N.H. town of Peterborough pivotal to candidates

They may have had their differences in the past, but Sen. John McCain and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney are now officially on the same team. McCain delivered what was arguably the most coveted endorsement of the Republican nomination process Wednesday, and then he and Romney headed to the town where McCain turned around his bid for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago.

Every presidential candidate knows that the road to New Hampshire primary victory runs through picturesque Peterborough, N.H., CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes noted on "The Early Show." An hour west of the state capital of Manchester, the town was the model for Thornton Wilder's classic play "Our Town."

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Four years ago, when McCain's campaign was hanging by a thread, he visited Peterborough again and again. Staffers called the town his "good luck charm."

McCain said in 2008 of the time he spent in Peterborough during his campaign, "It was one of the great and wonderful memories I have in my political life."

McCain went on to win the New Hampshire primary and the nomination, besting his top competitor, Mitt Romney.

But that was then. Wednesday night, McCain returned to Peterborough with nothing but praise for Romney, calling him a great campaigner.

"Make sure that we send him to South Carolina with such momentum that it cannot be stopped!" McCain said.

"If there's one thing that unites Republicans, it's two words: Beat Obama," Republican strategist and New Hampshire professor Pat Griffin told CBS News.

When asked about the significance of McCain's endorsement for Romney, Griffin said it's likely been planned for awhile, adding, "The value of the McCain brand, particularly in New Hampshire, a place he won in 2000 and beat George W. Bush, a place he beat Mitt Romney -- it's a little coincidental, isn't it, that this would happen on this day after Iowa?"

The move is meant to sway undecided voters like Kevin Krawiec, a respiratory therapist in Peterborough.

When asked about if he's decided who he'd vote for, Krawiec said, "No, not 100 percent. I'm, I really like Rick Santorum, when he was so far down I was a little disheartened, but (Santorum's) showing (in Iowa) made me move him up, so it is between Mitt and Rick Santorum now."

Retiree Forest Cook is already in Romney's camp, but came to hear what McCain would say about his former adversary.

Cordes remarked to Cook, "You watched these two mix it up four years ago, now obviously, they're burying the hatchet."

"They probably haven't, but they say have, you know," Cook said.

"They're frenemies?" Cordes said.

"Yeah, exactly, exactly," Cook said. "And that's the way it should be."