Chris Cillizza on level of significance of Governors Schweitzer, Rendell endorsing Terry McAuliffe in Virginia

The Fix:

A quick primer on the endorsement hierarchy — from most to least important:

* The Symbolic Endorsement: Ted Kennedy backing Barack Obama during the 2008 primaries.
* The State-Specific Statewide Endorsement: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist throwing his support to John McCain just before the Sunshine State presidential primary.
* The Celebrity Endorsement: Chuck Norris for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
* The Newspaper Endorsement: Des Moines Register for John Edwards in 2004.
* The State-Specific Non-Statewide Endorsement: Rep. Zack Space supporting Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher‘s Senate bid in Ohio.
* The Obligatory Endorsement: Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran endorsing McCain’s presidential bid in 2008.
* The Pariah Endorsement: Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris.

Obviously, neither Schweitzer nor Rendell fit into any of the categories listed above; Schweitzer, as chairman of the DGA, could be cast as a symbolic endorsement, but sources familiar with the decision insisted he was backing McAuliffe solely in his position as governor of Montana. Rendell, while a major player in national Democratic politics, has no ties to the state of Virginia.

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