After Senator Richard Burr and former Senator Elizabeth Dole endorsed Mitt Romney, a reporter asked: Do endorsements matter? Answer: Not to voters, but definitely to politicians and reporters.
No voter who is torn between, say, Romney and Newt Gingrich will think: “Gee, I don’t know who to vote for. So I’ll just vote for the person Elizabeth Dole endorses.”
It’s a perception game – the perception of momentum. Romney wants endorsements because he desperately wants to avoid an extended fight for the nomination. He especially needs validation in the South. Born-again, conservative Republicans don’t take kindly to Mormons and Massachusetts moderates.
For Burr, it means a ticket to the running-mate sweepstakes. That’s why he endorsed now; waiting for the North Carolina primary in May could be too late.
It’s not a bad bet for Burr. Romney will have a pick a Southerner for VP. Possible choices include Burr, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, South Carolina Governor Nicki Haley and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.