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. Dave, the truth teller

    I adore Sarah because everytime her name is mentioned you Lib monkeys run around in your government-funded cages and throw poop. Please, CNN, run many more stories about her. Libs are soooo predictable....

    June 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Sharon Kitchen

    again.............who cares?

    June 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Steve

    I don't care one way or another about Ms. Palin. I am disturbed by the mindsets of the people who find her views appealing...some of whose comments appeared after the "story" about her visit to NYC. Where were these people and their outrage during the 8 years of Republican excess? Seems a bit hypocritical to be railing about President Obama now. At best I find the religious extremism and dumbing down she attracts really disappointing. At worst, it's frightening.

    June 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. carol

    Her lack of response is typical in that she does not know how to conduct herself professionally – and then again, she knows it will make the news, regardless of how dumb she looks!

    June 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. sammieb51

    Such a drama queen this one ... we should all hit our knees and Thank GOD we missed the bullet on this babe.

    June 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. big papa

    You Palin loving "connedselfservatives" are so dumb you make single-celled organisms look like Rhoades scholars...

    ...maybe Sarah should go back to NYC and find out why white policemen keep shooting down Black ones?

    June 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Carol from Pennsylvania

    What a mess! She can't even handle a dinner invitation correctly and she wants to run for President? No way.

    I can see the Conservative Repulican lineup for 2012 already: President – Rush Linbaugh; Vice President – Sarah Palin. Then Ann Coulter will be nominated as Secretary of State. This is a low as they can go.

    June 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Her crown is nothing but white people and she can not win a Presidential race with just her white base. She is not appealing to most woman or minority so I don't see the need to be worry about her being our next President. She can even keep up with her schedule let along run the USA.

    June 8, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    She just doesn't get it. Words hurt when they have truth and conviction behind them. You had the audacity to come to Virginia and say that one part of America is more American than another. No one put those words in your mouth except you Sarah. I will NEVER respect you after those comments.

    June 8, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. jojo

    more entertaining than our muslim obama

    June 8, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. frank

    Who give a rip what the Govoner of Alaska does. She isn't a key player anymore and won't be in the future. Drop the hate CNN.

    June 8, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Steph

    Oh, please! She LOVES the spotlight. We would love her trip to be a low-key affair where CNN doesn't write stories about her every move.
    FYI – WE DON't CARE!

    June 8, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. J.P.

    What's that? Obama's economic "stimulus" spending is a "miserable failure" and has done NOTHING, ZERO, ZIP, NADA for the economy, other than retarding recovery and economic prosperity??

    Quick, throw up some news about Palin!

    At some point in the near future, even Obama's shaved-head, hara-krishna-like band of tambarine beaters is going to have to admit that Obama's "plans" to help the economy recover are going to produce nothing. When he fails to produce these magical 600K jobs, the media is going to have to ask itself some serious questions... like whether they will choose to go after this and pursue it like they would have if it had been a republican who said this, or if they're going to keep on being the PR team for the Obama administration.

    If they choose the latter, they will have smeared the names of Journalism greats like Murrow, Kuralt, Woodward and Bernstein.

    June 8, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. John in Ohio

    What? Unsure about this pillar of stability?

    Was McCain intentionally and permanently sabotaging the Republican Party when he picked her for running mate? I don't really care, because either way it's frigging hilarious.

    June 8, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. JT

    CNN – Slow news day that you have to dig for Palin stories???

    Given – Palin is an airhead with no idea how to run her family, much less a state, much less how to accept an invitation anywhere graciously.

    People really have to stoop really low in order to look up to this bubble of a person.

    June 8, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. RealityKing

    More tabloid news from CNN. Still wondering why your ratings are sooooo low??

    June 8, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Bob

    CNN never misses an opportunity to bash Sarah Palin.

    CNN has become 'state run' media, tilting its coverage toward the Party of Government.

    June 8, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. gl, From Pittsburgh

    She is self servering person and will only speak at events where she is the only public figure on the agenda to speak. She will never share the spot light with any other public figure because that mean she will not be the center of attendtions.

    June 8, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. KMAN

    Obviously, the GOP is in a very bad way when they only have Newt or Sarah to headline their fundraiser ... neither commands the respect of anyone with normal intelligence.

    June 8, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. dennisk

    Sarah Palin is an intellectual lightweight and low-level career politician better suited to "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!" than national office.
    But please, CNN, report on her every word and move to whip up the base, so the GOP has no choice but the take her as the standard-bearer in 2012. Now THAT'S entertainment!

    June 8, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. DaBird

    CNN keeps focusing on the Republicans with this blog and the TV. That's why your ratings are going down. The Democrats have been in charge for 2 1/2 years and Obama 5 months. How about focusing on what Obama is doing or NOT doing.

    June 8, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. demwit

    Did she spent millions of taxpayers dollars in NY like Obama? Oh.., thats right, these are "business trips".

    June 8, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Imarriedmysister in TheOleSouth

    Sarah is great,she looks like my sister.

    June 8, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. GOTCHA

    @ expat American,

    Only in America can I say " I don't agree with Obama" and the libs interpret it as racist......

    I say " you shouldn't have sex before marriage" and the libs say you're hypicritical because a family member of mine did.......

    I speak "straight talk" and don't use misleading tangents to avoid answering questions, and libs call it un-intelligent..........

    I believe in right and wrong as defined by generations before me when it come to morality and libs call it religious nutcases.

    You all are unbelievable..

    And by the way NO , by generations before me I am not speaking of slavery or women can't vote or any other of the crap you will try and tag me with.

    June 8, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. elana

    Well , well, well!! It's another trip to New York!! Yipee!! Grap some credit cards from the thRNC Chairman, Michael Steele and SHOP TIL YOU DROP!! Then CRASH the RNC fund raising bash, and while you are at it, take to the podium, push New Gingrich aside, and convince ALL of those in attendance and of course, the dashing media YOU AND ONLY YOU, SARA PALIN, WILL BE THE 2012 GOP CANDIDATE!!!

    June 8, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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