On the subject of Brownback’s endorsement of a rival, I am fairly sure of one thing–it won’t be Huckabee that he will be backing.  The reasons are pretty obvious, but let’s just review them quickly.  First, Huckabee and Brownback were fiercely competing with each other for the same voting bloc and seeking to claim, in effect, the mantle of the Christian “compassionate” conservative.  Both were trying to repackage social conservatism as something I suppose they would call more “humane” or less “angry,” and were both known for taking on unconventional (for conservatives) reform issues.  The extent of their drippiness on immigration was virtually identical, though Huckabee has always been able to make a better rhetorical presentation of the same saccharine talk.  They were always going to be natural competitors if they both entered the race, and it remains to be seen whether Brownback will be willing to ignore that Huckabee is one of the main reasons why his campaign is coming to an end. 

Second, part of their fierce competition was some fairly bitter fighting in Iowa before the straw poll, which included some recriminations from Brownback’s side about alleged anti-Catholic sniping from some Huckabee supporters and some bad feeling about Huckabee’s supposedly insufficiently zealous denunciations of anti-Catholicism.  Huckabee’s campaign manager notably once responded to Brownback’s complaints thus:

It’s time for Sam Brownback to stop whining and start showing some of the Christian character he seems to always find lacking in others.   

Perhaps Brownback will be willing to look past the rivalry with Huckabee, but since it was Huckabee’s second-place finish at Ames that pushed Brownback into the insignificance of third place I doubt it.  Brownback also has to weigh Huckabee’s chances, which right now do not look all that great.  Huckabee’s been slowly gaining ground, especially in Iowa, but Brownback might have more of an impact by endorsing, say, Fred Thompson.  Endorsing another likely also-ran severely reduces any later influence on the national campaign, while backing one of the media-anointed leaders holds out the chance of shaping the final ticket or, much less likely in Brownback’s case, being part of the ticket.  Thompson-Brownback?  When I think about it, it’s not entirely ridiculous.