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. m cella

    Ann, Dontreadonme: what trailer parks do you hail from? It's yahoos like you who gave us 4 too many years of the Bush admin. I'd say if you want this woman as your leader, go live in Alaska!

    June 8, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Jo Anne Weathers - Colonia, N.J.

    I think the Media has created a monster who now is a threat to the entire country. Governor Palin is NOT Presidential material and the fact that you keep her in the limelight making her think she is – well, she may be newsworthy but she is certainly not Politically astute.
    With her in the front-running, the GOP will not have a chance of taking
    back any majority or the White House before 2024.
    President Obama will do his 8- year consecutive terms and I believe
    Sec. of State Clinton will then make her final run. (Yes, I do!!!!)
    So please – Keep Ms. Sarah in the news...front and center. The right-wing thinks we (Liberals) are afraid of her. Believe me, we feel sorry for her.

    June 8, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. dash

    Why is this news... we all know "Republicans don't have a clue."

    June 8, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Yam

    I hope they run her in 2010! Obama will have no problems defeating her.

    June 8, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. tj

    Who ever will vote for Palin for President is a fool. Close you eyes
    now open your eyes can you see her on the world stage? She is
    Damage Goods and a liar.

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

    Intended low key? By who? Certainly not Palin who will do everything she can to grab the headlines.
    Did any of you read the article about an important Memorial Service for our veterans where Palin did not respond to the RSVP until the day before the event, consequently was not on program. She showed up demanding a seat on the stage, the right to make a speech, wearing a mini skirt? An honorable tribute to our veterans.
    She is too ambitions, too unintelligent, too phony and will self destruct.

    June 8, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Daivie

    The Coming Palin Winter. Republicans obviously are hoping for Obama to stumble; and they will support the frontrunner in 2012, whomever that may be. And guess what? It's going to be the moronic Palin. And should, by some miracle, Palin win the presidency, the U.S. is in for a 4 year Palin Winter that will be far worse than a nuclear winter. Apart from the facts that she is clueless, inexperienced and an idiot, Sarah Palin is the most repulsive, grotesque reactionary to seek high office since Spiro Agnew. That speaks volumes for red state intellect.

    June 8, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Don of Iowa

    lulu... the fool of Repugnantland, hehehe, they love to put up your comments when you show how utterly pathetic you truly are lulu, way to go for giving them a reason to do so.

    June 8, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. GOP = 21st century dodo

    The only people who think Sarah Palin is "smart" are people dumber than Sarah Palin, ie the GOP Base.

    June 8, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. CNN Just Can't Help Themselves

    Like watching a slow motion police chase, a wildfire or a bear caught in a tree, CNN can't help promoting Palin

    June 8, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Democrat

    Palin and her family represent nearly everything that is wrong with this country and the attitude and ignorance of the people in it. Please stop reporting her whereabouts. Maybe if she can't read her made up newspapers and see where she's going to be, she'll forget where to go and ne'er be seen again. 🙂

    June 8, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Antonio from Chicago

    Doesn't CNN have more important things to report on?

    June 8, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. ric in NY

    LOL you liberals are just so scared of her!!! A ha ha ha ha..

    Go Sarah..you're the only chance this nation has after Barry and the Dramarats literally tank our economy and national security.

    June 8, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Matt

    Who cares if she's attending a dinner? Real news please. kthx

    June 8, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. G SMITH PA

    Where does all the hateful Democrats hang out, on CNN Comments
    board. Sarah Palin in 2012 for a better America, a better government.

    President Obama is a waste.

    June 8, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. watching

    will the Diva show up?

    June 8, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Geoffrey in Lowell MA

    No matter whether you are left or right, Sarah Palin is a Diva, a loose cannon and a rather dim bulb even though she has a preternatural ability and drive to get attention for herself.

    She is the best thing to happen to the Democratic party there ever was.

    Most remarkable is her put down of Federal funding. Alaska is the most Federally subsidized state in the union. If you are an Alaskan, she is going to cost you a lot of money in a time when money is tight.

    June 8, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Barbara Independent in NY

    Who cares! Why anyone would waste time listening to this quasi- literate woman speak isn't even worth figuring out.

    June 8, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. William Hoffman

    Seriuously CNN, you call this news yet somehow I don't see any reference on your site to the EU parliamentary elections in which the Liberals and Socialists took a beating and the Conservatives like Merkel and Sarkozy made huge gains. Is this what is comes down too now, trying to ignore major news it it's bad news for Democrats, Obama, and a rejection of federal debt spending?

    June 8, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Larry Greenenknoffer

    I am starting to think Palin and Limbaugh and Gingrich and Coulter and Cheney and Rove are stealth Democrats, moles planted to devastate the Republican Party from inside.

    June 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Tod

    She is not getting her way so she want to have a temper tantrum.

    If she can not have it her way then she does not want to be there.

    I can not wait until 2012 when she well probably truely embarrass herself or will already have faded into nothingness .

    June 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Sarah Palin is truly a leader in the Republican National Party.
    Republicans seek her input on the issues of the day
    She is a role model for other Republicans.
    She represents what conservatives and Republicans are all about!

    🙂 Liberal Democrats, Can you feel it? Can you feel the joy? The weight and stress of the next election cycle lifting off of your shoulders. I know I can feel it.

    June 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Lisa B

    The party of NO must really be desperate to be seeking Palin as an icon for the party. They are still basing this woman experience and leadership on how she looks. She is more like the BUTT of the party. Get over GOP's, she will not be showing up for this dinner. She don't like you guys either. She's in a party of her own, the ditsy party. John MCcain threw her under the bus after the election, why are you guys holding on?

    June 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. steve

    southerncousin, I agree 100%! This 'story' is just a diversion from whats going on in this country and CNN is censoring all of it..

    June 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Buzz

    Why are you liberals so hateful?

    June 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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