You've Got Quayle!
New Hampshire businessman Bill Binnie may be rolling out his first television ads in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate this week, but fellow candidate Ovide Lamontagne can say that he just snagged the endorsement of former Vice President Dan Quayle. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when that phone call came into Lamontagne campaign headquarters. Lest you think that staffers would contemplate letting that one go straight to voicemail, Lamontagne actually served as state campaign chairman for Quayle’s failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.
It is true that Quayle has been the butt of many jokes over the years. But he does maintain a reservoir of goodwill with some social conservatives in the party (ever since this), even considering his eighth place finish in the 1999 Iowa Straw Poll, an informal tally which is usually taken as a good initial gauge of conservative support in the presidential race.
In all seriousness, it is not the Quayle endorsement per se that carries much clout, but if other former elected officials and political elites start coming out of the woodwork to endorse Lamontagne as the true conservative alternative to former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, then we could conceivably reach a tipping point that gives Lamontagne some momentum. We’re certainly not there yet, and I am not a huge believer in the power of endorsements. But the meme that Ayotte is a captive of Republican institutional elites in Washington hasn’t gone away, which could provide additional impetus for the channeling of these kinds of endorsements to Lamontagne.

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