Certainly it was Newt Gingrich's night-who could take that away from him.
However,Gingrich's win may, or may not, be the start of great things for him but it most certainly is a "soaring," and permanent, in the cloak of authority it covers her with, triumph for Sarah Palin
The "Comeback Grey Fox" (it would be challenging to call him a kid) twice written off by the media who launched a last minute scurrilous attack which back fired gloriously.
Pundits declared his campaign dead and crowned Romney and he was viciously rounded on by his opponents.
And despite it all, and in part because of it all he won a decisive victory in South Carolina. He did this without the financial resources and media support Romney had, by his debating skills and the crucial support of Sarah Palin.
Gingrich went from being 16 points behind Romney with less than two weeks until the primary, to a point victory. He didn't hesitate to acknowledge the key role that the support of Palin played in his comeback triumph.
The chart below tells the story. Gingrich was way behind Romney in SC polling until his first debate and Palin's endorsement (which followed on Todd Palin's endorsement).
The almost vertical rise in the Green Gingrich line on the graph, which had flatlined until January 17th the day after Palin's endorsement can hardly be a coincidence, or ascribed to any other factor than the first debate and Palin's support.
At this point, with Gingrich's win, Palin stands as a colossus in the GOP, the maker and breaker of candidates, the king maker and the driver of talking point concepts "crony capitalism" for example.
Yes it is,deservedly Gingrich's night but he may or may not go on to bigger things whereas Palin has sealed the deal on her place as a person of huge influence on a permanent basis.
The media meme of Palin being "irrelevant", the leftist sneers of "Sarah who?" are all exploded. Palin is indisputably a force to be reckoned with and neglected at ones peril as Romney has found out, perhaps far too late.
If Gingrich goes on to win the nomination and election she will be in his cabinet and an incorruptible force for change. If the GOP doesn't win in November it would be a fool who wrote her chances off in 2016.