Mitthusiasm (n): The Peculiar Kind of Excitement Felt When Endorsing Mitt Romney

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 29 2012 2:23 PM

Mitthusiasm (n): The Peculiar Kind of Excitement Felt When Endorsing Mitt Romney

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 27: Protesters march outside the Century Paza hotel where Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is attending a fundraiser on March 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Proestors from 'Coalition of the 99 Percent,'' included activists from labor unions, Occupy LA and immigration rights supporters. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Mitt Romney is the de facto Republican nominee until he manages to blow it in Wisconsin or something. He's finally experiencing another run of endorsements, from Republicans of stature (or, in Marco Rubio's case, duende) who were staying out of this until the water looked safe.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

These endorsements have something in common: They are not particularly enthusiastic. They are Mitthusiastic. They salute Romney as someone who has won a bunch of votes and is better than Barack Obama.

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Endorsements don't have to be rote. They're usually quite florid. The modern standard for a hell-yeah endorsement is Ted Kennedy's 2008 anointing of Barack Obama. An excerpt:

I believe there is one candidate who has extraordinary gifts of leadership and character, matched to the extraordinary demands of this moment in history. He understands what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “fierce urgency of now.” He will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in, without demonizing those who hold a different view. He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to “the better angels of our nature.”

That's high praise! Now, here's Jeb Bush on Romney.

It is time to get behind the nominee, and it is time for the country to focus on the most important thing, which is to elect a president who will create a climate for high growth and job-creating abilities for our country... He knows the proper role of government in education, which is limited.

Follow that with Marco Rubio's confession on last night's episode of Hannity.

RUBIO: I think it's evidently and increasingly clear that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee.
HANNITY: Well, up to this point, you had not jumped into the primary race. Are you endorsing Mitt Romney then?
RUBIO: Well, I am going to endorse Mitt Romney and the reason why, it's not only because he's going to be the Republican nominee but he offers at this point, such a stark contrast to the President's record. I mean, look at the President's record. This is someone who has run the country, not very well over the last three years but has no experience beyond that, doing that. At the same time, he has no experience with the private sector or the free enterprise system. In Mitt Romney, we have a candidate, an alternative, that in addition to being successful as a governor running an important state in this country, has also been successful in the private sector and offers a very clear alternative to the direction this President is going to take our country.

It's not only because he's going to be the Republican nominee! Real Romney fans exist, but the median Romney endorser is someone who can settle.

If you notice more political leaders endorsing Mitt Romney with words that are definitely English, but not thrilled, flag me.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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