Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Palin attended, but didn't speak at GOP fundraiser

Palin ended up attending the NRSC/NRCC fundraiser in Washington DC last night amidst the confusion over her role in the event. From the outside, it looked like neither Palin's camp nor the GOP had any clue about who was speaking and/or attending. This WaPo article leads us to believe that the GOP offered her a keynote slot, and then rescinded it for Newt instead. That's unbelievably tacky if true - to invite someone to give a keynote and then rescind? Who knows if that really happened, though. We'll never know.

But Palin did attend, giving her and Todd's RSVP hours prior. It appears that Newt still weilds a lot of power in the GOP.
Despite Questions About Her Appearance, Palin Welcomed at GOP Dinner
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 8, 2009; 10:48 PM

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was warmly welcomed Monday night to a major GOP fundraiser dinner, a development that was surprising only because her appearance came after a bizarre, weeks-long saga that had party leaders questioning whether she would show up.

Palin had originally been announced as the keynote speaker for the fundraiser, a dinner benefiting the Republican congressional campaign committees at the Washington Convention Center. But her office then said that she had never confirmed her attendance. Palin's office asked last week if she would speak at the dinner, and party leaders told her she could. Later, though, they rescinded the speaking invitation in deference to the man who had accepted the keynote slot in her place, former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

Without a speaking slot, Palin declined to commit to appearing until hours before the event. But after assurances she would be publicly introduced at the event, the former vice presidential nominee and her husband strode across the stage with Gingrich and his wife as the event started, getting applause from the crowd of more than 2,000 Republicans.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), chairman of the National Senatorial Campaign Committee, praised Palin for her "leadership." The brief mention of the Alaska governor drew more applause from the crowd. Palin herself did not speak at the event.

Despite the controversy, Republicans raised more than $14 million at the event for the committees that help elect House and Senate GOP candidates. The dinner is annually one of the largest party fundraisers of the year.

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