How Jeb Bush's endorsement helps Romney

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during an Illinois GOP primary victory party at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, March 20, 2012 in Schaumburg, Ill. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Mitt Romney
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Analysis; Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

It goes without saying, but if Mitt Romney is going to close the door on this contest, he's going to need help from people like Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels. There aren't many wise men left in either party, but those three are the closest thing we have to modern day wise men who can weigh in and generate a few news cycles of coverage. (Sarah Palin generates coverage, but of a different sort.)

Bush's endorsement is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the man Mitt Romney -- "it's time to close ranks" is less powerful than "we love Mitt" -- but it comes at just the right time.

Why might it help? Romney doesn't lack for establishment support so you could argue that it won't help much. If it does, it won't be because Jeb Bush convinces people to suddenly start liking Mitt Romney. But it will help people accept the idea that the ugly fight has gone on long enough, and it's only hurting the inevitable nominee to keep calling him a liar and a person without a core. 

...Plus we should see a reduction of at least 15 percent in stories about how Jeb Bush is going to be the white knight at the 2012 convention who will swoop in and take the nomination.

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