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. Sick -n- Tired

    And CNN once again is right there to tell us all about every move this know nothing imbecile makes! Nothing to see here folks! Please keep moving along! NEXT!

    June 8, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Chris

    Again, an irrelevant person takes center stage for no reason. Why would we care if she might show up to a dinner that has little to no bearing on the world at large?

    June 8, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Typical Republican

    Sarah Palin: We LOVE you for being such a flake and never knowing what you are going to do. You are a shining symbol of what us republicans are all about: Never knowing what we are going to do.

    Keep on keeping on Sarah.

    ps: I hope one of your children doesn't get pregnant while you are taking care of, who knows what, until you take care of it.

    psps: Please don't charge us to fly your family there, like you usually do.

    June 8, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Mainstream

    Is this what we have come to as Americans? Longing to have a retard woman as president? She is no smarter than a 5th Grader!

    June 8, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. JVS

    I think I'm actually starting to feel sorry for this poor lady. She actually thinks she has a chance at president in 2012? Bless her heart! She doesn't even have a chance at being re-elected governor! Poor Sarah

    June 8, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Say what?

    Sure "Love"... We can all thank Mc. Cain for putting her in the spotlight and making her feel relevant. She will be the death of the republican party. Does she really think she could ever get enough vote to win a national election? Just watch and see how all those fellow republicans who claim to support her, they will all chew her up and spit her out.

    June 8, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Carlos Harrisburg PA

    Well for here everything is unclear. I think is that fog she has in her brain. You betcha...win win.

    June 8, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Ancient River

    Alaska just made her take the stimulus funds after she vetoed them They NEED them! That and her absence from Alaska a large part of the time as she continues to campaign are certain to make this term her last.

    June 8, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Steve in AK

    Palin can't seem to make a plan without changing it or screwing it up through miscommunication. Her left hand doesn't know what her right hand is doing and her staff can't seem to figure it out for her either.

    And she is a Republican front runner? Thank God she ain't running the country.

    June 8, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. SlowGun

    So she talks about all of her christian values...but wants as much government money fas she can get to build weapons...and at the same time calls Obama a socialist for helping the poor and reforming help care.
    Ummm...I wonder what Jesus would think. I mean he spent all his time helping the poor and healing the sick. And told us to turn the other cheek...so what christain values does she represent?

    June 8, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Have no fear Rev. Wright is here

    She rocks, on the other hand i'm glad to see the leachs in society are out in full force.

    June 8, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. sam

    Go Away, Please!!!!

    June 8, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Frisky

    Right! Sarah Palin, white, middle class and good looking didn't have the advantages of Obama, mixed race, single mom. He had many more disadvantages and has clearly risen much higher in every way.

    June 8, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. obama support team

    Sarah Palin doesn't represent the average American woman. She is a racist and a bigot.

    June 8, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Don of Iowa

    Every Republican in the country is worried the Moose Cow from Alaska is going to cause further harm to their already overly tarnished public perception. Already battling major losses of numbers of Republicans to Independent and Democratic groups they are once agained plagued by the open mouth with no brains to back it up Alaskan Govenor who has probably single handedly sent the numbers of Republicans plummeting with her vigorous attacks of anyone not a major fundamentalist and extreme right wing party member, meaning if you have higher than an 8th grade education and can think for yourself you are not a Republican. As an Independent who has grown very tired of the constant beating of the drums for the haves and have mores of this country by the Republican party I can only say one thing, the Republicans definitely deserve this bozo from Alaska, it has to definitely be karma coming home to roost, she has done mopre to destroy this ill gotten party than any 10 Democrats could have ever hoped for, way to go Sarah, if you keep it up there wont be a Republican party by 2012, who could possibly ask for more?

    June 8, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Jean

    My property taxes just went up 25% and there is talk of raising our state taxes.

    Next will be our federal taxes.

    We are so screwed.

    June 8, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Sick -n- Tired

    Both southerncousin and donttreadonme put together still don't amount to one complete brain! So take their idiotic know nothing comments for what they are! Fools!

    June 8, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. John R.

    I would rather have Palin than Obama as President. Obama is going to get us all killed. Just b/c Obama went to an Ivy League school, doesn't mean his judgment is sound. He is opening us wide open for another sucker punch. How much you wanna bet if we get hit again, Barack blames it on Bush?

    June 8, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Alex

    This sounds more like an attempt to bring her into the fold as opposed to supporting her as a viable candidate for the Presidency. Ain't no way this side of God's green earth that Palin would stand a chance of getting elected. As a Republican, I sure as heck wouldn't vote for her.

    June 8, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. Lynn

    If she takes so much time making up her mind about whther to go to a republican fund raiser, how would anyone ever be able to even consider as a candidate for any federal position. Ask the citizens of Wasila how well she did econpomically leaving them so far into debt.

    The woman is not going because she won't be the prima donna.

    June 8, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Tracy

    Palin is smart to avoid these GOP functions right now. The next election is still 3 1/2 years away. Why get into the mud slinging and left leaning media light now? Palin was the breath of fresh air during the election- someone from the outside. Why ruin one of your best electable qualities? Lets just see how everyone feels after a few more years- more auto job losses, higher taxes, wasteful spending. Just look at the GM plants that are going to close- MI (Orion, Pontiac, Grand Rapids, Livonia, Flint, Willow Run) TN (spring Hill), DE (Wilmington) IN (Indanaplis), OH (Mansfield, Columbus, Parma), VA (Fredericksburg), NY (Massena) MA (Boston), FL (Jacksonville)..what about the other US companies that provide parts for these plants? And the communities that will suffer less revenue? No, Palin isn't the Dem's biggest concern...

    June 8, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. Don of Iowa

    Southern Cousin, you need to go get a breathe of fresh air and come in out of fantasy land where you Republicans hide from reality and try and pretend you have all the answers, it is people like you who have put Sarah Stupid up as high as she is and also why the Republican party is heading for total dismissal as a party that matters in this country. With your hatred and bigotry and devisiveness people like you and Palin have made the Republican party what it is today, the laughing stock of the world over how such morons could ever have any control in a country not mired in the 19th century, hate to tell you but we moved out of the 19th, and have since moved into the 21 century, would be nice if you critters with out a brain would come join us in the present instead of living in your bigoted past.

    June 8, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Roxie Southern Oregon

    Perhaps Ms. Wink is out panhandling on the streets of NY trying to raise the outstanding monies owed for the $10,000 in costs associated with trips taken by her children which she claimed were valid expenditures for Alaskan tax payers. There are those who would encourage this corrupt Governor to participate in a higher political office... "she deserves a lot of credit for her remarkable achievements." Yep, greed and corruption are quite an achievement.

    June 8, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Frank

    What do you expect? Americans elected W. For two terms no less! No wonder they see Palin as the answer. Problem is they don't even know the question.

    June 8, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. msk440

    Judging by the vitriol spewed by the left here, I'd say Palin has given them reason to worry. Four years from now when we're mired in stagflation as a result of the massive confiscation of wealth that
    Obama has used to expand government, we'll see a nation awakened by the economic destruction he is delivering. A Jimmy Carter redux.

    June 8, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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