Call it political courage. Or political suicide.
But Republican Dede Scozzafava has just bucked her own party and thrown her support to Bill Owens, the Democrats' candidate in the 23rd Congressional District race.
Ms. Scozzafava's statement says that we shouldn't put partisan concerns over doing what's right for this district. And she's dead right. And that's noble.
But I wonder if Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb is going to see it that way. And I wonder if the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee is going to see that way.
If Mr. Owens is to prevail in this campaign with her backing, I can't imagine the Republican Party - from John Boehner on down - is going to be particularly happy with her. The Democrats, however, will be thrilled. (She's allegedly getting advice from AG Andrew Cuomo, so maybe she's more integrated into the party than we thought.)
Could this be our first signal that Ms. Scozzafava will eventually change her party registration, despite her "always been a proud Republican" speech yeserday? Or is this an indication that the election has taken a far greater toll on her than anyone anticipated and she won't seek her Assembly seat in 2010?
And if she does intend to run for the Assembly as a Republican in 2010, does she think that there's enough party members in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Oswego counties who won't care who she endorsed in this race?
I think she was far better served by her statement Saturday, where she encouraged her backers "to transfer their support as they see fit to do so."