(Updated after the jump with GOP official saying Palin expected to attend dinner)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Even though Sarah Palin's trip to the East Coast was intended to be low-key and out of the glare of the national media, the Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again.
With Palin in Washington on Monday attending to state business, Republicans on Capitol Hill are left wondering if she will make an appearance at a major fundraising dinner on Monday night after a late attempt to have her speak at the event fell through.
Although the governor still has a standing invitation to attend as a guest, Republicans don't have a clue if Palin will show up, with just hours left until the event is set to begin.
Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has personally reached out to Palin to offer her a seat at his table tonight, according to an aide. But as of this afternoon, he has not heard back.
Palin's camp is also remaining mum on her plans, saying there's no word yet on whether she will attend.
A GOP official involved in the planning of the event downplayed the situation as just "a minor distraction" from what is expected to be a successful fundraiser.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in the news himself for critical remarks about President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, is set to headline the joint fundraising dinner for the Senate and House Republican campaign committees.
Gingrich was slotted to replace Palin on the program in March after she and her staff waffled over whether she would accept the speaking invitation, which had already been publicly announced by both the NRSC and the National Republican Congressional Committee. At the time, Palin's office in Alaska said that her political staff in Washington had agreed to the invitation without consulting the governor.
Last week, Palin reached out to the committees through Republican fundraiser Fred Malek to say she would be in Washington on the day of the dinner and would be available to speak. Malek and Cornyn attempted to work out a plan that would allow Palin to make a brief speaking appearance on stage.
But Rep. Pete Sessions, the NRCC chairman, was concerned that Palin might upstage Gingrich, so the governor was later told she would not be able to deliver remarks, but was still welcome to attend.
UPDATE: A GOP official involved in the dinner planning tells CNN that the Alaska governor is "expected to attend" the event "and will be sitting with Sen. John Cornyn and his wife at their table."
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of internal GOP politics, said she is not expected to make formal remarks but will be recognized during the program.
A Palin spokeswoman refused to confirm whether the governor planned to attend the event.
She is funny.Keep up the great work crushers,Limbaugh should blow a heart valve soon.
I have never seen a loosing candidate on the news more than this woman has!
It's been said that Sarah Palin is the Paris Hilton of politics. That's not fair to Ms. Hilton. She has a lot more on the ball than Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin unreliable??? Shocking (insert sound of sarcasm here).
Ladies and Gents, your next Republican Presidential Candidate, Miss Congeniality! And her running mate Newt "the lizard" Gingrich. Let's give them a big hand! Wait, where are you all going so fast?
"Republicans don't have a clue" truer words were never said! So easy to manipulate and fool those dummies.
If she would pull this kind of junk on her beloved Republican party, imagine what she would do if she were POTUS.... scary!!!!
Please join me in saying "no comment".
The reporting will not stop unless we want it to and it is obvious for what ever reason we Democrats can not get enough of this woman.
She is so unprofessional – and yet, the people who like her seem to like her for just that. Sorry, I like competent leaders who are interested in more than themselves!
Elliot, maybe the Alaskan people actually aren't all that peeved, relieved might be the word as in "thank goodness she's not here"!
This is news? Pathetic, CNN. Keep hoping for her to continue her American Idol-esque celebrity status, it won't mean she'll come close to winning the nomination.
Anyone who thinks she will be a legitimate contender in 2012 is dreaming, and is likely a Liberal. (Liberals fall for dreams all the time, just take a look outside your window now).
After her weekend speech about Alaska "definitely" being a tempting target for North Korea's long-range missiles, I'm surprised that she isn't back in her home State patrolling the shore with binoculars. Of course, she's already scared Russia into inactivity by telling them that she watches them from her picture window.
Do you think that her diligence concerning her perceived enemies and a wink now and then makes her a viable candidate for the Presidency? Apparently she does.
Enough with the Sarah is an idiot photo.
This lady is no longer followed because she is news, she is followed because she is a joke. The GOP traveling circus.
Does the Republican party revolve around her or something? If she doesn't show up to the event, who cares? Enough with CNN's Palin fixation already!!
This woman is nothing but an overly ambitious idiot who thinks she actually has a shot at the presidency.
I never get tired of pointing out that this Woman is a RACIST BIGOT!
I have a bag of hammers smarter than her...
Who the heck cares about her anyway? She's a big time loser, nothing else!
Why does anyone care what she is doing?
Poor Romney. Can't get a word out because of Newt the Grinch and this dummy.
donttreadon me wrote: The libs can't stand it that a "self made" woman has risen to such heights. Libs judge people based on their academic credentials and how many degrees they have obtained. They use the education system to try to keep social/class order and really hate it when someone bucks the system. Not everyone had the advantages of Obama to be able to attend an exclusive private prep-high school. Even if you don’t agree with her politics, her story is amazing and she deserves a lot of credit for her remarkable achievements.
That's not why we dislike her. It's because she's a bible thumping hick who is in the pocket of big oil. Have a nice day!
Yes, the GOP needs some dimwitted Republican like Palin to swoop in and get everyone yelling "kill him" and "traitor" at the event, like she did in the presidential race. She isn't the brightest bulb in the socket as we all know and she doesn't have any ideas, but she can whip a crowd into a hate-filled frenzy. You go Sarah!
"To those of you who feel she somehow empowers women and represents strengh, crawl out of your cave and inform yourself. This woman is dangerous, igonorant, racist, and shortsighted. God help us if Americans are stupid enough to put her in the White House!"
Umm...we almost voted in a woman who is married (out of convenience) to an impeached former President of the United States who lied before Congress and who was involved in the Whitewater scandal. If Palin were a Democrat, she'd probably be President. The GOP has has women and minorities in high offices – Attorney General, Secretary of State to name two. But they are villified because of party. Get a grip Dems.
Why not Palin in 2012? We were stupid enough to by into Obama in 2008.
She is an embarrassment to our country and a total farce. She is as inept as she is stupid. Her own will mouth seal her fate. New York will eat her alive.
donttreadonme: June 8th, 2009 1:37 pm ET
The libs can't stand it that a "self made" woman has risen to such heights. Libs judge people based on their academic credentials and how many degrees they have obtained. They use the education system to try to keep social/class order and really hate it when someone bucks the system. Not everyone had the advantages of Obama to be able to attend an exclusive private prep-high school. Even if you don’t agree with her politics, her story is amazing and she deserves a lot of credit for her remarkable achievements.
yea, Liberals can't stand self-made women like Sotomayor, with her amazing story and remarkable achievements. wait, who are we talking about again?
Here it comes, the infighting of the GOP. Who are they backing for president, Gingrich or Palin? These people need to calm down. The next election isn't until 2012. Can't they go back to work instead of wasting media space with their perpetual campaigning?
Here it goes again. Now, all the hate-filled liberals unite. Quick, bash her for travelling somewhere.
That makes those at CNN.com very happy. Note, they won't write ANYTHING about democrats cause they know that might open the democrats open to criticism. CNN can't have that...