Such men as John Quincy Adams, whose Federalist Party represented the interests of the traders, supported the actions of Jefferson who wanted an embargo on British goods in retaliation for Britain impressing American sailors. The embargo seriously affected trade in Adam's home state of Massachusetts, for which Adams was roundly ostracised as a traitor to his party, but Adams supported the interests of his country above party and business.
Sam Houston who refused to take part in Texas's secession, the obscure Edmund G. Ross who voted for the acquittal of President Andrew Johnson when on impeachment charges, and whose vote made the difference between impeachment being progressed and ceasing, even though he was a Republican. Kennedy gave many other examples of courage that are, especially in these rightly cynical times, not expected from politicians, especially those with much to lose.
Sarah Palin, indisputably a person of huge relevance and significance in the current political scene, as her six winning endorsements in a row testify, has not formally endorsed Mitt Romney. In response to direct questions on the matter she has stated, emphatically "anyone but Obama ABO" but she has not stood side by side with Romney at a press conference to give her endorsement.
If Palin eventually does such an action might well spell the end of any hopes she might have of being a presidential candidate in the future as such an action might be a "bridge too far" for the Tea Party and her conservative support base.
Her endorsement of John McCain's re-election campaign for senator was, grudgingly accepted by many who, although they saw McCain as a RINO, agreed in the end that it would have been churlish at least for Palin not to have supported the man who brought her to prominence. Her endorsement of Utah senator Hatch was also, again grudgingly accepted as his voting record was sufficiently conservtaive to give her a pass and it was noted that hatch had gone out of his way to court Palin and the Tea Party.
But Romney is a different kettle of fish, and to many a smelly, rotten lot of fish altogether. Romney has come under serious attack by the Palin supporting site Conservatives4Palin which has a substantial following. The C4P article notes that the Romney campaign has hired a spokesman noted for, as C4P describes it his "Palin bashing". There is considerable resentment amongst Palin supporters for what they saw as Romney undermining Palin throughout the primary campaign as well.
If the substantial number of conservatives who see Romney as a flip-flopping, originator of Obama's health care program, RINO and of course non-Christian Mormon are added to the resentful
Palin-ites it is obvious Palin herself faces a massive ticking time bomb.
If Palin takes the "profiles in courage' route and formally endorses Romney because she sees the danger to America from an Obama second term as outweighing any personal ambitions her endorsement might just provide enough impetus to the currently moribund Romney campaign to put him on the winning track. It would also bring the high probability that she would lose a massive amount of support, without gaining any real thanks from the GOP establishment, to ensure she woudl be classified as a self-interested RINO at heart and her career might be over.
The other possibility is that Palin might search her heart and believe, with valid reason, that not endorsing Romney and concentrating on the house and senate would be the higher call on courage. She would get the ire of the establishment and Obama might get his second term, but in the long run that might be for the best.
A Republican controlled Congress would effectively ensure Obama was a lame duck from day one of his second term, which, with or without Palin's endorsement of Romney seems likely anyway. America has survived worse things and the prospects of a massive swing to the conservatives in 2016 would be on the cards. The GOP establishment would never support a Palin run (Jeb Bush being next up in 2016 most likely) but a Palin primary campaign with the solid support of the Tea Party could overcome that.
On balance Palin's non-endorsement of Romney is the more Kennedy-esque courageous act and the most beneficial for America.