South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint came out earlier today and endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's candidacy for the Republican nomination. This is important on a couple of fronts: first, it balances the efforts of Sen. John McCain's adopted son, Sen. Lindsey Graham in the state. Second, it builds up Romney's credibility amond social conservatives. Make no mistake, this is a good get for the man from Massachusetts, but it comes at an interesting time. According to sources we've talked to in South Carolina, DeMint invested a couple of days earlier this month traveling with Sen. Sam Brownback across the state, introducing him to a number of his longtime in-state financial backers, as well as meeting with leaders of the state's social conservative and right to life movement. It seems to us that DeMint did a couple of smart things here: he's publicly backed a candidate who is a definite alternative to the McCain steamroller, while also helping another candidate who is best positioned ideologically to keep the McCains and Romneys in the race honest on the issues important to conservatives.
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