The EFM Feature

The Fix has an interesting report on Governor Romney’s activities:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will endorse seven Republicans running for office in Illinois today, the latest in a series of state-based 2010 endorsements as he prepares for a return run for president in 2012.

At the statewide level, Romney will back Rep. Mark Kirk’s bid for Senate as well as state Sen. Dan Rutherford who is running for the state Treasurer job being vacated by Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias.

On the House level, Romney is endorsing 6th district Rep. Peter Roskam and 18th district Rep. Aaron Schock as well as challenger candidates in the 10th, 11th and 14th districts. Romney described the group as having made it a “priority to get our economy moving again and create an environment conducive to job creation”.

Illinois is the seventh state where Romney has made 2010 endorsements — and contributed cash from his Free and Strong America PAC. (The previous six states: Ohio, Missouri, California, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Nevada.)

And here’s Chris Cillizza’s analysis:

Romney’s steady roll-out of endorsements is an exercise in some not-so-subtle muscle-flexing by the former governor. Romney led all potential 2012 Republican candidates in fundraising over the first three months of 2010 and has, without question, the most sophisticated political operation of any of the contenders.

But are these endorsements and donations “muscle-flexing” or coalition-building? Is there a difference? I’d say there’s a subtle but meaningful distinction. Muscle-flexing tends to intimidate, but coalition-building breeds good will. I’ve said this before, but I was really struck by the high regard for Mitt demonstrated at the SRLC, and that’s a crowd that mixes establishment and grass roots Republican leadership. I think the Governor’s rock-steady support for the party and for good Republican candidates these past four years has made him a lot of friends.

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