Report: Paul Ryan to endorse Romney soon

How soon is unclear, but the Wisconsin primary’s on Tuesday so it has to come before then. Native Wisconsinite and friend of Ryanworld Stephen Hayes points to a radio interview he’s doing with local star Charlie Sykes at 8:35 tomorrow. It’ll probably be then.

Romney’s comfortably ahead in Wisconsin so he doesn’t need Ryan for that. As Matt Lewis says, he’s thinking big picture:

What is more, coming on the heels of Sen. Marco Rubio’s endorsement Wednesday night, this would be yet another example of the conservative establishment coalescing around Romney as the inevitable nominee.

Obviously, he’s rolling out tea-party faves like Rubio and Ryan to convince the base that it’s now officially kinda sorta “conservative” to vote for Romney and wrap this thing up. I wonder which other grassroots stars he has left in the chamber that he’s waiting to unleash. Are there any who aren’t yet spoken for? Mike Lee’s already endorsed him and Rand Paul’s committed to his pop. DeMint hasn’t officially endorsed but he vouched for Romney’s “second language” conservatism just today. Bobby Jindal is technically uncommitted right now, I believe, but he endorsed Perry early on so Mitt can only be his second choice. The only big name left that I can think of is Palin, who’d also be endorsing him as a second choice but I think that matters less in her case. She’s positioned herself as the voice of conservative “outsiders,” so if she dropped Gingrich and came around to Mitt, it’d signal that even anti-establishment Republicans should start to fall in line. Would she endorse Romney if he asked, though, knowing how it would irk some of her supporters? Would he even bother asking when he’s got a chokehold on the delegate lead and big names like Rubio, Ryan, and Christie stumping for him?

Here’s Bush 41 formally giving his benediction to Romney today. Dubya was nowhere in sight. Exit question: How much should we read into the following comment from Rubio about his enthusiasm for Romney? Remember, this is the favorite for VP talking here. Quote: “There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president — but they didn’t. I think Mitt Romney would be a fine president.”

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