s the latest batch from over the weekend .

Des Moines Register : Hillary Clinton and John McCain

Much-coveted endorsement. Boosts Hillary’s inevitability argument in Iowa, just as Obama was starting to crack it. Obama camp claims it will swing Edwards supporters over to him; Edwards’ people think it will do just the opposite. For McCain, unlikely to change much; New Hampshire is still his firewall, albeit a small one. See freakishly close analysis here .

Boston Globe : Barack Obama and John McCain

Could help both in New Hampshire. (That is, if anyone reads it .) Dems trust the Globe , while independents will see that McCain appeals to more than just the Union Leader .

Sen. Joe Lieberman: John McCain

Support could be a major symbol for New Hampshire independents, who make up 40 percent of the state’s voters. Of course, Lieberman netted only about 9 percent of the vote in 2004. Not exactly a kingmaker. On the plus side, McCain already nabbed conservative Union Leader-Globe , plus Lieberman means McCain has right, left, and center covered.

Iowa Rep. Steve King: Fred Thompson

Thompson needs this. King endorsement was coveted by Republicans. Huckabee got Jim Gilchrist last week—another prominent conservative and the bell would be tolling for Fred. He still polls fourth in Iowa.

It’s a good day to be John McCain assuming voters care what the Register , the Globe , and Lieberman think. The problem, though, is that these recs aren’t really based on the candidates’ electability. When a congressman endorses a candidate, it’s not just because he likes him it’s because he likes him and thinks he can get elected. (Joe Lieberman, mind you, is a special case. He’s too far right to side with Hillary but not far enough to support a Republican like Romney.) But newspapers usually endorse based on ideals and policies alone. They don’t care how slim McCain’s chances are. Maybe that’s why the Register hasn’t endorsed a winner since 1980. So in that sense, you have to take these recs with a grain of salt.

UPDATE 3:52 p.m. : That was fast . A new Hillary ad features the Register endorsement.