BOSTON (CBS) – I’ve never put much stock in endorsements of politicians by other politicians. They rarely seem to make much difference with voters, who for some reason prefer to make up their own minds rather than take marching orders.

But Tuesday night’s endorsement of Donald Trump by former Senator Scott Brown is at least worth talking about. Brown has his fans both in New Hampshire, where he now lives and lost a challenge to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014, and in Massachusetts, where he lost his Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren. And his warm words for Trump may help the front-runner keep his lead after his Iowa caucus fiasco.

Then again, maybe not.

Jon Keller talks to Ohio Gov. John Kasich. (WBZ-TV)

Jon Keller talks to Ohio Gov. John Kasich. (WBZ-TV)

During an interview the other day with Ohio Gov. John Kasich on his campaign bus, I asked him how he felt about being called a Rino – Republican in name only – by his critics?

“Nice animal,” he joked, adding: “I don’t get too worked up about name calling.”

But Scott Brown might feel differently.

He was hung with the Rino label quite a bit during his campaign against Shaheen, and a case can be made that it hurt him in the end.

I’m willing to bet there’s quite a bit of overlap between the crowd that saw Brown as not conservative enough and the current Trump base in New Hampshire.

And you wonder if Brown’s endorsement might prove to be a negative with some of them, at a moment when Trump’s conservative credentials are under fire from some of his competitors.

I don’t have any more use for name calling than Kasich does. But as any schoolkid can tell you, they can stick, and hurt.

Heads up, Mr. Trump.

Jon Keller

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