The New York Times reports that Mitt Romney has earned the endorsement of George H.W. Bush:
The former president told reporters for The Houston Chronicle that he supported Mr. Romney because of his “stability, experience, principles. He’s a fine person,” Mr. Bush, 87, said. “I just think he’s mature and reasonable – not a bomb-thrower.”
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise; both represent the moderate, Northeastern wing of the Republican Party, and both have had their troubles with the GOP’s more doctrinaire members. It’s hard to say, however, that this endorsement will mean something for the Republican primary contest. The right-wing is ascendant in GOP politics, and Romney already has the support of Republicans from the traditional establishment. If anything, Bush’s endorsement reinforces the view that Romney is a party insider, even as he continues to pander to the conservative base.
What would be interesting is an endosement from George W. Bush, who has been silent since leaving office nearly three years ago. Although the younger Bush has seen an uptick in his approval ratings since leaving office (which happens for all presidents), he is still an unpopular figure among all Americans, including the Republicans who seek to continue his legacy in 2013. An endorsement from Dubya would be among the worst things to happen to a Republican presidential candidate, which is why it won’t happen.