(CNN) – The annual Conservative Political Action Conference later this month will as usual feature a slate of Republican presidential hopefuls.
But the news just may be who isn't there.
Citing scheduling conflicts, Sarah Palin has declined to serve as the keynote speaker at the annual conference that has become a who's who of social conservatives and politicians seeking to curry favor with that influential wing of the GOP.
"We are disappointed she couldn't make it this year. It was a scheduling issue," said CPAC organizer David Keene through a spokesperson to CNN. "She expressed interest and wanted to attend this year and we look forward to having her next year."
She would follow in the most recent footsteps of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck had she accepted the keynote slot.
Palin declined similar invitations from the group in 2010 and 2009. But the decision to skip the event this year will be treated with fresh scrutiny in light of the fact she has expressed interest in running for president and nearly every other likely 2012 candidate will be there – including Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. John Thune and Rep. Michele Bachmann.