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. Chris

    Love her (not likely for most "Progressives" on here or hate her, she IS a relevant voice in the Conservative movement. When Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, John Kerry, John Edwards ,et al continued to "loiter about the political scene" after the 2004 elections I hope my side wasn't regurgitating their disdain and hate for a differing political voice.

    The woman is highly driven, energetic, espouses morals and values (and actually lives up to them), and, yes, is even (gasp) articulate and smart. Everything "Progressives" love in a woman (so long as they don't have an R in front of their name).

    Get over yourselves already! Its not like this is TMZ covering Paris Hilton ad nauseum. This woman, whether she has a presidential-candidate future or not, is relevant.

    June 8, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Her plans are unclear...she doesn't have a clue what she is doing tonight...don't you understand that if she gives a commitment, back in Alaska, Bristol will throw an abstinence party, and Sarah will come home to more and more grandkids??

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

    Palin is the most powerful Republican in the country. All other Republicans should bow before her.

    June 8, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Poor communication and indecisiveness on her part caused the promoters of this event to pull her speaking position and offer it to Newt Gingrich, he may be a tool but at least he is much more reliable than her.

    June 8, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. cathy

    I loved the retort to Ann Coulter's notes on Sarah Palin in Time Magazine – when Ms Coulter said Sarah Palin was responsible for more votes in a Presidential election than any VP in the past.

    This is true – but the votes were for the OTHER side@@@

    June 8, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. truthsayer

    CNN!...we dont care or are you a spokesman for Sarah Palin

    June 8, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Alex in Wisconsin

    And there you have it, the Republican leadership bending backwards for Sarah Palin, but then pushing her aside for Newt Gingrich. It seems like the GOP can't decide how best to use their Caribou Barbie Doll. Let her speak and risk saying something stupid (since the Ticker likes informing on every stupid thing she says) or keep her quiet and have her later blame the Media later for not speaking at the engagement.

    Personally, I hope she speaks and gets the room jumping to their feet. Lets face it, the GOP leadership loves it when she says simpleminded things that are critical of Obama. But that's the problem with the GOP, no complexity of thought. If they were playing chess, they would lose every time; not because they don't know the rules, but because they don't anticipate things more than 2 steps ahead and rely too heavily on intimidation. That's probably the reason they can't come up with a viable plan. Step one- Tax cuts, step two-smaller government with bigger military...After that, they have no clue how to solve America's problems And Sarah Palin best demonstrates this every time she opens her mouth.

    But let them question every move Obama makes until it's Checkmate for them. Then they can do that soul searching thing again...wait, did they even start?

    June 8, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. I can see a cornfield from my house

    Sarah's just being her usual self. This is the way she was before she ran for VP and the way she has been since then. It's nothing new or strange for her.

    I would be surprised if she actually felt she had a chance for the 2012 presidential race or even running for Governor of Alaska again.

    She is taking her time in the sun to build a future for herself. She will have fame and money from her book deals and her personal appearances.

    If she is serious about helping children with autism and other disabilities then she may actually be able to do some good.

    June 8, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Jane

    I'm a Democrat for Palin! I hope she helps the Democrats in 2012 as much as she helped them in 2008!

    June 8, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Carramea55

    It amazes me that the Republicans even consider this woman worthy of any attention at all. She lost McCain the election. I as a woman wouldnt vote for her as dog catcher.

    June 8, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. Chrissy

    Dear Love,
    Well, it's hard to ignore anyone the "media" keeps shoving downing our throats.
    However, Ms Palin feels she CAN ignore everyone – even leaders in her own party.
    She has no tack or political skills.
    Can't wait For Her To Fail, Again

    June 8, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Claudia in Houson

    Palin speaks ebonics and Republicans with their Harvard law and doctorate degrees, etc. don't understand a word she speaks. She'd be better understood giving a speech in a trailor park instead of a tux and gown affair, besides whose going to buy her clothes.

    June 8, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Johnny-Boy

    Two days, and this woman has had 3 spots on CNN, as if she were in anyway relevant.

    CNN has become nothing better than just another celebrity gossip rag. TMZ, CNN and Perez Hilton, birds of a feather.

    CNN was once a strong, legitimate leader NEWS, now it just tries to make the news instead of reporting on it. A shame really, I'm sure that bernard Shaw is so very proud.

    CNN is a joke these days, which is why they spend so much time talking about another joke, PALIN..

    June 8, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. RJ

    Please enough of her, when one thinks to themselves that theres nothing impossible but yet the impossible did happen and Palin actually got picked for VP, having said that she also got a glimpse of the high life and its like a drug with her, she`s gotta have it! Unbelievable to think she can actually look the American people in the eye and say she should be the one in control, come on, didnt fall off the tater wagon yesterday now, please the sake of the American people, Sarah Palin please go home, be quite and be thankful for what you do have!

    June 8, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Kathryn Erb

    ANYTHING this woman does should raise questions.

    June 8, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. MP

    RSVP??? But how will she fit shopping and use her pre-purchased tickets to the Baltimore Aquarium?

    June 8, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Film Professor

    Just like Palin herself, CNN's continued reporting on everything Palin has all of the same substance as a story on Britney Spears or Paris Hilton.

    Who knew that there were hillbillies up in Alaska?

    June 8, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Holly

    I am dumbfounded by how much media is spun out of control with personal beliefs. Does anyone actually listen to what they are saying when they REPEAT almost to the letter the words that the reporter is saying instead of their own interpretation? One person commented that it is okay that Obama is taking all the perks associated with the presidency because Bush did. I am not for or against Bush or Obama. I am against forced theft of my paycheck to pay for perks. The government is supposed to protect us from foreign and domestic enemy and also to protect us against fraud. All of the other situations the government has taken on is an erosion of your power as a person. After reading the comments, I understand why the parties assume individuals are incapable of making their own decision.

    June 8, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. mike

    I suspect that if there was not fear of Palin, she would be ignored. I do hate to think of how much feces slinging will be done if she happens to declare that she is a candidate.

    June 8, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Cathy Reid

    I am sure they have a front row seat next to the fat man Rush. Maybe the two of them will duke it out. They are both losers!! Send her packing back to the hole she belongs in.
    Hopefully, never never to be heard from again.

    June 8, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Richard L

    Does Palin do ANY work at all IN the state of Alaska?

    June 8, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Ken


    You liberals are really afraid of her. This is evident by all the venom that you guys spew at her whenever possible.

    June 8, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. matt

    Seems like if I wanted to read what dumb people of america are writing I came to the right place attacking Sarah guarantees a Obama 2012 reelection wow considering Obama hasn't done nothing yet oh wait he made N Korea dispose of all its nuclear material by holding out his arms he brought peace to the middle east please what has he done that Sarah couldn't do besides bet that the lakers will win the NBA championship burt I guess watching 10 guys chasing a brown ball is more exciting then helping feed the hungry in africa or helping americans find jobs

    June 8, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. LLM in MD

    say it 'aint so JOE!!

    June 8, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Mctuffington

    I was born in, and currently live in the state of Alaska. I have never voted for Palin in any election. I hope that folks in other states don't view all Alaskans in a negative light because of her views and actions. We have signs all over Anchorage that read "impeach Palin" and there is a good chance that she will not win the next governors race. The only reason she won in the first place is because she was able to convince people in bush communities that her opponent was anti gun. Half of the population of our state lives in villages and gun rights are very important to them.

    June 8, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12