This is a pretty big deal. The Tea Party leadership is split as it eyes the Senate seat held by Orrin Hatch in Utah. He has been facing a feisty campaign from Dan Liljenquist, a Tea Party favorite and recipient of much-desired support from Dick Armey's Freedomworks. For those in Utah, it has already been a bit of a nasty campaign (as much as it can be in Utah) with Orrin Hatch getting attacked as a moderate, which is truly about the worst thing one can be called these days.
So, for Sarah Palin to endorse Hatch, we see a divide from the ultra-Right. Apparently deciphering "moderates" isn't as easy as one might think.
Here's a video of Palin explaining her endorsement: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/05/22/Palin-Endorses-Hatch-For-7th-Term
From the local Utah Fox station:
Palin announced her backing for Orrin Hatch in a post to her website Tuesday evening, calling him “part of the one percent of national politicians who I think should be reelected.”
Her endorsement comes almost precisely a month after Hatch came within several dozen votes of avoiding a primary contest in his bid for a seventh term in the Senate.
Hatch is known for reaching across the aisle on occasion, though in her endorsement, Palin touted his opposition against the health care reform led by President Barack Obama, as well as opposition to Obama’s nominees for the Supreme Court.
“We know he will use his seniority and influence to dissuade politicians from continuing to raise the debt ceiling without any plan to balance the budget and end these dangerously unsustainable deficits,” she wrote. “And unlike some others, Orrin has gone out of his way to embrace the Tea Party movement.”