I've had my fun with Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but this is a hell of an endorsement.
Sen. Jim DeMint has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2008 presidential race, according to a letter the South Carolina senator is sending to state Republicans.
"I'm writing to ask for your support of Gov. Mitt Romney for President," DeMint says in the four-page letter. "We must elect a President in 2008 who is up to the task, and I need you to encourage Mitt to run."
DeMint's split is seen by some as a move to find a conservative alternative to McCain, but it's not that much of a surprise.
Obviously the endorsement of a South Carolina senator will help Romney in the South Carolina primary, which in 2000 became McCain's Gallipolli. More interestingly, DeMint is one of the staunchest fiscal conservatives in the Senate, and after Tom Coburn probably the best Republican crusader against earmarks. These are issues that, as a rising star in the 1990s, Sen. MCain used to be great on. This seems like another signal that Reformer McCain is mutating fast into Bush II, and his colleagues have noticed.