June 8th, 2009
03:58 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin's plans still unclear just hours before big dinner

The Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again.
The Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again.

(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.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. abraxis

    Yes, she is a force to be reckoned with. Let the GOP nominate Palin aka Knuckle-Head and Limbaugh aka Lim-burger for the 2012 presidential ticket.

    June 8, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Ursula

    Just like her brain.... a no-show!

    June 8, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. GOD

    Palin...The Bronze Age Beauty of the GOP!!!!

    It appears she is playing hard to get with her fellow Christians/Republicans. Seriously, if the Republicans are worried Palin will upstage Newt they are in more trouble than they know.

    This is sooooo fun to watch!!

    June 8, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. S M R

    I hope She announces that She will resign as Governor because of her lack of knowledge about anything.This whole Palin situation is a BIG JOKE.

    June 8, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. gerry

    If anyone wants to hear what Palin says, just listen to Gingrich so you get the real garbage, not the one that's been recycled that Sara delivers.

    June 8, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. ZME Muscle

    "a source of power and an upcoming force!", yeah, just lie Gomer Pyle was in the Corps. Dan Quayle thinks she's "D-U-M"!

    June 8, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. FLP

    CNN – There is so much news going on in the world and you are still obsessed with Sarah Palin. Are you trying to distract us from all of Obamas tax raising efforts they are proposing??

    June 8, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Well like her or not, she was invited a few months ago to be a speaker and she turned it down. NOW, she just wants to show up and be included as a speaker...what a dunce!

    June 8, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. apacheye

    Wow, yet another fumbling, bumbling Republican in the national media. The gift that keeps on giving. The Democratic Party thanks you. Keep on fumbling and bumbling GOP!!

    June 8, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Annie

    As a liberal I certainly appreciate the media keeping Palin front and center; thank you. They need to keep doing the same with Newt every time he opens his mouth and ultimately inserts his foot.

    June 8, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Hey Love! The only reason this bimbo is still news is that CNN has become the new Fox News and they can't get enough of her. Why is the question since so many intelligent people can't stand this woman.
    She's a brainless force. She is a nobody and she still can't speak. And that voice – didn't they exorcise witchiness out of her. She still sounds like one.

    June 8, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. The Unshrub

    How can anyone claim she is a source of power when she can't even decide if she is going to attend a simple fund-raiser and dinner? This lady doesn't know if she is coming or going, and her followers appear to be just as confussed.

    June 8, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Olaf Big

    Who is the voice of the republican party? If it is Limabaugh, Gingrich or Palin, GOP is rapidly moving towards becoming a fringe group. I am not a republican, but I don't want to see unchecked domination of the democratic party either, and that's what it is going to be unless republicans find a respected inttelligent mainstream leader soon.

    June 8, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. The Unshrub

    PS. CNN could you please start using a new picture. This one is getting really old.

    June 8, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Kim

    CNN – If you must talk about her, at least put a different picture next to the article. I am sick of hearing about her and seeing her face but a new picture might make it easier to tolerate.

    June 8, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Cato

    I only hope that the mutts of the GOP continue to drool over this brainless wannabe that should have NEVER been brought to the national forefront in the first place. Because in any national race she tries to contest, The Democratic Party Is going to contrast her with the likes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and when they do, Palin will look SO MUCH like the characatures that she has inspired! What a buffoon she is!

    June 8, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. williefloyd

    I haven't posted lately, mainly because there is no longer much worth commenting about. Now I won't be back for awhile (if ever), Can't stomach Palin or any news of her. For that matter, most Republicans as well.

    June 8, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. tjpdx

    The GOP base loves her. The GOP power brokers hate her because they know she could win the GOP nod, but has ZERO chance in a general election. Yes, she's a charming, normal, everyday, real person. But I, and the majority of the country, don't want an ordinary person running our country. I want an extraordinary person running this country.
    Extraordinary she is NOT.

    June 8, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Fed up in SC

    I hope she does. She is a powerful woman and all of the above people comming are afrain of her. If Obama was voted in and he is really not one of us and has no interest in America nor it's people where Palin does. All she does is for America. she has been grounded in our values, our history, our bloodshed here from the beginning of America's history as a nation. she knows all our weakness adn how to work with the prople and get out and work for the people instead of going from country to county appoliging for all of our past great leader's efforts. Without all the wqork and effort put in to keep our country safe and fight battles on other soil since the Confederate war and she will continue to wotk for the people and not appolige for any mistakes we may have made. she certainly will not allow our enemies to overcome us by reducing our defense systems like Obama is trying to do, He is anti=America and if all of you people qwere honest you would see that and work to stop his behind the scenes evil. ven if none of you like S Palin it would be ion your best interest and your families and your future generations to really stop throing off on all the ones who are for us instead of the ones who aren't.

    June 8, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Steve, New York City

    I do not understand why the media is so obsessed with keeping Palin in the news. Do they want to catch her in the act, when she's "speaking in tongues" or something?

    June 8, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Annie

    @ Expat American – I loved your post. Thanks for the view from the outside.

    June 8, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Perplexed

    Can you spare us news about that IDIOT ? It turns my stomach and soon I will turn CNN off.

    June 8, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Wow

    If she can't manage her own schedule how was she qualified to manager the country as McCain's VP?
    She was almost a heartbeat away from the Presidency. There are millions of more qualified women in America to serve in high office. What an embarrassment.

    June 8, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. alaska hound dog

    good lord won't this idiot go away. Nobody cares about her not even her fellow alaskans. Also I heard her daughter is pregnant again. Real morality comming from this bunch of trailer trash.

    June 8, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. K in Miami

    Everytime the normal people of America has to hear one more word about this DISPICABLE WOMAN, we should place blame at the feet of John McCain....

    Before he picked her in a bid to gain Hillary's supporters, NO ONE outside of Alaska knew who she was.....

    Man I wish it could be that way again, this woman makes me sick to my stomach, I can't put my finger on it, I think it's her fakeness and phonyness...

    I can't stand this woman......!

    June 8, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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