HOUSE REPUBLICAN THROWS HIS SUPPORT TO OBAMA…. There are 434 members of the House, and none of them has broken ranks to support the other party’s presidential candidate. With that in mind, I found this pretty interesting.

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, a maverick Republican from Maryland, endorsed Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president in an interview Wednesday with WYPR, Baltimore’s National Public Radio station.

Gilchrest, who lost a primary campaign and is retiring from Congress, has already endorsed the Democrat running for his seat, Frank Kratovil. Justifying his endorsement of Obama, Gilchrest said that “we can’t use four more years of the same kind of policy that’s somewhat haphazard, which leads to recklessness.”

Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), “have the breadth of experience. I think they’re prudent. They’re knowledgeable.”

I can’t help but notice that Gilchrest’s endorsement of Obama/Biden came the same day as Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild’s endorsement of McCain/Palin. One is a sitting Republican member of Congress, one is a member of the DNC’s platform committee. Why is the former treated as less significant than the latter?

Maybe the Obama campaign should have arranged for a press conference for Gilchrest. Maybe they still might.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.