Once you whip up a mob, can you control it? That may be Sarah Palin‘s next problem.
Before the votes were counted Tuesday night, the former Republican vice presidential candidate was already something of a winner. Though her candidate in the special election for a House seat in upstate New York, Doug Hoffman, lost to Democrat Bill Owens — in an area that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the House since the 1800s — Palin, by intervening in the race, had established herself as a successful ideological power broker. At first, Hoffman was merely a third-party conservative candidate in New York’s 23rd congressional district. Yet when Palin backed him over the official Republican in the race, a moderate assemblywoman named Dede Scozzafava, she helped turn this contest into an intra-party clash, which ended with the right wing of her party chasing Scozzafava out of the contest and forcing the GOP establishment to swing behind Hoffman.