Today’s big campaign news is the endorsement of Mitt Romney by George H.W. Bush. This comes just days after Jeb Bush came out for Romney, and a few weeks after Barbara Bush recorded robocalls on his behalf. We’ve heard barely a peep, however, from the Bush who recently finished two terms as President. And it’s now three weeks past the point in the 2008 campaign when George W. Bush endorsed John McCain. W. can probably wait longer to express a preference now that he’s not President and out of the public eye.
But Bush 43 can’t wait forever, and when he finally does step forward, his embrace of Romney could cut in different ways. On the one hand it would basically clinch Romney’s air of inevitability and perhaps enthuse some skeptical conservatives (although W has his right-wing detractors, to be sure). On the other hand, Obama loves contrasting his policies with those of the Bush-era GOP and will leap at the chance to tie Romney to a President who left office with an approval rating in the low 30s.
Then again, the rather amazing fact is that Romney’s own approval ratings aren’t any better.