The endorsement of Mitt Romney’s presidential bid by John McCain,the 2008 Republican nominee,was the latest indication that Romney is the GOP establishment’s heir apparent.

As Romney,who picked up McCain’s endorsement last week,appears to be gliding to a comfortable victory in New Hampshire’s primary Tuesday,the next major campaign stop,and the GOP establishment begins to rally behind him,he has still yet to capture the trust,energy,and esteem of many rank-and-file Republicans,let alone the Tea Party activists.

The prevailing wisdom among GOP establishmentarians and Romney backers may be:“Take it or leave it,it’s going to be Romney versus Barack Obama.” But if Romney is unable to energize his party’s base,he will suffer the same fate as McCain,a clear defeat.

McCain’s 2000 and 2008 bids for the Republican presidential nomination in many ways mirror the candidacy of Romney. In 2000 McCain was labeled the moderate or liberal candidate against George W. Bush. Some went so far to label him a RINO – Republican in Name Only.

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