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. Don of Iowa

    Ann I agree I hope Palin runs for President in 2012, that way the Democrats are guaranteed a shoe in regardless who they run, they could run GW Bush again and beat her in a landslide, they could run Popeye and win by a landslide with that bozo as the person they are running against, go Palin, make sure the Republicans are destroyed as a party by 2012, way to go bozoette, you rock our democratic world and political hopes, with you on the political scene no one will vote Republican by 2014, there will not be one Republican left but you Sarah Bozo

    June 8, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. C.K.

    She has no clue, the GOP has no clue. Their all clueless and stupid. Sarah, go back to your village in Alaska and deal with the problems there instead of trying to get your ugly face in the spotlight. Loser.

    June 8, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Sarah Palin hits the Big Apple"

    She punched Coulter in the throat?

    And Southercousin, please, give it up. The list you made is not only full of fabrications, but your ommission of things such as Bush/Cheney ordering the actual torture of people in our custody makes you look completely absurd. Ranting about conspiracy theories about "illegals" and "the unions" while your GOPer buddies should be looking at prosecution for war crimes is patently retarded.

    June 8, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make this moron your candidate in 2012. I cannot stress enough how much we want her to run as the standard bearer for the American Taliban party.

    June 8, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    @ donttreadonme, who said "The libs can't stand it that a "self made" woman has risen to such heights."

    Right, the height of infamy is right where everyone should aspire to be.

    June 8, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Roling In the Aisles, VA

    Dear Harpy,
    Your fifteen minutes was over in November of last year.Take a hint.
    Do you REALLY think you're accomplishing anything by your bitter, partisan, one-woman crusade against tolerance, decency, and efforts to heal our country and restore its place in the world as a leader, instead of a laughing stock?

    Why don't you go take care of your family, so Alaskans don't have to support more of your grandchildren? What good are you doing the citizens of your state? You must be out of your narrow little mind to think you'll get re-elected when its clear you're a mean-spirited hypocrite and an opportunist, seeking only to gain more power and prestige.

    See if Cheney will rent you his bunker 'til you're driven from office. And don't let the door hit you in the....

    June 8, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Jason

    She is in New York on business. Not for this dinner.. Let her complete the work at hand and then decide if she is going to go to Dinner...

    This just shows where the rest of the republican party priorities are at.

    June 8, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. inthewest

    Just go away, Sarah Palin

    June 8, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    I would love to see Governor Palin run for President in the next presidential election. She would have my vote.I think she's always been proud to be an American!

    I am too, a Proud American AND a Veteran but, that does not make me President material. I hope when you cast you vote, you do so for the candidate that you feel can take charge of whatever situation is heaped upon them as opposed to shallow voting, i.e. because they are a woman, man, white, black, or just fill in the blank.

    June 8, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Don of Iowa

    I would bet Hundred dollar bills to donuts this trash queen lives in a trailed up there in Alaska, she has to, she is truly the loudest of trailor trash queens to ever come down the old coutry gravel roads of the bigoted conservatives of old, there is no way this greasy trailor trash has ever lived in a real house, she has to have a trailor there somewhere on her property she personally lives in, it just has to be.

    June 8, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Chickenfoot

    Does this broad ever stay in Alaska...

    Thanks McCain, for dragging her out of her Igloo. Now she never shuts up...

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

    can we just let Sarah go?

    or is this just a common fascination with car wrecks?

    aren't we all better than this?


    June 8, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. SlowGun

    @Ann June 8th, 2009 1:33 pm ET

    I would love to see Governor Palin run for President in the next presidential election. She would have my vote.I think she's always been proud to be an American!


    Hey Ann...My 10 year old daugther is proud to be an American...if that is your only critiera...would you consider voting for my daughter instead on Palin...FYI – My 10 year old daughter is just as smart (if not smarter) then Palin.

    June 8, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Dee

    I love Sarah. Everyone's afraid of her, because she doesn't play the games politician's play. She says what she means, and means what she says.
    There's a fine line between love & hate and when so many people say they hate her, I believe they are just afraid of the truth she is willing to speak. And, just because she doesn't speak like a slick, Harvard grad, but just like most ordinary people (I can tell by the way they write their comments), they are really just afraid of looking themselves in the mirror.
    The Rep party needs to get a grip and utilize her instead of trying to tread this middle of the road stuff. Most Reps are busy doing the right thing, living good lives, working hard and talking just like Sarah. She will definitely get my vote when it comes her turn.

    June 8, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. yuri

    We would like to cachinnate at a hypothetical idea of Palin runnin' for Prez., and McCain, for Veep, in 2012.

    June 8, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. AJB

    If the standards for political office have been reduced to the likes of Palin being acceptable, God help us all. She is in no way shape or form qualified nor is she capable of handling the leadership of this country. Heck, she can't even run Alaska.

    She is an insult to all women with live brain cells.

    June 8, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. JT

    she cannot get her story straight – this happens every time she is supposed to show up; nobody knows for sure until she either does or does not. she is in; she is out; wait, she will be in town, can she speak? no, sorry, we already got newt ,since you bailed on us the first time. well if i can't speak after all i may or may not show up. humphhh. ....she is an amatuer.

    June 8, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Seattle Girl

    Sarah Palin can not even handle the simplest call of proper etiquette – letting your host know whether or not you will be attending a function. She strikes me as an immature, totally self-serving, diva. Anyone this immature will NEVER be POTUS! Dream on Sarah!!!

    June 8, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Joe in CA

    And the title of this article was suppose to be a surprise??? She's been unclear since the free wardrobe, bridge to nowhere, and the free flights for her children (back taxes). Isn't she suppose to be running her own state anyway? What the heck is that hick doing in NCY??

    June 8, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Obama 2012

    To "Elliott" I don't think the people of Alaska are pissed. I "KNOW" they are happy to have her out of their state...far, far, away!!! 🙂

    June 8, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Becky

    Here we go with more Palin-supporters saying that those who don't support Palin are "scared". Yeah, scared of an idiot getting more power. Palin holds her Bible in one hand and a bucket of hatred in her other hand. She's dangerous.

    June 8, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Rider Buck

    The real reason that most Dems and liberals dislike Sarah Palin is that they are truly threatened by her and they are concerned about the large crowds and enormous publicity that she generates wherever she goes!

    June 8, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Ted

    Who is watching Russia from Palin's outhouse while she is in DC?

    June 8, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Brian

    It seems like she can't get her itinerary straight any time she travels anywhere. Imagine how effective she'd be if she held a political office with greater responsibilities than governor of a state of 686,000.

    I don't care how hot you think she is, if Republicans still consider her the future of their party they're in real trouble.

    June 8, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. Professor GOFORIT

    Sarah Palin is very hot and very bright. Her only fault is she mwasn't born with a silver spoion in her mouth or wasn't able to graduate from Harvard Business School, or some other large university, as most of those in the national media have done. So she's not an elitist and doesn't represnet their moral or poltical values. But in the last election I believe she and John n McCain got 55 million votes. That's a lot of people who thought enough of Palin to vote for her!

    June 8, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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