Forgetting Sarah Palin
Jonathan Martin has the scoop on how the joint National Republican Congressional Committee/National Republican Senatorial Committee dinner got ensnarled in the drama of Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) — inviting her to speak, choosing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to speak when she took a pass, then inviting her again, and ultimately denying her a chance to speak.
The idea was that she’d swing down to the capital on Monday for the dinner before flying on to Texas for energy-related events. Palin’s staff had even been sent an agenda with the governor’s speaking slot included. But then a finance official with the NRSC called Palin aide Meg Stapleton Saturday night to say that Sessions didn’t want Palin to speak.
Recounting the conversation Sunday, Stapleton said she told the NRSC staffer: “Why, at a time when we’re trying to build the party, would you pull a move like that on somebody who earlier in the day just attracted 20,000 people?”
Some mockery of the Washington establishment is essential to Palin’s schtick, and it’s made more resonant by her physical distance from the city — despite her two-month stint as one of the party’s standard-bearers, she has been able to recast herself as an avenging outsider. At the same time, bobbling the schedule like this has started to alienate some leaders that she would have to work with if she made another run at national office.