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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/17/art.palin1.cnn.jpg caption="Palin has been replaced by former House speaker Newt Gingrich."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sarah Palin will no longer headline a major Republican dinner in June, a Republican official told CNN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

    Palin – Newt – Who cares – they are both loosers with nothing constructive to contribute.

    Just more devisiveness that is useless at this point.

    The GOP has no clue to what the country needs after the Bush-Cheney debacle.

    March 31, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. jeff

    This chick has no idea what is happening in the "Real World".... if she can't even schedule an annual speaking event, she probably has to rely on her children to remind her that it's wash day around the house. Her political connections are loose at best, high party members are certainly not knocking down her door for dinner engagements. Maybe Sarah needs to just sit down and complete her WalMart application, and give politics a rest.

    March 31, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  3. David

    I am a liberal but I will actually pass on bashing Governor Palin today. I don't see this one as her fault really but her staff at her PAC should not be speaking for her without her consent.

    March 31, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. marlyn

    AW, too bad. I was hoping she could tell all of us about the latest poison she's using on the wolves.

    March 31, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. Amusing

    The party was smart to get out of that at their first opportunity but they sure did not trade up...more like a lateral move withGingrich. This party will never move ahead putting an "old been there, done that, didn't work" slim like Gingrich out there. I agree with Lynn.

    March 31, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. justsane

    bring her on!! 2012 can't come soon enough!!

    March 31, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  7. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Breakdown in communications?? What happened?...The string between the two dixie cups broke. Or did somebody suddenly realize they couldn't serve moose chili and mooseburgers. Or was it they wanted the tired old rants from a hasbeen

    Looks like they seem to look backwards in time.

    Well I can't make it either, there will be a breakdown in communications!!!

    March 31, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  8. vicki

    geez...right hand doesn't know what left hand is doing...except with Dick, Karl or Rush are pulling the strings.

    March 31, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  9. Donna, Orlando FL

    As a big supporter of Sarah Palin. I can't believe that Gov Palin's staff would do something like this 2 her. She deserve 2 be a the Senate Dinner. Gov Palin should get her staff 2gether good & make sure something like this don't happen again. If some of her staff is gonna be very bias against her. They should be fired.

    March 31, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  10. Don't ja' know

    SNL has to be thinking.... this is too easy!

    March 31, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  11. Roger

    For the life of me, what exactly is the appeal of this nitwit? If she wasn't thrust into the spotlght by another nitwit, who'd of even known she existed? C'mon media kings.... there's more important topics the planet has to deal with than the goings on of this clown!

    March 31, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  12. billy jack

    i do miss all of the tina fey jokes to brighten our days

    March 31, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  13. Maleesa

    That's Palin for you – excuses, excuses.

    March 31, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. Dave

    Can't find people employees who are capable of scheduling a dinner yet she thought she was qualified to be the V.P. Give me a break.

    March 31, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  15. Tiger9

    Seem like she need to get her a new staff that will let her know when/where she should be

    March 31, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  16. JSU-TIGER99

    Maybe she have other plans who knows/care

    March 31, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  17. TracyM.

    @arithmetic is liberal: Even at $11 an hour, you'd expect someone to know better than to say "She was like, 'no.'" to the national media! Yikes! I was, like, OMG, did she really, like, say that? Like, are you, like, serious right now?

    March 31, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  18. Beverly in NC

    Clueless, ignorant, corrupt, and not-to-be-trusted – Palin is a loser. Having her headline a speech was a stupid idea to start with since she is incapable of speaking intelligently.

    How sad the RNC has to reach all the way back to Gingrich to get a decent speaker. It just shows how locked in the past they are. They are so out-of-touch with current America it is ridiculous.

    Republicans are lost in the wilderness with no leadership, no policies (other that Rove hate and lies tactics) and NO solutions for America's future.

    They have done NOTHING to help this nation or the people who elected them. 2010 is the perfecf time to rid ourselves of more of these do-nothing, negative, backwards has-beens.

    NC will be getting rid of our do-nothing Sen Richard Burr who is more focused on protecting tobacco products (80% of NC does not smoke) than the real economic issues facing our state. He is gone come 2010!

    March 31, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  19. Lisa

    Hahahaha..... Im so glad she will never be President. What a mess she is.

    March 31, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  20. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Between Palin and Gingrich, I think Gingrich would be a better keynote speaker. I think he has brains and ideas compared to clueless Palin. The question is ... does he have new ideas or the same old ideas.

    March 31, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  21. Tony

    Oh Shucks! I was looking forward to Klondike Palin revealing, once again, what a lightweight she is. Her latest gaff was citing the journalism "five
    W's." It's FOUR W's and H: who, what, when, where and how" But what can you expect from a journalism degree obtained from four (or was it five different colleges?

    March 31, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  22. Otto

    There are actually people out there who voted for this person to function in the second most important position in this country at a time when it's in crisis mode? It must have been the real "guys and gals" in this country. Are you ashamed yet?
    Anyway, I just got back from Alaska and I seem to have no more foreign policy experience now than when I left ... but ... I'll look for some and get back to ya.

    March 31, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. Tired of Gaffes

    Not Ready for Prime Time Palin needs to fire her staff and hire a REAL political staff if she's serious about 2012. Something ain't workin and she needs to figure it out right quick...

    March 31, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  24. Patricia Tharp

    Let her go-–she's a disgrace to her party.

    March 31, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  25. elana

    Incredible!! The GOP is a better sell than the Ringling Brothers Circus! I'm sure happy that Palin didn't end up being Vice President! I doubt her "I don't know anything about it" excuse would have been very popular with Congress let alone her sidekick John McCain! The reality is the GOP is dead and buried. It will NEVER be what it once was, and the same "clowns" continue to surface and resurface to try and revive it!! So indeed, "Come to the GOP Circus" it is the craziest show on earth!!

    March 31, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
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