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. Willy Brown

    Welcome! See you in 2012

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

    Wow, nothing like a Palin headline to get the hateful comments in droves.

    Let's see how many comments CNN allows to be posted regarding to and making fun of the Govenor's special needs child.

    You want to attack her policies, fine. But leave her baby out of it, you liberal sickos.

    June 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. P. Y.

    She doesn't know what RSVP means !

    June 8, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. zig

    Sarah who??????

    June 8, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. tn mom

    There just aren't enough words to convey exactly how much I don't care.

    PLEASE stop covering her and her antics and dysfunctional family. We didn't vote for her!

    June 8, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Mike S., New Orleans

    She sure knows how to milk the media, doesn't she?
    "Will she show, won't she show? Will she speak, won't she speak?"

    I hope the banquet serves fish, and it has lots of bones in it.

    June 8, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. geecee

    I've heard it say that when Todd blows into her ear, dust comes out the other one. That about says it all!!

    June 8, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Leah

    While CNN is trying to trump up Palin, why isn't it reporting on the huge fraud and wasteful spending in the defense department dating back to 2001....just who was in charge for the past eight years??? No oversight in defense spending, no oversight in banking, no oversight in the effectiveness of "No Child Left Behind"...on and on by the party who falsely claim to be economic conservatives..

    June 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Judy Zukoski, Barnesville, PA

    Regarding Ann's comment about SP always being "proud to be an American," can you tell me why, then, did she attend rallies for her husband's group that wanted to secede from the United States?

    June 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Patriot

    This woman is nothing more than your garden variety of trailer trash. Ignore this idiot and hopefully she'll go away.

    June 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. GOP = 21st century dodo

    "Not everyone had the advantages of Obama to be able to attend an exclusive private prep-high school. "


    Obama went to top schools because of his dedication and intelligence, and because of the sacrifices his mother made (a food stamp is not an "advantage"). Sarah Palin did not attend top schools because she's just too dumb.

    June 8, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. bppack

    risen to such heights?? governor of a state with fewer people than Richmond? wow. every Democrat should be thrilled that she is still a factor in Republican politics. I'm praying for her to be their next presidential nominee.

    June 8, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Connie

    She's a pathetic excuse for a politician.

    June 8, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    WOW.... all the hate the liberals have in their heart is just awful. Obummer spent his entire senate life away from his duties. I can't wait until 2010 so we can clear the idiots out of office before we turn into a complete socialist state. Obummer is a liar and thief.

    June 8, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Kristin

    Who cares?

    June 8, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Darth Vadik, CA

    I say she stick her hand down that turkey beheader that was behind her and makes sure it is still sharp

    June 8, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Royster

    You "wanted" a maverick, you wanted an outsider to Washington politics, you wanted someone who did not owe their career to anyone in D.C. and was not beholden to anyone in D.C, did not feel responsible to anyone in D.C., and evidently who does not feel a need to answer phone calls from anyone in D.C.......

    YOU GOT HER!!!!!

    So....you got what you asked for.......too bad it may not be what you want or need. You are stuck with this boat anchor of political unpredictablilty! This is the person who would be V.P. Leave em laughin!

    June 8, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Lynn

    Why would anyone need to wait on her to tell them what she is doing. She is doing what she always does – lie and be dumb!

    June 8, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Jim in San Jose

    This woman is clueless and doesn't have what it takes to be governor, let along president. She needs to go back to her cave or at least stop embarrassing herself.

    June 8, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Melissa

    I love how conservatives always claim that liberals are afraid of Palin, because she is so popular and a great leader. PLEASE! Sarah Palin is nothing but an ignorant hick who needs to stay in Alaska. If this is the GOP's "saving grace" they need to start looking ahead to 2016.

    June 8, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Jim

    To donttreadonme

    Sarah Palin had many more advantages then Barack Obama, the difference is Barack has a brain. Palin – self made – laughable. I beleive if she was not selected as vp then we would of never of heard of her. Oh the only reason she was selected was becasue she is a women – nothing more! Goes to show how this person will use anything to her advantange including exploiting her children to get ahead – and this is the family values you neo conservative want? Nice no wonder your party is extinct.

    June 8, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. matt

    Libs or Obama knights still haven't told me what hes done since he has been in office Iran still defies the UN and the USA so does North Korea. Africa is still in a hell hole like Somalia people in the US are without jobs bad economy President Obama calls for a Palestianian state which they don't want peace with Israel and most of the arab states are still at war with Israel and Obama keeps going around the world apologizing for American and Israel. Don't give in Bibi tell Clinton and her messiah obama where to stick it

    June 8, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Bobby G.

    How does CNN journalists justify the title "Palin in political hot seat once again" when the next paragraph says she's only in DC because of State business? Even her own party is not expecting her to attend anything beyond her business.

    CNN stretches the story so far beyond the known facts that it's no longer reporting news, it's creating it. Shame on CNN.

    June 8, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Jeff Fyke

    Sarah Palin is the ultimate flake. There have to be more qualified Republican women!!

    June 8, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. DAN

    donttreadonme June 8th, 2009 1:37 pm ET

    The libs can't stand it that a "self made" woman has risen to such heights. Libs judge people based on their academic credentials and how many degrees they have obtained. They use the education system to try to keep social/class order and really hate it when someone bucks the system. Not everyone had the advantages of Obama to be able to attend an exclusive private prep-high school. Even if you don’t agree with her politics, her story is amazing and she deserves a lot of credit for her remarkable achievements.


    Ummmm.....Palin went to like 7 different colleges. She must be a "secret lib" to have gone to such great lengths to gain academic credentials.

    And if the "libs" are on the side of higher education where does that put the conservatives? The party of GEDs?

    Good luck with all that simpletons....

    June 8, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12