June 8th, 2009
03:58 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin's plans still unclear just hours before big dinner

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/spalin0608.gi.jpg caption="The Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again."]

(Updated after the jump with GOP official saying Palin expected to attend dinner)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Even though Sarah Palin's trip to the East Coast was intended to be low-key and out of the glare of the national media, the Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again.

With Palin in Washington on Monday attending to state business, Republicans on Capitol Hill are left wondering if she will make an appearance at a major fundraising dinner on Monday night after a late attempt to have her speak at the event fell through.

Although the governor still has a standing invitation to attend as a guest, Republicans don't have a clue if Palin will show up, with just hours left until the event is set to begin.

Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has personally reached out to Palin to offer her a seat at his table tonight, according to an aide. But as of this afternoon, he has not heard back.

Palin's camp is also remaining mum on her plans, saying there's no word yet on whether she will attend.

A GOP official involved in the planning of the event downplayed the situation as just "a minor distraction" from what is expected to be a successful fundraiser.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in the news himself for critical remarks about President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, is set to headline the joint fundraising dinner for the Senate and House Republican campaign committees.

Gingrich was slotted to replace Palin on the program in March after she and her staff waffled over whether she would accept the speaking invitation, which had already been publicly announced by both the NRSC and the National Republican Congressional Committee. At the time, Palin's office in Alaska said that her political staff in Washington had agreed to the invitation without consulting the governor.

Last week, Palin reached out to the committees through Republican fundraiser Fred Malek to say she would be in Washington on the day of the dinner and would be available to speak. Malek and Cornyn attempted to work out a plan that would allow Palin to make a brief speaking appearance on stage.

But Rep. Pete Sessions, the NRCC chairman, was concerned that Palin might upstage Gingrich, so the governor was later told she would not be able to deliver remarks, but was still welcome to attend.

UPDATE: A GOP official involved in the dinner planning tells CNN that the Alaska governor is "expected to attend" the event "and will be sitting with Sen. John Cornyn and his wife at their table."

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of internal GOP politics, said she is not expected to make formal remarks but will be recognized during the program.

A Palin spokeswoman refused to confirm whether the governor planned to attend the event.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Bill

    I am not a fan of Palin!!!

    June 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. PaulaAP

    And this woman wanted to run the country? What an embarrassment to women, to Republicans, to Americans!

    June 8, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Big D

    Sarah, how can I miss you, if you don't go away?

    June 8, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Allan

    Will she get up and rip off Gingrich's writings right in front of him?

    June 8, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Expat American

    Only in America would legions of people stand up and defend a hypocritical, unintelligent, fear mongering racist as a way to cover up their own like-minded intellects, ideals, and conservative Christian 'values'.

    Thanks to global media and real time news, the world got the full view of Sarah Palin and the conservative electorate of which she is now the undisputed leader. And the world laughed at her and her bigots.

    Sarah Palin is old news....yesterday's trash queen.

    June 8, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Tina, NC

    I swear if this woman passes gas somebody will cover it.

    CNN, let us know when she says something intelligent. (Gonna be awhile). Otherwise, WHO CARES!

    June 8, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Jefe

    So-called Conservatives:

    The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy you all seem to believe is ruling over everything, trying to pass such Commie measures as 'equal rights', 'freedom of speech', etc., is not as all-encompassing as you might think. I'm so sick of Neoconservatives blaming Progressives for all of their ills, when they're not even willing to take the time to learn the Constitution, or figure out how to read above a 5th-grade level.

    A fine example is Pat, CA, in another ticker post asking:

    "Pat, CA June 8th, 2009 10:39 am ET

    CNN — where's your coverage of THIS:..."

    In reference to the article I linked below, which took me all of 8 seconds to find after seeing Pat's post. Here it is Pat, you wanted to know where their article about international politics was. Its not hiding behind left-wing media bias. Its the #2 headline under "INTERNATIONAL"


    June 8, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Sid Prejean

    This is just me asking, but who or what constitutes "her politcal staff in Washington"?

    June 8, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Please CNN. Give me a break. It's sad enough that my fellow New Yorkers had to put up with Ms. Can't Get Right. This lady is so out of touch with everyday people. Although I can't stand Newt the Grinch as well, he's way more competant than that numbskull from Alaska. I bet Palin wasn't even in the 5 boroughs. She was probably in Weschester or Albany somewhere. She's not welcomed to the city.

    June 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Mark

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, CNN for continually talking about Palin as though she was relevant.

    Thank you for making it look as though she might have a shot at the Presidency by inflating and sensationalizing her every move.

    This way she will cause havoc at the Republican nomination, AND MAYBE EVEN GET THE NOMINATION.

    This way, an Obama victory is guaranteed.

    It's sleasy and cheap, and I would not condone it, were it not for the sheer amusement of seeing Palin make an absolute fool of herself on national TV.

    Please keep it up.

    June 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Love

    love of hate her, she is a source of power and an upcoming force!
    not many can ignore her.

    June 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Spencer

    Palin got invite to something and may or may not show? Please file under "who cares?" Thanks for wasting my time.

    June 8, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. harold

    I thought Sarah.. only liked real Americans.. and to visit real american states......... New York City?

    June 8, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Bill

    Palin can't organize a trip to a fundraising dinner. How is she expected to run the country!! What a joke.

    June 8, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Wayne H.

    I've heard she WILL attebd the event... and report to those in attendance she can see Baltimore from her hotel room!!

    June 8, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. vsk

    We shoulda had McCain / Palin.
    We are going down the tubes with the current guy.


    June 8, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Ray,Calif

    If Palin is not a threat to the Democrats then why are they so hostile to her? Palin continues to have support for a run for the president if she wishes to..according to a recent poll.

    June 8, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Mary

    As a female, I wish her the best and I am glad to see a woman that can command and motivate so many.

    A great example for women everywhere whether you agree with her politics or not.

    June 8, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Mark Hohn

    Wonder how many people who seem to enjoy attacking Sarah Palin are also scared to death of Biden. Who no doubt is NOT playing with a full deck and does have the possibility to be President (oh god help us all!)

    June 8, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. mary

    Good job, Pete. Someone needs to step up and help people realize Palin is not the answer to the GOP current woes. She is divisive and vindictive. Anti-intellectuals might love her, but Pete knows that's a dead end trail for the party. Move her out, and move on.

    June 8, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. John

    Republican Party should just stick to Hunting.

    Palin the Helicopter Wolf Hunter. 😛

    Cheney the Quail Hunter. 😛

    June 8, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. The Big Dog

    It's like living in an unending nightmare. The election is over. Can we chill out for a couple of years and get some work done for the country?

    June 8, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Jean

    So the woman cannot make a decision. I use the term woman loosely but obviously she can procreate.
    Have a flash back and imagine her in office as the VP.
    Now take your Valium and relax. It didn't happen.

    June 8, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. John P

    Bet you she can see New York City from Alaska

    June 8, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |

    If everybody can't listen to my whiny voice I'm not coming. [ This was overheard from a listening post outhouse in Russia.]

    June 8, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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