A few weeks ago nobody had ever heard about Dede Scozzafava. And then Newt Gingrich endorsed her for the House seat (NY-23) for which she was already endorsed by the local Republican Party.

But then Sarah Palin, who Katie Couric recently referred to as a “sideshow” on the “fringe” of the party, endorsed a little known third party conservative candidate.

And then everything changed. Hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into conservative Doug Hoffman’s coffers. National pundits focused their gaze on this New York district. Hoffman shot up in the polls despite the NRCC and RNC backing Scozzafava.

And now today Hot Air reports:

Just confirmed that Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has quit the race. Speaking to supporters, Scozzafava broke down in tears…

Scozzafava, the hand-picked choice of the New York state GOP in the key 23rd District special election, reportedly will throw her support to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

That deserves a big fat wow from anyone who cares about politics.

The media hasn’t played this up mainly because they’d rather cover what that nincompoop Levi Johnston has to say rather than the fact that Palin, proving herself to be a true maverick endorsed a third party candidate who just knocked out the Republican.

Palin has now set herself up as something different than a powerful Republican. She may have established herself as a principled conservative. Needless to say, the Republican party will not be happy. Nor will the media.

Palin’s upcoming media tour to sell her book will be a very big deal when it comes to convincing many people she’s someone to be taken seriously. But what just occured in New York, while ignored by much of the media, may be seen in retrospect as the beginning of something huge.

I’m excited and nervous about it.