As Hazelwood tells me, modern endorsements only matter if they are “unusual — like cross party or [if] an establishment leader endorsed an anti-establishment candidate.” This is why the Lieberman cross party endorsement of a Republican just eight short years after having been the Democratic vice presidential nominee, mattered. This is why Oprah’s unusual (because of her star power) endorsement of Obama was significant. And this is why Usher’s support of of a white kid singing pop music mattered.
But those are the exceptions. Most endorsements don’t matter. Keep this in mind the next time a Haley Barbour or a Mitch Daniels — or whoever – endorses Mitt Romney or a Tim Pawlenty — and the 24-hour media (predictably but mistakenly) makes this out to be a huge deal.