Mitt Romney's special friend, Chris Christie

Mitt Romney will be receiving the endorsement of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie before tonight’s Republican debate according to The Hill:

A spokesman for Romney’s campaign confirmed to The Hill that Christie is the “special guest” joining Romney at a 3 p.m. rally in the early primary state, where he will announce his endorsement.

Romney’s campaign announced earlier in the afternoon that he would address supporters along with “a special guest.”

Christie announced last week he was not running for the GOP nomination and he declined to endorse any of the contenders at that time.

On a practical level this endorsement probably doesn’t mean much for Romney. When it comes to something as important as choosing a president, most voters don’t tend to make their decision based on endorsements. New Jersey isn’t an early primary state, so Christie probably won’t be able to provide him with a relevant ground operation. And while this is a nice headline for Romney, as the front-runner, Romney isn’t desperate for more media attention.

Probably the best part of Christie’s endorsement for Romney is it simply means Christie isn’t endorsing anyone else. Thanks to Christie’s high profile, his endorsement is one of the largest of its kind. If Christie had endorsed a second tier candidate, like Newt Gingrich or Jon Huntsman, that would have been a real boast to either of those campaigns. It could have helped them get some much needed media coverage, help bring in new donations, and possibly convince some voters to give their candidacy another look. A Christie endorsement might have helped Huntsman gain just enough traction in New Hampshire to split the moderate vote, which could have been a problem for Romney.

Christie choosing to endorse Romney will probably not shake up the state of the race at all, but for the current front-runner, that is just fine.