April 1st, 2009
09:14 AM ET
12 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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/17/art.palin1.cnn.jpg caption="Palin has been replaced by former House speaker Newt Gingrich."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sarah Palin will no longer headline a major Republican dinner in June, a Republican official told CNN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. one day at a time

    america can't afford another wardrobe for this woman, it's good she's
    not aware of whats going on.

    March 31, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. Ann

    I am SO glad she and her people are not trying to sort out the financial mess – they can't organize a dinner!!!

    March 31, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Michael

    Palin is so crazy she is alienating what little is left of the mentally competent extreme right wing; give her some time and even the lunatic fringe will distance themselves.

    March 31, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. barb

    Well, the people attending the dinner will have a better speaker and one who is more literate!

    March 31, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. David

    What possible intellectual capital or rich ideas could Palin have for us? I wanted to vote for McCain, but after listening to Palin (minus media bias) I was terribly disappointed and heartbroken. My party continues to sink between this, Limbaugh and the poverty of new thinking or ideas to move us forward. Likely I'll switch to Independent soon!

    March 31, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  6. Greg in Denver

    This is what happens when a party emphasizes and markets caricature rather than substance. We as a nation have GOT to raise our standards for presidential and vice presidential candidates.

    March 31, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  7. Mary

    The Palin team in Alaska isn't supposed to be involved in national events – the reason they weren't aware of this one. Governor Palin is also deep in the middle of the state legislative session and heavily focused on Alaska. She is working hard. This is probably why there was a communication snafu. Big deal.

    March 31, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  8. John

    Too bad, I would love to see her become the leader of the Rep. Party. It's the least they deserve! What a joke!

    March 31, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  9. Peter

    "Oh gosh, here come the liberals."???

    Sounds like something written by a unthinking lemming.

    March 31, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. BS

    "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,"

    "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."

    DON'T YOU KNOW...PALIN CAN'T MULTI-TASK!?!

    March 31, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. T.W. Harris

    As long as the Republicans keep Gingrich around, I do not think I will vote next time. When is our party going to "get it". Those ol hackers need to be hacked out of the limelight.

    March 31, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. jay

    Robin, nothing to do with party affiliation or social stance, but people actually wanted her to be President and she can't get dinner plans together?!? You can't be anything but thankful her ticket lost!

    March 31, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. Lonely Liberal in Oklahoma

    Are we really surprised by this move. The fat cats in the Republican party are so embarrassed by palin, they are praying for her to stay in Alaska....as are the rest of us.

    March 31, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. Whatta joke

    What, Palin is so busy with Alaska business that she was too busy to accept an invite, but not so busy that she was able to drop everything for 3 months to campaign with McCain?

    Oh and to you, "arithmetic is liberal"–whatever that is supposed to mean–there was no scheduling error by an $11 receptionist... the NRCC made it clear that Palin's aides treated them poorly by refusing to respond to their e-mails.

    Palin apparently upset the NRCC, so they informed her that her response to their earlier invitation was no longer required.

    My guess is she discovered she'd been outflanked by the new (old), great white hope of the Republic (sic) Party when she read the press release the NRCC sent out.

    And you gotta love the obvious swipe at Palin, when they commented that Gingrich was "... a leader and an influential voice within the Republican Party and we are thrilled to have him." Also not so subtly directed at Palin was the comment the NRCC chose to make referring to Newt as "one of our Party's brightest minds."

    March 31, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. Miranda

    arithmetic is liberal-
    I'm sure there are many $11/hr receptionists who are far more fit to govern than Sarah Palin. My guess is that Sarah has hired all of her friends from high school to work for her- the woman has no sense of boundaries or ethics. She should have been impeached by now.

    March 31, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. Jane

    she can't hire anyone to keep track of her schedule now, how on earth does she think she could handle the past 65 days?

    She is a joke.

    March 31, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. buy a clue

    Palin could not make it, they got someone else..... This is news?

    March 31, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  18. barking dog from Delaware

    The Newt should be put on mute.He would have made a good priest though.

    March 31, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  19. Linda from Minnesota

    Hey, don't insult me. I am a receptionist and make $11 per hour and I'd never make that mistake.

    March 31, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Jeffery

    Once again belief in the human race is bolstered once again. Once again human race's choice not to have a multiple personality psychotic in a place of power is a refreshing breath of air in a whirlwind of dust.

    March 31, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. MrTom

    This is a case of the right hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

    March 31, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. Sue

    I wonder if it was the same office staff that set up the interview with the Canadian radio personality that has fooled everyone but Palin into thinking he is French President Sarkozy.

    March 31, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. Splat!

    Palin/Schock 2012

    The Barbie/Ken ticket!~

    March 31, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  24. looking for good

    I believe all of you who are bad mouthing Gov. Palin are niave'. She doesn't need a law degree and maybe better she doesn't. Therefore she doesn't have the lying thing down pat, like most lawyers. They know the words around the truth. She just speaks it and you guys just can't take it. You're so used to being spoon fed the political bull that's what you think the truth is.
    Let's see if Obama (one letter away from Osama) does what he says, if you could follow his beating aound the bust statements!!!!!!!!!!!
    What makes Obama such a good thing? He is such a short termer trying to make history, not political recovery.

    March 31, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. Andrea

    Here we go – one more Palin lie! Like she wouldn't jump at the chance to be a keynote guest at a Republican dinner!

    March 31, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
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