Former eBay CEO and political neophyte Meg Whitman needs all the help she can get to win the Republican primary in the California governor's race. Surely an endorsement from losing GOP presidential candidate John McCain will give her a leg up on rival Republicans.

Despite her stature in the tech industry, Whitman is "little recognized" statewide, as the Associated Press puts it. Her speech at the Republican National Convention bombed; she's not much of a voter; and then there's the issue of her seeming flip-flop on gay rights.

But she went to bat for two Republican presidential candidates in the last election, raising money for Mitt Romney and then co-chairing McCain's campaign. Both failed Republican presidential candidates have now endorsed her in the governor's race, as has former California Gov. Pete Wilson, lending her the support of party heavy hitters her opponents lack.

McCain, who touted Whitman as a potential Treasury Secretary during his presidential campaign, is a natural supporter of her campaign. But his support for her has the side effect of creating a new name to rival Sarah Palin, the former running mate McCain's has noticeably snubbed on recent occasions. Palin might not be on McCain's list of Republican "rising stars," but it's a safe bet that Whitman now is — much to her own good fortune.