May 7th, 2009
06:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin pulls out of White House Correspondents' Dinner

Palin is skipping the annual DC dinner.
Palin is skipping the annual DC dinner.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will miss a chance to chat up President Obama this weekend because she's cancelling plans to attend the White House Correspondents' dinner, but she's got a good excuse.

Palin on Wednesday declared a state of emergency because of record flooding in Eagle, Alaska. "It's basically wiped out a town," Bill McAllister, Palin's communications director, told CNN.

Palin was slated to be a guest of Fox News at the annual dinner.

McAllister confirmed Palin will stay in Alaska this weekend and will no longer attend Saturday night’s annual press dinner headlined by Obama this year for the first time.

The former Republican presidential candidate has also pulled out of co-hosting a Friday night dinner for the Republican Governors Association with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.  The dinner is a thank you to donors who have contributed at least $25,000 to the group. The dinner for 50 will be held at the Virginia home of Fred Malek, a major Republican fundraiser.

Nick Ayers, executive director of the RGA, told CNN the event was a "hot ticket" in part because of Palin's involvement and he's now searching for a new co-host with Sanford.

Ayers briefly interrupted a phone interview to take a call from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, who had considered making the trip to fill in for Palin but could not make it happen.

The RGA is now hoping Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, another hot property in Republican circles, can attend instead.

"We'll have a good group there," said Ayers.


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