Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Schedule flubbed, Palin snubbed

Fox News reports:
Sarah Palin is out and Newt Gingrich is in.
Congressional Republicans decided Tuesday to ditch the former GOP vice presidential nominee in favor of the former House speaker for the critical House-Senate fundraising dinner in June 8 in Washington. It's the marquee Republican event to raise money for GOP House and Senate candidates.
Just weeks ago, the House and Senate Republican campaign committees were giddy at securing the telegenic Palin for the dinner. But then things grew murky. At the time, the Alaska governor's office told FOX News that Palin was still considering the invitation and had not yet made a decision. Meantime, spokespersons for the committees insisted that Palin was scheduled and it was just a misunderstanding between the Alaska governor's office and Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, that accepted the invite.
Sources familiar with the Palin snub fumed about how the governor handled this.
"She was a disaster," one Republican source told FOX News. "We had confirmation."
As for inviting Gingrich, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said the GOP "decided to go in another direction."
"Speaker Gingrich is a leader," Spain added.
Via Hot Air, which also has a similar report from Politico, and related news from Roll Call and a statement from the NRCC. More at Memeorandum.

UPDATE: Conservatives4 Palin gets the story from the Anchorage Daily News:
As you may recall, the chairmen of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, sent out a press release earlier this month announcing Palin as keynote speaker for the June 8 fundraiser. But within hours, Palin's staff said, nope, not so fast.
My thoughts on this in a minute. Got to post the facts first, then I'll update with commentary.

UPDATE II: Let me quote RAM from C4P:
Right after the election, conservative pundits instructed Palin to go home to Alaska and focus her energy on being a good governor of her state. She is doing that. . . . I personally could give a rat's patootie about the national GOP. I left the party because of them. I'm a registered independent because of them. And I have a hard time buying their story. No one confirms attendance without checking with the boss.
I think we need to look a little close at the question of what's going on with the governor's Alaska staff. Let me think about that while I collect my thoughts. Meanwhile, to cheer you up, check out this picture from the 2008 campaign:

It has zero to do with today's story, but she sure has great gams, huh? Whatever else happens, she's still got that going on. Gingrich sure doesn't have the legs to rock a skirt suit like that.

UPDATE III: Let's talk about Palin's staff. I don't know any of them, don't even know their names, but a high-profile bungle like this certainly raises the question of competence on the part of the governor's staff.

RAM at C4P suggests that the NRCC/NRSC announced Palin as their speaker without properly confirming it. Does he mean to suggest perfidy or incompetence at GOPHQ? I'm certainly willing to believe either explanation, but we have no direct evidence on the matter. And I'm reminded that there was the same problem with whether or not Palin would speak at CPAC, whose executive director Lisa De Pasquale is neither incompetent nor perfidious.

So, what's going on with Palin and her staff? Are there not clear lines of authority? Is there not one person -- the chief of staff, I'd assume -- whose job it is to make sure that the governor is where she's supposed to be, when she's supposed to be there? This person would be the pointman for contact by the NRCC/NRSC if they wanted to schedule Palin to speak. And yet, two weeks ago, when the committees announced Palin was scheduled, the response from the governor's staff was this:
The governor's office said Palin has not even confirmed she would be attending the event. "I communicated with the governor directly and she did not know anything about it," said Bill McAllister, the governor's spokesman.
If the NRCC/NRSC felt confident enough they had a confirmation of Palin to issue a press release, who gave them that idea? Who is this rogue staffer who confirms an event without talking to the governor? And why haven't they been fired?

UPDATE IV: Wow, sometimes I amaze even myself. I hadn't been following this Palin-related news, but my instinct -- that there was a problem of divided authority at Palin HQ -- is confirmed in spades by this roundup by Rebecca Cole of the Chicago Tribune. Cole links to Chris Cizilla of the Washington Post:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continues to suffer growing pains as she attempts to build a national political operation in hopes of positioning herself as a viable presidential candidate in 2012.
The latest bump in the road comes in the form of a Politico article -- headlined "Staff Infection: Allies Rip Palin Team" -- that features any number of juicy quotes that all point to one fundamental problem: there appears to be a significant disconnect between Palin's official governor's staff and the group of advisers that have grown up around her new leadership PAC.
At the heart of the problem, according to Politico, is John Coale, who, as the Fix first reported, is serving as an informal adviser to Palin. Coale, an affluent trial attorney who has given significant sums to Democrats in the past, also happens to be the husband of Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren.
Anybody else smell a (Democ)rat here?


  1. And I can tell you that outfit is one the RNC bought her. She never wears revealing clothes like that on her own.

    The RNC realllllly didn't know her. And they still don't.

    I'm done with them. She doesn't need them anyway.

    O'Reilly, the #1 cable show for 100 months, just talked about her ethics expenses on the legal segment. When Liz Wehl said even if Palin does set up a legal defense fund, she can't advertise it, O'Reilly looked straight at the camera and said "Governor if you set it up, I'll publicize it here and kick in the max $1,000 donation, too."

    I believe that just went out to 7 million plus people if Bill gets his usual ratings today.

    So forget the DC RNC pansies, who keep panning her anonymously to reporters. What cowards! Do we really want these cowards running our country?

    Let the Barracuda through now ... in her own clothes.

  2. The one reason why they wanted her?

    to bring in the money.

    Think Newt will bring in the same amount?

    besides, She's busy. Newt has plenty of time on his hands.

  3. Sir,

    Newt is damaged goods, and his bolt was shot long ago, he will drag the party down and convert us all to pliable "go along to get along" republicans.

  4. Robert, if you've been to C4P, you would know that she has to split the communication function between
    the Alaska staff and the Washington
    office with Sarah CPAC, because of the 'Chinese wall' regarding their ethics law, Politico deliberately missed this fact, as did Cilizza of the Post, Silva of the Chicago
    Tribune (formerly the Miami Herald)
    and Chad? Ingram of Fox. Also CPAC
    seems to have promised she would show without confirming it first.

  5. The SarahPAC spokesperson, Meg Stapleton, issued a statement saying that Gov. Palin had told the NRSC/NRCC that she would confirm the appearance in mid-April when the legislative session ends (and she has her hands full--stimulus money fighting, volcano erupting, gas line business, Dems upset with the Senator she appointed, criticism over the new AG she appointed, new ethics complaints, legal fees of over $500K, aside from a family that includes 2 babies). The NRSC/NRCC jumped the gun and announed her attendance immediately, perhaps to force her hand; she was not happy. Whose "fault" it was is open to conjecture. Bottom line: the NRSC/NRCC is cutting off its nose to spite its face. No one can raise money like Palin. Who would pay $2500 to see Newt---you can watch him on TV 24/7 for free. Think he's going to say anything new? Let's see how those Senators and Congressmen call to campaign/fundraise for them when they're running next time.

  6. Stacy, you're really behind the times on this story of Palin's staff, and so is the media. Alaska law is so extreme regarding separation of governing and politics that Palin's press secretary, Bill McAllister, was charged with an ethics violation just for answering a question about this fundraiser.


    Coale is not part of SarahPAC. It currently consists of 4 people working out of their homes...Meg Stapleton in Alaska, and Pam Pryor, Becki Donatelli, and Tim Crawford in DC/Virginia. And the PAC is not allowed to interact with the Governor's official staff. The staff is not allowed to discuss anything "partisan".

    Put C4P in your RSS feed, we'll keep you up to date.

  7. The country club republicans have been dying to throw her under the bus. No democrats needed. As far as Newt goes, he's a bright guy, but he's ethically challenged and his day has passed. At this point, I can see the RNC blowing it in 2010. Right now they should be on top. Look at the special election for Gillibrand's replacement. The dems are ahead, slightly. Not good.

  8. Excuses.

    The question is: where does the buck stop?
    For all the supposed "executive experience" everyone likes to bring up, she doesn't seem to have a handle on the fundamentals of being an executive.
    Or is it the leadership qualities she lacks?
    Eventually, blaming her staff for everything begins to lose its potency. i mean, if she can't handle her staff then how is she to handle the White House?

    I don't know guys...why don't you just let her ride-off into the Russian sunset and pretend like this never happened, or at worst remember this Palin saga as one wild drunken night where you all lost your damned minds...

  9. A lot of well-intended, but misguided, folks on the right like to say "maybe we should start a new party!"

    The history of third parties in this country shows why that's a non-starter. But things are funny now. It seems like what folks ought to be saying is, "maybe we should take over the Republican party--no one is using it."

    If the various committees don't start getting their act together and anticipate/prevent/get-out-in front-of these kinds of screw-ups we're gonna see Chauncey Milquetoast running against Obama in '12.

  10. K-Bob:
    Remember the republicans came from the whigs.

  11. Actually there's never a right time of the day for trolls like Four Eyes, leadership ability like actually reading that godawful stimulus bill and seeing what liabilities one is incurring, for the states's longterm fiscal
    picture, Like shepherding a multi-billion dollar gas line fromstart
    to completion. Fearless leader never did anything but right checks from the CAC fund with his terrorist buddy and soak up the sermons of Reverend Wright and it shows, in the way he's dropping this country into the Marianna's trench. She's someone very much it the spirit of Sam Childers.

    You know I really don't get it, you talked her up during the campaign, yet you urged people to abandon her, for Barr, not your
    crazy Uncle John, his campaign
    was long in the ground. How'd that work for you. So now you follow the crapweasel chorus echoed on Fox and Politico, and want to give up again. Maybe the FruDreher's have more influence than we give them credit for.

  12. Because I can (assuming our host approves, which surely he will), and because it's in the spirit of Rule 5:

    Flickr: The Sarah Palin's Legs Pool

    You're welcome.