1. We learned that the Republican Party establishment in Washington is not losing its influence; it simply backed a bad candidate in Scozzafava — someone it never initially selected, nominated or wholeheartedly endorsed. Sometimes, candidates are just plain weak (see the Democrats in New Jersey and Virginia governor’s races) and in places like New York where third party candidates are common, a door is opened for someone outside the norm.

2. We learned that Sarah Palin doesn’t just “go rogue” herself; she helps others do the same. Palin’s an earned media machine. She was able to help bring the battle to the national stage (Heck, the woman could get the national press corps to focus on a potato sack race competition). Even those who think the former Alaska governor is political poison, at the very least, have to admit her endorsement didn’t hurt Hoffman and didn’t help Scozzafava. The real question: is this a trend…for her? If Sarah Palin has any hopes of winning a national office she can’t run around endorsing unwinnable candidates. She’ll lose her political mojo and be labeled a spoiler.