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. Rahni Connecticut

    When Palin walks in a room, she suck out the intelligence of people. The Republicans are really hard up for a leader and they found it in Palin. Let Palin run for President in 2012 and President Obama will get a second term and he will have my vote.

    June 8, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. katiec

    The fact that the republican party even acknowledges her is disturbing, although don't know why as most seem to support her radical beliefs and behavior.
    Is anyone else getting as tired as I am of CNN constantly glorifying her, headlining her and their ongoing support??
    They never mention any negatives about her or her action. Right now she is being accussed to using other peoples speeches etc branding them as her own words. And has had to promote fund raisers to fight all the unethical charges made against her.
    She campaigned on anger, hate, lies, exaggerations and division of our country and certainly is not what we need or want.

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |

    Just listening to some of her speech from this weekend, they won't be missing much other than more hatefulness and convoluted words. Those attending will probably enjoy their dinner more without attempting to figure what she is trying to say.

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. The Big Nb

    This is news? Can I have my three minutes back please? Palin is a business, and so long as you continue to cover every meaningless aspect of her career, she will continue to have one. She may be a political wreck, but I bet you her family is well fed.

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. charles

    If Sarah Palin wasn't such a threat, CNN and all the other liberal media would simply ignore her. Here's a self-made woman, a working mom whose son is serving in the Army, supports her daughter who recently had a baby instead of taking the easy way out by covering the situation up and having an abortion, and takes care of a special-needs son. If she were a Democrat, Hollywood would be making a movie of her life and singing her praises!

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. VGal

    Is this really a story?

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Barbara Campbell

    Other news reports indicate that Palin was disinvited to speak because she plagiarized from Newt Gingrich during her speech last week in Alaska.

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    WOW....All the hate in the heart of all you liberals. Obummer was away from his senate duties his entire senate career. I can't wait until 2010 so we can throw the liberal bums out before we become a complete socialist state. Obummer is a thief and liar.

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    Governor Palin is her own woman. I'm glad she isn't answering to ANYONE. Particularily the RNC bafoons and those in the party who ruined it, when Pelosi and Co. cashed in on their arrogance and scandals.

    Stay your own woman, Gov. Palin!

    June 8, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. donttreadonthis!!

    donttreadonme: I hate to break it to you, but as a "Lib.", I am lovin every minute of this!!! 🙂

    June 8, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. jason twombley

    Palin and Newt, sitting on a toot, neither a factor in the brain, Republican are a runaway train....DISASTER !!

    June 8, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Tim

    Hate her – she is representative of everything ugly in america!!!

    June 8, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. Kris

    Please, pull the plug and let her die . . .

    June 8, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. ralp franzese


    we dont like her because she is an idiot pure and simple.

    June 8, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Deb

    For those of you who find her "remarkable" and "self-made", I ask you to raise your expectations.

    June 8, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Neilz

    Tina Fey needs some fresh material for next season. They bring her in as a contractor then just sit her in front of a television and take notes. In turn, besides an untraceable contractors fee, Palin gets some fresh good lines to use on her lecture tour.

    June 8, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Bill Brosky

    This girl is a total joke.

    June 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. Beny

    Failin' Palin, your 15 minutes is up. Go back to Alaska, watch your daughters not practice the abstinence you preach and keep watch on the russians since you can see them from your house.

    June 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Jimmy from Ravenswood, Queens

    Gov. Palin's daughter had her baby because of these same kinds of situations. She always traveling, and not really knowing what's going on with her health (having special children), not knowing what's going on in her house, etc. Next it will be something with her husband again. This time with another woman or man!

    June 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Patty from Pennsylvania

    Palin will not go to this dinner unless she is a headliner

    June 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Independent

    WOW....All the hate in the heart of you liberals. Obummer was away from his senate duties his entire senate career. I can't wait until 2010 when all the communist in the house will be voted out. ( READ THIS TO MEAN YOU LIBS. I KNOW YOU ARE SLOW ) Obummer is a thief and liar.

    June 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Filp

    Hey CNN keep posting more about Palin, but how about putting it in your entertainment section where she belongs?

    June 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Caribou Barbie is a joke. So are you whacky right-wing nuts. Leave the country so Barack has an easier time cleaning up the mess you trash left us.

    June 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. It's just me

    Horribly biased, inaccurate, and frankly, utterly useless non-story. The CNN hatchet man responsible for this tabloid tripe ought to apologize and resign. Seems CNN chooses to keep Palin in the media, and portray that she is the one orchestrating her own publicity, in order to engender the type of frustration levied by some of the previous comments. How bout crawling out of Pelosi's grandma cleavage and investigate her shameless lies????

    June 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. wayne

    Sarah came to NY to recognize Seward of Western NY on the anniversary year of Alaska beoming the 49th state. That is something the Governor should do. This event was in Auburn, NY. Not NYC.

    Sarah is here to stay. Get over it. Your seething hatered is so noted. I would proudly cast my vote for her to be the next commander in chief. Tonight in an interview, she will skewer Mr. Ohcomenowadore for spending money we don't have to solve a problem that was caused by spending money we don't have.

    How is that stimulus bill working out? Your guy won and you are still bitter. Bitter, yup, just like Michelle.

    June 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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