Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty endorsed Mitt Romney for president today. And it's hard not to see a defense of his own candidacy in his description of Romney's virtues:
“Mitt Romney is a proven leader who will stand by his convictions while seeking consensus to find real solutions to the daunting challenges facing our nation. I would be honored to serve as Rhode Island’s Representative from the first Congressional district and to work closely with Mitt Romney once he becomes the President of the United States. As a former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney understands the challenges facing our region’s economy and I trust that he will provide strong leadership and together, we will restore economic opportunity and hope to Rhode Island families."
Doherty's touting of Romney as "a proven leader who will stand by his convictions while seeking consensus" sounds an awful lot like his own nascent message.
And Doherty and Romney face similar conundrums in their respective GOP primaries: both have been accused by the party's right-wing, activist base of being insufficiently conservative and flip-flopping on important issues.
The critique of Doherty is quite a bit weaker. The former superintendent of the state police hardly has the trail of incriminating statements that have dogged Romney. And he dismisses charges that he has repositioned himself on abortion as so much campaign nonsense. He's also playing on a far more moderate playing field than Romney.
But to the extent the analogy holds up, Doherty can take comfort in this: Romney looks in solid position to win the GOP nomination.