Thursday, February 3, 2011

ABC News: Palin Turns Down Coveted CPAC Keynote Speaking Slot

Along with DeMint, Heritage, and FRC, she'll be conspicuous by her absence
For the fourth year in a row Gov. Palin has turned down a request to speak at CPAC. ABC News reports that the first woman to be the vice presidential candidate of the Republican Party has once again declined an invitation from CPAC officials to address the conference:
CPAC organizers invited Palin to deliver the closing-night keynote speech on Saturday Feb. 12, immediately following the announcement of the results of CPAC’s annual presidential straw poll, but after several days of negotiations, she declined.

“We’re disappointed that she wasn’t able to make it this year,” American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene said through a spokesman on Thursday. He noted that Palin "expressed interest in wanting to come this year," but said that it came down to "a scheduling issue."

The former Alaska governor has a rocky history with the group. In 2010, she stayed away from the event citing the business dealings of the American Conservative Union and Keene, who is a lead organizer of the event.

In 2009, while still serving as governor of Alaska, she initially accepted an invitation to speak on the conference’s opening day, but later dropped out saying that she had to attend to the “duties of governing,” according to a CPAC spokesman. She sent a taped message to the conference instead.

In 2008, CPAC organizer Lisa De Pasquale said that Palin had to drop out of CPAC “at the last minute.” At that point she had not yet been named Sen. John McCain's vice presidential nominee, but was regarded as an up-and-comer in the Republican Party.

This will be her fourth year skipping the event. While Palin will not be there in person, her political action committee, SarahPAC, is sponsoring a Diamond Reception on the CPAC’s opening night -- Thursday, Feb. 10.

Though a number of her potential rivals for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination will be speaking at CAPC 2011, Gov. Palin joins U.S.Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida, the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation as prominent conservatives and organizations not attending this year's conference. She's in some pretty good company, in other words.

- JP

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