Confirming a rumor the Trump campaign has been eagerly stoking, Sarah Palin has announced that she will be endorsing Trump at a rally in Iowa this afternoon. Somewhere nearby, Ted Cruz is slowly crab-walking to his time-out closet, where he will spend the evening eating ice cubes in a hair shirt.

According to the New York Times, Palin’s backing, which comes with “an impressive fund-raising list,” is surprisingly important to candidates like Cruz and Trump, and marks the highest-profile endorsement in the GOP race thus far:

Mrs. Palin, who is to appear alongside Mr. Trump at a rally on the Iowa State University campus in Ames late Tuesday afternoon, could amplify the news media-circus aspects of Mr. Trump’s candidacy: Like him, she is a reality-TV star accustomed to playing to the cameras and often accused of emphasizing flash over substance.

But Mrs. Palin, who despite her waning visibility within the Republican Party retains a sizable following, provides Mr. Trump with valuable new currency at a moment when he is being attacked over his conservative bona fides by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, with whom Mr. Trump is neck-and-neck in the Iowa polls.

Palin has missed out on some important family time in order to be there for Donald today; yesterday, Palin’s son Track was charged with assault, interfering with a report of domestic violence, and possession of a weapon while intoxicated.

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In a statement responding to the endorsement, Trump wrote: “She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support.”

It’s certainly been an awkward day for Ted Cruz (although one could say that about most days), who had counted Palin amongst one of his allies; earlier, his communications director told CNN that endorsing Trump would be a “blow” to Sarah Palin’s conservative bona fides. Soon after, Palin’s daughter Bristol wrote a blog post titled “Is THIS why people don’t like Ted Cruz?”, which her mother retweeted. Bristol, as always, made several very astute points:

After hearing what Cruz is now saying about my mom, in a negative knee-jerk reaction, makes me hope my mom does endorse Trump. Cruz’s flip-flop, turning against my mom who’s done nothing but support and help him when others sure didn’t, shows he’s a typical politician. How rude to that he’s setting up a false narrative about her!

How rude, indeed. Ted Cruz was like, omg, no, wait:

It’s too late, Ted. It’s too late.


Contact the author at ellie@jezebel.com.

Images via AP.