Thursday, January 31, 2008

Governor Schwarzenegger Endorses McCain!

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has endorsed frontrunner John McCain for the GOP presidential nomination. The Caucus has the report:

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has forged a moderate record and spoken out against partisanship in Washington, threw his political brawn behind Mr. McCain Thursday after the pair toured a solar energy company here. Calling him “a great American hero and an extraordinary leader.”

This has to be one the most dramatic and significant developments in the GOP race.

While political endorsements don't carry the same weight as they once did - in the days backroom convention deals and big-city party bosses - recall that McCain received a tremendous boost in Florida with the endorsment last weekend of Sunshine State Governor Charlie Crist.

Crist is hugely popular among Florida voters, and has taken a liking to the nickname "Chain-Gang Charlie" - a moniker bestowed on him by thankful Floridians after the governor restored the state's prison chain gang system.

With the Schwarzenegger endorsement, McCain secures a virtual lock on California's GOP convention delegation.

This week's Los Angeles Times poll showed McCain to be holding huge lead California, 39 percent of likely Republican primary participants, compared to 26 for Romney, and Schwarzenegger's formal backing of McCain could well increase the gap.

Schwarzenegger remains very popular among Golden State voters, and the impact of having the support of one of America's cinematic last action heroes will like have national implications.

This is a crucial point.

McCain's already received a national boost in public opinion with his Florida triumph.

Tonight's media coverage - already looking to be dominated by the Democrats' debate in Hollywood - will no doubt include lots of videoclips of Schwarzenegger, McCain, and Rudy Giuliani, who appeared as a team in photo opportunities today.

The Romney campaign has planned a hesitant ad buy for next Tuesday's 22 state primary contests. The steamroller effect of McCain's national momentum is about to become even more crushing.