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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/17/art.palin1.cnn.jpg caption="Palin has been replaced by former House speaker Newt Gingrich."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sarah Palin will no longer headline a major Republican dinner in June, a Republican official told CNN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

    Anybody but Palin.
    Lets get Pawlenty or Jindal. Anybody.

    March 31, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. Johnnie

    After eight years, we all know the Republican party only too well, Stumped by ideology, 4th grade math, and business theories one step removed from witchcraft and alchemy it looks like a retirement home for aging fat men, who look like they need a bit more sunshine, and fewer bowls of grits.

    March 31, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Wilson

    Finally...the Republican party came to their senses.

    She's clueless.....

    March 31, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  4. Ellie

    She is out shooting moose again

    March 31, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. dudley

    Yikes, this is tragic! OR, maybe not..this could be her big break to never be heard from again on the national political scene. She's a pretty woman...

    March 31, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  6. chuck

    More like "Bye Ms P" by the rupubs.. still think ONLY reason she ran for VP to assure they lost, as seems McCain is suddenly much more into messages and lack of gaffs now that he is back in Swineate. Simply to many foul ups in run up to elections, by a party the runs like a well oiled klilling machine, they did NOT want ot inherit this mess and trying to maybe get it all back in 2012 or sooner. They spent like crazy, did not care where or how, well off did very well, and now R;s are just sitting back and hoping the financial levies being built will burst. So Ms P dropped.. just their way of saying, "you did what we wanted, bye"!

    March 31, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  7. Jason L

    "communication breakdown"
    What she was trying to say was "I'll be moose hunting doncha know"

    March 31, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  8. Barbara

    I thought the rep. wanted to change. look toward the future. looks like they are going back in time. The next thing you know they will be asking bush to speak. Wow. Palin needs to fire her staff. It looks like she may have a mutiney on her hands, wow wonder if some of those staff members or dems. Maybe thats why she's not in the loop no more. OR maybe the reps. has kissed her off since the flop last year. She need to retire stay home and look at russia from her back door.

    March 31, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  9. David in Orange County

    This non event speaks volumnes about Palin's qualifications for public service. Thankfully, her days are numbered as she continues to stumble. She will be remembered for what she was, an anomaly that derailed the Republican Party in 08. Thanks Sarah.

    March 31, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  10. Bill

    Smart move. Palin is damaged goods and Republicans would be best to relegate her to the Dan Quayle junk heap. She's got the ideology down, but doesn't have the intelligence, and Republicans need to be very careful about making that mistake again (as in George W. Bush).

    March 31, 2009 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. Sarah Palin

    Watching Sarah Palin self-destruct right before our eyes is becoming more and more entertaining every day.... too bad she had to sandbag the McCain ticket before the world realized what a political HACK she really is

    March 31, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. gl, Pittsburgh

    Good! We don't have to listen to her noise!

    March 31, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  13. Ryan

    This woman is a clown. Family has voted Republican since Lincoln and will not vote for her on the top of the ticket.

    March 31, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. destined

    I hope that the national media and GOP will now leave Gov. Palin alone. I hope that she will be able to lead a peaceful life with her family and will enjoy her job and beautiful scenic Alaska. She really had too much integrity for national politics. I will miss her and follow her career through the Alaskan news. She truly is a valiant woman.

    March 31, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. Jake

    Guess what...your 15 minutes are up.




    March 31, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. Peachy Keen

    I'm assuming the dinner was going to be a comedy event? Why else would they ask her to speak?

    March 31, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  17. LOL

    Hasnt she figured it out yet??? She was a stooge all along!!! The knew her and mccain didnt have a prayer... she was put as his vice running mate to make sure OBBBBAAAMAAA won.. so now the american sheeple are happy.

    March 31, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  18. Al, California

    Oh, they argue who is the most important frog in that swamp.

    Sorry, naturalists, I can put it this way: Who is the most important fraud in that swarm.

    March 31, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  19. Ian

    Smart move by the Repubs. Newt lead the Repubs to sweep the House in 1994. He is smart, educated, a real conservatives and unlike the moronic neocons he believes global warming is real. I supported Obama in the last election but an effective democracy requires an competent opposition. The media is cheering anything Obama does, we got in trouble with Bush because questioning him was unpatriotic. Newt is a good choice to rebuild the Repub party and bring it back to real conservative values, not the crazy neocons, enough with the ideological religious crap. Reduce the size of government, eliminate gov't waste, foster a positive environment for responsible business to thrive in. (That means regulations)

    March 31, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  20. carolyn

    Sarah is just not ready for the big times. I swear that I will change my party affiliation if that woman is brought back into the national spotlight.

    March 31, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. Ernie

    And this chick wants to be president???

    March 31, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  22. James

    Is this the same staff, who gave Palin the phone and said it was the Pres. from France and it was a disc jockey from Miami? Repugs wanted her for vice president? Her staff is incompetent and so is she. Why didn't McCain back her when asked if he would support her for president. His answer, " I'll have to wait and see." There are other people with great experience. Why didn't he choose one of them, then? Please repubs keep Palin around so we can guarantee a dem. victory..

    March 31, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  23. Dee

    Sounds like Palin is no longer the golden girl of the Republican Party.

    Too bad..if she ran for president in 2012, then the Dems are guarenteed re-election.

    March 31, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. Gabriel

    heart beat away from the president ...................

    March 31, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  25. Winifred Higgins

    Cannot believe this if true. I had been a lifelong Republican and Newt Gingrich is the one person who made me realize that party was not for me. Shame on the GOP if this is true!!!!! I had hoped the GOP had gotten a bit smarter. Sigh.

    March 31, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
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