She called into Sean Hannity's radio show to make official what was hinted at in a late Tuesday night retweet : She backs Christine O'Donnell over Mike Castle in Delaware. As Hannity describes, also on Twitter:
Thanks @SarahPalinUSA for the last minute call in. Endorsement of Christine O'Donnell was an exclusive...
I previously reported that O'Donnell met with Palin at the August 28 "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington. Here's some more of the backstory. Matt Moran, O'Donnell's campaign manager, previously worked with Doug Hoffman's campaign in NY-23. It was Palin's endorsement of Hoffman that really rocketed him into the stratosphere, and made her endorsement valuable -- something that was not at all clear in October 2009, when she took that first leap.
Moran stayed in touch with the Palins and kept up communication when national attention turned to Delaware and O'Donnell became the focus of attacks from the local GOP and ugly media coverage from, well, lots of places. His connection to the Palin camp was obviously helpful in keeping the possibility of an Palin-O'Donnell endorsement alive, even as Republicans tried to stunt her momentum and prevent any more groups like the Tea Party Express from jumping in.
If you're keeping score, yes, Palin has now endorsed a candidate who was pummeled by Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard . Somebody's going to get embarrassed, right?
UPDATE: Mike Castle campaign spox Kate Dickens sends this over:
Tuesday's primary will be decided by grassroots Republican voters here in Delaware, not out-of-state interest groups who are working to control the outcome. Mike Castle has overwhelming support from from respected conservative Delawareans, including former Gov. Pete DuPont and Judge Bill Lee, who know that Castle is the true fiscal conservative and the only candidate who can win this seat for Republicans in November.
Also, the Castle campaign has filed an FEC complaint against O'Donnell, accusing the candidate of an "illegal scheme" to coordinate donations with the Tea Party Express.