Like former President Calvin Coolidge, Romney wasn't originally from Massachusetts. The similarities pretty much end there. Coolidge spent his entire career either in law or in politics, while Romney spent most of his adult life in the private sector. And unlike Coolidge - who is widely seen as the gold standard of let-it-be Republicanism - some GOPers were questioning Romney's conservative credentials.
But at least in Missouri, Romney was lining up some major support. Gov. Matt Blunt, former Sen. Jim Talent, House Speaker Rod Jetton and many more had endorsed Romney's campaign. That lead to Romney being the guest of honor at Lincoln Days, the top event for Missouri Republicans. In addition to making a speech, Romney answered a few questions from assembled reporters. At the time, military issues were prominent, so I asked him about whether his lack of foreign affairs experience would affect his hypothetical presidency.
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: While the Republican primary in Missouri lost some steam, it still showcased some interesting endorsement dynamics. Even though Romney arguably had the most prominent support, he still ended up coming in third behind Mike Huckabee and John McCain. I think McCain's strong support of the "surge" in Iraq helped him capture the Republican nomination for president. And unfortunately for the Straight Talk Express, that focus on foreign affairs over economic matters probably went a long way toward his defeat to Barack Obama.
So in some ways, Romney was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Had he been the nominee, he may not have been able to defeat Obama. But his focus on economic matters probably would have made the election a lot closer. And it's the reason that Romney is probably - at least in my opinion - the front-runner to win the 2012 nomination. No, he's no universally liked. But I think he engendered some good will by bowing out early and helping McCain, even though I'm sure the two men don't like each other.
In any case, the event in Frontenac showed that big named support doesn't equate to electoral victory. After all, the person with arguably the fewest endorsements - McCain - took Missouri.
FUN FACT: Frontenac is home to the nicest mall in the world.