Mitt Romney's campaign sent out an all-caps press release announcing the candidate had won "SUPPORT OF WYOMING GOVERNOR MATT MEAD" Tuesday, six weeks after the Wyoming caucus. The announcement came hours after House Speaker John Boehner endorsed Romney in not-quite-glowing terms, and six days after Romney's last real challenger, Rick Santorum, quit the race. When Santorum dropped out last week, four major Republican politicians announced their endorsement of him. Those guys aren't going to win any profiles in courage, but at least they fell in line when the outcome became obvious. The longer the rest of the party's officials wait, the weirder it looks each time a new one comes around.
If Boehner, for instance, had endorsed Romney a while ago, whatever boilerplate he said about the presumptive presidential nominee wouldn't have caught much attention. But because he waited so long, it's tempting to parse his words. New York's Jonathan Chait calls Boehner's endorsement "a classic of the 'I will support him because he is a member of my party and a carbon-based life form' genre." (Boehner said: "It is clear now that Mitt Romney is going to be our nominee… I think Mitt Romney has a set of economic policies that can put Americans back to work and, frankly, contrast sharply with the failed economic policies of President Obama.") But Boehner was much more enthusiastic than New York Rep. Peter King, who, when asked whether Republicans were psyched about Romney, said on MSNBC Tuesday:
So far, they're not. I can tell you that there's a lot of dissatisfaction with President Obama, and people are still waiting on Governor Romney.
And that's why I'm saying if Mitt Romney can show that he can get the job done, he has a very good chance of winning, but no, there is not that excitement level. It's not like we've seen with a Bill Clinton or George Bush, for that matter.
Meanwhile, Rick Santorum told CBS News that he isn't ready to endorse, and he hasn't even spoken to Romney.