The Washington Post's Amy Gardner reported this afternoon that Sarah Palin has canceled a trip she had planned to take to Sudan early in July. The war-torn nation is highly unstable, and the plight of Sudan's Christians has become a major concern for American evangelicals:
Palin scrapped her plans to visit the North African country for scheduling reasons, several sources close to Palin said. She was planning to travel with Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical leader Billy Graham, as well as Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren to the July 9 independence ceremony of South Sudan, the sources said.We know of no scheduled events for Gov. Palin around July 9, but the Conservative Leadership Conference -- which attracts hundreds of conservative activists, bloggers and leaders -- is scheduled for the weekend of July 9 and 10 at The M Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. A GOP presidential debate sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform and The Daily Caller will take place on the second night of the CLC conference.
“She would be a very good person to help draw attention to the plight of the Christians in South Sudan,” Graham, who also traveled to Haiti with Palin, said in an interview. “We’ve got George Clooney, we’ve got some Hollywood-type people. I’m very grateful or what Mr. Clooney has done. But we need everybody we can find.”
One U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of Palin’s potential political aspirations said the governor had gotten so far in the planning process as to secure permission from the government of South Sudan to attend the independence ceremony. The official said Palin was planning to travel with Van Susteren in addition to Graham.
The official said one challenge of the trip was security; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is also tentatively scheduled to attend the ceremony, may not make the trip because of safety concerns in one of the world’s most war-torn countries.[More]
We hasten to add that Gov. Palin is not listed as one of the speakers at the conference or one of the participants in the debate. But if she has a schedule conflict around the 9th of July, we can't imagine what other event could be the cause of it. Willow's birthday is Thursday the 7th, which leaves plenty of time for celebration before the weekend. Again, we're sure this is just pure coincidence, as Sarah Palin is neither announced nor confirmed at this time for either of the Las Vegas events.