ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Sarah Palin had been scheduled to receive an award from the Republican National Coalition for Life on Tuesday to celebrate her opposition to abortion rights, but pulled out of the event last night, presumably to work on her vice presidential nomination speech.
Though many of the Republicans sipping wine and beer at the "Life of the Party" event knew that Palin's plans had changed, others were surprised and disappointed by the news.
Robert and Cam Carlson of Fairbanks, Alaska, each sporting red "Palin '06" buttons from her gubernatorial race, understood Palin's last-minute cancellation.
"She's got a higher calling now," Robert said, referring to her much anticipated appearance at the convention on Wednesday night. The couple called to mind how they had shuttled Palin around Fairbanks in their car during the 2006 race, and gushed about her authenticity and down-to-earth demeanor.
Another anti-abortion advocate, Morton Blackwell of Arlington, Virginia, was asked if he was upset Palin couldn't make it.
"Yeah, but clearly she is working on the speech, its extremely important," he said. "I understand it. I'm not happy about it. They should have walked her in and out and let her wave and leave without talking."
Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafley, founder of the Republican National Coalition for Life, told the audience she was "very disappointed" Palin had to cancel. But she nevertheless commended the new running mate for energizing the party's grassroots.
"It is so exciting the way Sarah Palin has invigorated the Republican Party," Schlafley said. "All those people who were holding back and not sure, they're all excited to go to work and elect the McCain-Palin ticket this year."
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham filled in for Palin.
She has hurt my former party! I can't be a republican anymore ... Palin was the straw!
Yea, I'll be out to push for Obama now, not Palin! This article is a joke! I've never helped a campaign ... until now! I'll do anything so she doesn't get into office. Start talking people, I have.
Can you imagine her, her children, her grandchildren, boyfriends, nannies? Anyone else??? living in our white house? What a disgrace.
You know as they alway say desperate people do desparate things and McCain has severely disappointed me. His judgement is very weak by picking this Palin woman. He also speaks about his vast knowledge on national security just because he was in the service and was captured. That don't qualify him to be a president. I am deeply disturbed at his decision, its like he is suffering Alzheimers disease. What a joke, and if he was going to Put country first he would have made a better decision than subjecting the country to a political nobody when his heart stops beating. Way to go John for embarasing the Republican Party.
please, please... enough with the war stories...
Obama – Biden 08,12
Palin is a smart choice.
Obviously, she has more scruples than most of the bloggers on CNN.
Why isn't anyone talking about her affiliation with the Alaska Independence Party? How can we expect someone to put "America First" when they have supported an "Alaska First" vision in the past? They have called for the succession of Alaska in the past! To me, this is so much more important than whether her daughter is pregnant.
Thank God some honest politicians, McCain & Palin
Sarah Palin is the next Harriet Myers for the Republican Party, in way above their head.
After she withdraws in shame from her VP nomination. she can go back to trying to tell people how to live their lives. I hope she gets her own family life in order first.
has anyone seen palin's church video?
I want to understand what makes it okay for a girl that has gotten pregnant and is not married to be on display with her "baby's daddy" at a political convention as if it is okay. How is this morally correct. They are not married. And Palin's comment that they intend to marry was done because she felt it would be politically correct for her. Palin is a self-serving barracuda. What real mother after carrying a child for 9-months, one that you are told will have special needs, ups and returns to work three days after giving birth. This woman is no example to me or any of my friends that are mothers. She is self-serving. No real mother would allow their child to go through such public scrutiny as we've seen.