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. D. Tree

    Oh wow, it just hit me: Sarah Palin is like Heather from "Rock of Love."

    She's basically a celebreality star who thinks she's a bigger a celebrity than she is.

    I can just see her and her "camp" now: "Who does Newt think he is anyway, I'm A-List baby!" 🙂

    June 8, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. rodlang

    It's amazing to watch liberals go berserk over an attractive and successful conservative woman. I can only explain it by saying that liberal men are insecure and liberal women are jealous. That must explain the rabid like attacks.

    June 8, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Connie Kaufman

    Can we just forget about Palin and let her disappear into the Alaskan sunset forever. She has been snubbed by the Republican party and is now playing hard to get. Well maybe she's just not wanted.

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Jackie

    2012 GOP Ticket “Palin/Gingrich” – BLTB (Blind leading the blind)

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. angie in dallas 28

    She wants to be the hero and be loved. She WILL be there.

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Andrew

    Stop reporting on this woman! She's not worth it!

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Nathan

    Hey "southerncousin",

    Your FoxNews.com is showing. Better cover that up.

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Joe from Ohio

    Sarah Palin, –the Dems and liberal media's biggest FEAR !!!

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Deb in Colo

    Guess the Prima Donna is too good to RSVP.

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Free Thinker

    CNN has a sick obsession with Palin. Cover the real news! For example how about doing a huge spread on the muslim terrorist that shot and killed the army recruiter.

    June 8, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. young conservative from NJ is win

    jefe, if you wanna talk about media bias, than explain to me why the washington times was the only viable news source that I've seen make a headline issue of the fact that Obama appointees aquitted several black panthers who intimidated voters as they walked into a Philadelphia voting facility. They were caught on video and one was holding a night stick.

    Now if there were a hate crime of some form in Alaska and Palin's appointees aquitted the performer of said hate crime, not only would every news source be all over it, but you libs wouldn't stop whining about it.

    I guess it's ok though as long as the discrimation is against white people :dodgy:

    June 8, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. theo bortman

    Its you're liberal CNN that keeps bringing up Ms Palin. Seems to me they are afraid of her.

    June 8, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Diane

    Sure, sure. She didn't mean to be in the spotlight... it just happened! And now it's happening again. Will she? Won't she? it's all a manipulation.

    I am not impressed with her 'achievement.' I think she is a blithering idiot. Take her out of Alaska and she is a dismal, incoherent failure. If this is the best the Republicans can do, they really are in trouble. They went from being the country-club party of rich preppies to the trailer-park party of ignorant snake-passers.

    June 8, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Lenny 2.0 in VA

    "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." Maybe she's not going in order to realize her intentions? Just trying to figure out what CNN means in this ticker post is giving me a headache.

    June 8, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Proud American

    Wow CNN is this new? I guess this is what they call a slow news day, same Idiot and 2 articials in the same day.

    June 8, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Beth from Virginia

    Can you imagine this kind of disorganization in the highest position in our country? Another event where no one (even Palin, apparently) knows where she's going or when she's going to be there. Very scarey!!

    June 8, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Alex

    Could you imagine this woman discussing world politics with Vladimir Putin, Ahmadinejad, Pyongyang, Hezbollah, Communist China... you name it! Are people really willing to put – the future of the country on her hands??? the destiny of future generations on her hands??? America is really losing it... it's scary. God help us all if she gets a foot in the White House.

    June 8, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Bob Dog

    Sarah keeps giving and giving. There is no end to her misjudgement, embarrassing behavior, and awkward mistakes. The Democrats couldn't pay for this kind of marvelous publicity. Its just super to see the damage she continues to dish out to her own party.

    What great things we have to look forward to from her in the future.

    June 8, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. jumpugly

    If the GOP puts this much emphasis on Ms.Palin, they are in deeper trouble than we think.

    June 8, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. sbp


    Have you noticed that when making hiring decisions, people often base their decision on education and academic credentials? Maybe it's just me, but I don't want the space shuttle designed by a high school dropout. Intelligence is an attribute that is indicative of problem solving abilities. Regardless of your stand on the issues, why wouldn't you want your government officials to be highly intelligent? I don't agree with Antonin Scalia, but he's brilliant. I'd rather he ran for President than someone who bounced around junior colleges.

    What is with this Republican fixation on having "ordinary folks" running the country (and, by extension, the world). EXTRAordinary folks are more qualified, even if they aren't the people you want to go out for a beer with.

    June 8, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Molly in Phoenix

    What I find ironic is that people still criticize Palin as a poor VP candidate choice even now, in light of what a huge disappointment Joe Biden has become. Sorry folks, but I don't see where Biden is any better a VP then Palin would have been. He's become the official joke of the administration.

    June 8, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Canucks

    I am yet to hear any valuable contributioms that Palin makes to this party, let alone making comments that don't really count in the media. Adice to Plain: if you really want to run for higher office, i would urge you to take a very low key while pushig your resume forward than being in the media all the time.

    Lets go President Obama

    June 8, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. GWB2012

    Ya know, it really sickens me how you dirty dems have the NERVE to criticize Sarah. We Republicans don't really give two hoots what you idiots have to say. She has more class than any of you left wing nut jobs and more experience in her little pinky than your CLUELESS president who has bailed out big business while us middle class are wondering why we can't even refinance when we have high debt but excellent credit. We saw how you crucified and used the race card on your own female candidate – shut your mouths about ours. When we want to know what you think of any of our leaders, we'll ask you. Until then, your opinions are irrelevant – just like you AND your prez!

    June 8, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. JT

    The Amazing Carnac: The answer is 10.

    Now the question – How many more Palin ticker items will CNN put up today?

    Must be an incredibly slow news day and there must be peace around the world to think Palin is newsworthy.

    June 8, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Realistic

    I hope that palin has a chance to run for the office of the presidency of the United States. Maybe she will pick Mitt as her VP and we can all have a good laugh and keep democrats in charge. I mean, this is a lady who could Russia from her backyard, Africa is a country. Mitt of course will again trump tax breaks for the rich, a 1 million men army {as he stated he wanted once}, so much for an army of volunteers. Of course we will need a million army, we still have to go to war with Iran, N.Korea, Syria...

    June 8, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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