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I’ve been out most of the day but was in my car when I heard Rush announce that Todd Palin had endorsed Newt Gingrich. I have to admit it delighted me to hear it. One more mark against the Mittmeister and his GOP Cocktail Party pals Rove et al.  They must be pissed.

Why did Todd Palin endorse Newt?  And why now?  Here’s my take on it:

1.  Todd knows better than anyone how shabbily John McCain and his campaign staff treated Sarah.

2.  John McCain boldly and with much fanfare endorsed Romney last Tuesday night as the Iowa caucus votes were coming in, stepping on the speech Rick Santorum was making on national television, in effect, crapping on Santorum who was the clear winner in that race.

3.  McCain is an ass, and I think Todd Palin would agree.  This was Todd’s way of getting back at McCain for long held slights.  Sticking it to him and the horse he rode in on. Brilliant!

4.  Todd’s endorsement on the eve of the New Hampshire primaries throws a money wrench into the headlines touting Mittmeister as the inevitable GOP nominee. I mean, did you note the “presidential-like” photos of Mittster that dominated the DrudgeReport page (at least until Tim Tebow scored 316 blessings).

5.  Todd Palin’s endorsement could be a game changer.  Gingrich stands to gain some ground if the Palin imprimatur still holds cachet, and I believe it does.  We’ll find out.

6.  Todd and Sarah are cleverly saying without saying it:  “Whoa!  Hold on here. Not so fast. We’ve got something to say about this.  Tea party, are you listening?”

7.  Todd’s official endorsement of Gingrich is sure to give Newt’s supporters encouragement, and sends an unmistakable message to Sarah-supporting tea partiers that though she can’t and won’t say anything right now, her husband and confidant/advisor can.  And did. And the message is this:  Go Gingrich.

I’m guessing Sarah doesn’t want to rain on anyone’s parade right now.  She’s giving Santorum and Perry time to sink or swim.  But in the interim, the message coming from the Palin household is clear.  Go Gingrich.

So, coupled with the news that big casino money is flowing into Gingrich Super PACs and the promise of more mega-millions to come, it looks like Newt will be going into next week’s South Carolina primary twirling a cocked gun.  New sheriff in town?

Now, I don’t have a crystal ball.  I don’t even own a black Magic 8 ball anymore.  But if I did, the answer to the question “Will Newt Gingrich get the nomination?”  that would float to the top would read “Could be”.  Or “Go Gingrich”.