Romney Links Up With McCain In Utah And Colorado

In what appears to be another step in the McCain/Romney reconciliation project, the two former rivals for the Republican nomination are scheduled to appear side by side at fundraisers in Colorado and Utah today.

It is quite a turnaround for Romney to be actively campaigning for a man whom he said less than two months ago is "virtually indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton or Obama on a number of major issues our country faces."

But since he ended his own presidential bid, Romney has swallowed his differences with the Arizona senator and even said he would "be honored" to be offered and accept the vice-presidential ticket.

Colorado and Utah were two of Romney's strongest states. In Colorado, he was endorsed by Senator Wayne Allard and former Governor Bill Owens and won the caucus there by over 40 points, although the vote was symbolic because the delegates were not bound to any candidate. In Utah, Romney took advantage of his deep ties to the state and its heavy Mormon population, cruising to a victory over McCain with a more than solid 90 percent of the vote.

While Utah remains safely Republican territory, Colorado is shaping up to be one of the battleground states in the general election, and Romney's support could give a boost to McCain's effort to rally the Republican base there. McCain is also hoping the former Massachusetts governor's popularity in the region will provide a boost to his lagging fundraising numbers.

It will be interesting to see how the two men—who seemed to share a mutual dislike for one another on the campaign trail—get along now that they're playing for the same team. Romney's vice-presidential ambitions, it seems, increase the stakes for achieving a successful détente with McCain.

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.