Sarah Palin shook up the California Senate race on Thursday, endorsing former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and by-passing Chuck DeVore, a favorite of Tea Party activists. Fiorina welcomed the support — she is battling DeVore and moderate former representative Tom Campbell for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. But small-government conservatives shot back on Palin's Facebook page, accusing her of turning her back on her Tea Party fans and backing a "RINO (Republican in Name Only)." Is Palin insulting the Tea Party?

Yes, and it will cost her: Clearly, Sarah Palin isn't a maverick any more, says Tabitha Hale in RedState. She thinks Fiorina stands a better chance than DeVore of beating out moderate Tom Campbell (who supports abortion rights and gay rights) for the Republican nomination, and then unseating Boxer. But Palin is going to take a "significant hit to her credibility" for forsaking her base to pick a winner.
"Sarah Palin endorses Carly Fiorina: Is she jumping the shark?"

This isn't Palin's first anti-Tea Party offense: Palin might have been OK, says Dan Amira in New York, if it weren't for her earlier endorsement of John McCain in his reelection bid, which "was not widely appreciated by the anti-establishment Tea Party crowd." That one was easier to understand, since Palin owes a lot to McCain for choosing her as his running mate in the 2008 president election. But now Tea Partiers see a pattern, so the "backlash" this time will only get worse.
"Loyal followers turn on Sarah Palin over endorsement"

Not all Tea Partiers are upset: DeVore is hard core, says Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic, but, despite all the fuss, "more self-identified Tea Partiers back Fiorina" because of her "spending-cuts message." So Palin won't lose much from this pick — and she "might just have found a wealthy new friend who will be senator from California and in a position to endorse her in a presidential primary."
"Why Palin endorsed Fiorina"