The one-time national frontrunner, toppled by scandal, told his fans he would definitely endorse a candidate even though he was suspending his campaign. Throughout the race, he seemed to have the most in common with Gingrich, who appointed him to his first major political gig in the 1990s. The men both hail from Georgia and got along well during debates this year. But Cain’s team squashed rumors that a Gingrich endorsement was forthcoming, and he’s been in radio silence ever since.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
Given that Lieberman is retiring, Democrats expect he may cause some mischief before the election. After all, he endorsed and campaigned for McCain and spoke at the Republican National Convention four years ago. This time around, Lieberman said he’ll wait to get involved in the presidential race but didn’t sound like someone who was preparing to endorse Obama. “It’s possible I won’t endorse anybody. But if I do, I’ll do it as the independent I was elected for this last term,” he told reporters this month.
An endorsement from the reality TV star could go into the “thanks, but no thanks” category that serves more to delight Democrats than bring in many voters (See “O’Donnell, Christine”), but in an election cycle this unpredictable, anything is possible. Several of the candidates courted the Donald during visits to Manhattan, and a few had RSVP’d for his canceled debate. But it’s unclear whether Trump will bestow his blessing on a hopeful — he has even left open the possibility he’d run himself as an independent.
Should she falter in her bid to win the Iowa caucuses, Bachmann will likely be down but not out. She’ll stick in the race almost certainly through South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary and potentially through the convention to be able to lend some of her tea party credibility and support among conservative women to the eventual nominee.
Paul said at the final debate before Iowa’s caucuses that any one of the candidates could defeat Obama. But if he does not emerge from the nominating process victorious, will the anti-war libertarian endorse any of his rivals? Not likely. With tea party strength, an ability to attract young voters and a national fan base, Paul is the most likely candidate to mount a third-party battle against Obama and the GOP nominee in the fall.
The Bush Family
Former President George W. Bush will be laying low until there is a nominee, and then Republicans will need to wrestle with how prominent of a role they give Bush at the Tampa convention in August. Romney met recently with President George H.W. Bush, but his aides tamped down any expectations that an endorsement was forthcoming. A big question mark is whether someone in the field would get the blessing of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a popular party figure who could always run in 2016.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.