April 1st, 2009
09:14 AM ET
14 years ago

Palin replaced as headliner for Republican dinner

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/17/art.palin1.cnn.jpg caption="Palin has been replaced by former House speaker Newt Gingrich."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sarah Palin will no longer headline a major Republican dinner in June, a Republican official told CNN Tuesday.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich will replace Palin as the keynote speaker at a joint fundraising dinner held by the campaign committees of Senate and House Republicans.

The scheduling change follows a communications breakdown between Palin's political staff and her aides in Alaska that left the dinner's organizers unsure the Alaska governor would actually attend the Washington event.

Congressional Republicans announced earlier this month that Palin would deliver the keynote speech at the dinner, but the governor's staff in Alaska said the next day that the governor knew nothing about the speaking slot.

"I communicated with the governor directly and she did not know anything about it," a Palin aide told the Anchorage Daily News after the speech was announced. "I pointed out the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] press release and she was like, 'No.'"

The NRSC said at the time that aides at Palin's political action committee - SarahPAC - had agreed to attend the dinner, but that the governor's staff in Alaska had not been made aware.

(Updated after the jump with official NRSC, NRCC and SarahPAC statements statements)

Two weeks ago, a spokesman for Palin, Bill McAllister, told CNN the "the governor herself had not confirmed" the appearance and that the matter was "still under review." Aides to Palin did not respond to multiple e-mails sent over the last week asking if Palin would make the trip to Washington this summer.

UPDATE: NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh confirmed the switch.

"After initially confirming her attendance, Governor Palin's team informed the Committees that her gubernatorial responsibilities in Alaska prevented her from committing until the end of the legislative session," he said.

"We completely understand and respect Governor Palin's focus on her official state business; however, there is obviously an enormous amount of planning that goes into this annual event. For that reason, we invited and are honored to have former Speaker Newt Gingrich join us as our speaker at the 2009 Senate-House Dinner. As one of our Party's brightest minds and most energetic speakers, we are looking forward to having former Speaker Gingrich provide the keynote address on June 8."

UPDATE II: Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the committee decided to "go in another direction."

“Speaker Gingrich is a leader and an influential voice within the Republican Party and we are thrilled to have him," he said.

UPDATE III: Palin's staff continued to deny that she had ever been scheduled to attend. "The Governor never confirmed her attendance at the event," said SarahPAC spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton. "She was honored to receive the invitation and asked to confirm her attendance at the end of the legislative session. Governor Palin is thrilled to hear that Newt Gingrich will address the audience as the Governor continues to focus on Alaska."

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. Chris from San Antonio

    Palin and staff disorganized and lost? Who'da thunk?

    March 31, 2009 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  2. Kentucky

    The GOP amuse me. They both apeal to the base, huh? Must be why Palin is now back in Alaska instead of the WH? What's the matter, did the "base" not come out and vote for the McCain/Palin tickett? Loosers!!

    March 31, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  3. Irene

    This would be funny if she didn't get so close to the white house. Imagine how the GOP's would have trashed Obama over something like this. She can't even run her personal schedule and wants to run a country!

    March 31, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. go away mongers -Ventura CA

    Can't stand either one of them- but at least Newt has a brain in his head.

    April 1, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  5. Sharon A Johnson

    I don't care for many Republicans, but I do care about the comment from"arithmetic is liberal"-At least an $11.00 an hour job is commendable, not something you would expect from the a liberal who likes to hand out freebeeies!!!! What an idiotic statement, to down grade a WORKING human being. I'm sure it was not the poor receptionist GAFFE!!! Maybe, just maybe they uninvited good ole Sarah!!!

    April 1, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  6. Bert Vasquez

    sounds like the begiining of the end for Palin as a Republican leader of the future,,,,

    April 1, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  7. Just don't get the Palin Appeal

    I'm sorry... Why is she still in the news??

    April 1, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  8. jeremy

    lack of communication in the Palin administration? wow, who would have thought??????

    April 1, 2009 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. ichabod

    Don't worry, she'll come up with some reason to get her name back in the news. She's so afraid someone will not notice her. God help us if she and Rush are the future of the Republican party. I am ashamed to say I am one.

    April 1, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  10. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Okay we're cool with the liberals who get to throw a few light missed punches. The ongoing tax evasion that has invaded the political system is not funny anymore. Latest but probably not the last is his "Kathy". Gingerich has more experience and is more informed about health care issues etc, than self promoted Michelle(executive of something, something) and Obama put together. Palin has no doubt taken over the Gender race putting Hillary on a fast track to retirement.

    April 1, 2009 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. Bob

    It is so sad all of the hatred and name calling. Repugs? Liar? Wow. Instead of trying to work for a better America and really focus on change, this is how people decide to spend their energy. Pathetic and sad. Grow up people. Calling others names takes you a lower place then the people you seem to hate. Move on.

    April 1, 2009 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  12. sue

    what could ms. Barbie possibly offer economicly during this difficult times other than a smile and a big mouth!

    April 1, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  13. Red Maple

    no doubt, this 'communication' breakdown will all be the liberal media's fault...

    April 1, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  14. Mike

    Well maybe finally the country is looking past her to more productive issues. As an Alaskan, I'm pretty tired of her pretenses to being a "maverick." Same old political shenanigans in a new package.

    April 1, 2009 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  15. ICanSeeRussia

    Here, I thought Palin fired those responsible for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars during the campaign for the family duds. I seems the same people are still around making her look bad, because she could never ever make those type of mistakes herself.....hmmmm...or, could she?

    So who's at fault here? Her aides for continuing to screw up? Or, could it possibly be Queen Sarah, herself, for continuing to rely on these staff members when they should have been fired a long time ago?

    My guess is, they don't get fired until they are divorced from a family member. You betcha!

    April 1, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
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