There is a curious dance Sarah Palin is doing lately with Newt Gingrich, and it goes something like this: do not formally endorse Mr. Gingrich, but on the eve of key state primaries make an appearance on Fox News TV and deliver what sounds an awful lot like an endorsement.
The former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate did it ahead of the South Carolina primary, saying that if she were a South Carolinian she would "vote for Newt." Mr. Gingrich welcomed the lift and credited Ms. Palin's comments with helping his South Carolina campaign. "She's an enormous help. She's a big help in the South Carolina victory," he told Fox News.
On the eve of the Florida primary, Ms. Palin has once again came out in support of Mr. Gingrich in back-to-back appearances.
On Sunday night, she delivered a scathing critique of the U.S. political establishment, including the Republican party establishment, for trying to "crucify" Mr. Gingrich.
Ms. Palin defended Mr. Gingrich as the anti-establishment candidate who is fighting for the Tea Party grassroots: "Ya know you gotta rage against the machine, at this point in order to defend our Republic and save what is good and secure and prosperous about our nation, we need somebody who is engaged in sudden and relentless reform and isn't afraid to shake it up. Shake up that establishment.
"So, if for no other reason THAN to rage against the machine, vote for Newt, annoy a liberal. Vote Newt. Keep this vetting process going, keep the debate going," she told viewers.
The next night, Ms. Palin once again used the Fox News platform: this time to defend Mr. Gingrich from attacks that he has exaggerated his role in President Ronald Reagan's conservative revolution of the 1980s. The attacks, she said, were an attempt to re-write history.
But on issue of a formal endorsement of Mr. Gingrich, Governor Palin stepped back, saying she would "continue to say good things about every GOP candidate, because anybody's gonna be better than Obama."
And so the curious dance continues.
Mr. Gingrich can at least count on some Palin 'stardust' with the official endorsement of Governor Palin's husband Todd Palin.
Florida Republicans will be receiving a get-out-the-vote robo-call from Mr. Palin today.