UPDATE: Marc Ambinder hears interesting whispers on this endorsement:
Will he endorse? Unclear. If he does, the betting is on Thompson or Romney, although advisers to both men expect the other to get it, if it’s gettable. Note that Bay Buchanan is a member of the LDS church and is said to be pushing Tancredo to endorse Romney as a way of repudiating Huckabee, somehow. We’ll see.
So the word is that Tom Tancredo is dropping out this afternoon. That’s the good news. There is some speculation that he will endorse, although Marc Ambinder, who is smarter than me, thinks that he will not.
Here are some thoughts:
1. Tanc only has two kinds of juice left.
1a. He can provide a good press day for someone. The question is whether he blows his wad today or after Christmas. If I am getting the endorsement and I don’t need a big kick of momentum, I probably want it after Christmas. On the other hand, a Thursday endorsement may be the last real story going into Christmas. Scheduled at 3pm EST to guarantee that it is talked about on the afternoon talk shows and it is hard to get other stories in. That sounds to me like an endorsement of someone else.
1b. He provides a potentially solid endorsement for the xenophobic crowd. Of course, Tancredo has real baggage (crazy mecca comments, crazy xenophobia, etc.), so mileage may vary.
2. Mitt Romney needs a good press day. I have been hearing that he will get the endorsement. The entire Colorado GOP establishment is backing Romney. Tancredo would actually be helping Romney in Iowa. And if the rumors about Steve King are true, it would seem that Romney would be the natural choice of King’s buddy Tanc. Of course, in the past, Tancredo’s campaign has accused Romney of supporting amnesty. Furthermore, if Tancredo believes that Romney will be the nominee, a very credible position right now, then Tancredo can be there for Romney at the right time.
3. Fred Thompson. If Tancredo wants to help make the Fred Thompson boom happen, here’s his chance. Fred’s numbers aren’t taking off too much. He would need it. Of course, Tancredo would be wondering if it would be wasted.
My gut is Romney. I have a lot of trouble figuring out what Thompson is telling people with interest groups, not bloggers, who are endorsing him.