Republicans pick a party star to address fundraiser

March 16, 2009

So guess who Republicans in the U.S. Congress invited to dinner? 

   A. Rush Limbaugh, the abrasive and conservative talk show host who giddy Democrats have sought to make the face of the troubled Republican Party.
    B. Michael Steele, whose rocky start as chairman of the Republican Party featured a spat with Limbaugh that ended with Steele kow-towing to the radio talkmeister.
    C. Sarah Palin, the widely panned yet admired Alaska governor and potential 2012 U.S. presidential contender.

Yes, Republicans picked “C” — going with a proven crowd pleaser, Palin, their charismatic yet polarizing and failed 2008 vice presidential nominee.USA-POLITICS/

She will be the key note speaker at their June 8 fundraiser dinner in Washington for the Republican Senate and House of Representatives campaign committees.

“Governor Palin represents a breath of fresh air from the business-as-usual crowd in Washington, and is one of our party’s up-and-coming young governors who will play a critical role in our rebuilding efforts in the years to come,” said John Cornyn, chairman of the Senate Republican campaign committee.

Pete Sessions, head of the House Republican campaign committee, gushed: “I look forward to welcoming her to Washington and await the inspirational address our party needs as it rebuilds and prepares for a victorious election cycle” in 2010 when the entire House and a third of the Senate will be up for grabs.

– Photo credit: REUTERS/Hans Deryk (Palin speaks at 2008 Republican Governors Association annual conference last November)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Democrats will love this. Gov Palin is a loser and makes the Republicans lookn rediculous

Posted by lou Wiener | Report as abusive

Seriously? She already lost one election for us. Shouldn’t the RNC find someone that the moderates can rally around? Someone that can actually think for themself?

Posted by Brandon | Report as abusive

she is her own agent now,she has not the “the independent seeking”mc.cain directing her to hostile sites abc cnn and the other station that no one try and appeal to people that ridiculed him through out his campaign.people on the right were heartbroken by the actions of this naive man and his incompetent election team,when they saw him sitting there on the view being ridiculed it was so embarrassing. what made if worse was sarah who actually give his campaign a glimmer of hope was left totally vulnerable as a consequence,it was a great learning experience for her.she will be a different proposition next time.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Doesn’t anyone listen to Alaska’s view of Palin?

Posted by A_Smith | Report as abusive

To Brandon,

Sorry but it wasn’t Sarah that lost the election for the Republicans, it was GEORGE W BUSH that made the Republicans lose, and they where up against Obama, who had a HUGE support network. So to say it was Sarah’s fault is ridiculous. It was Sarah that brought the conservatives together in the election and re-energize the Republican base. This time round she is going to be no body’s second fiddle, she is going to be re-elected in 2010 by a big margin, and in 2012 we will see her win the nomination and take on Obama, who will lose due the amount of money he has wasted and putting American in a very deep hole.

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive

Just wondering if she’s writing her own speech. She’s great with a teleprompter, just like someone else we know.

Posted by Pam | Report as abusive

Even one Alaskan GOP Official has taken to calling her
“Dan Quayle with a Pony Tail.”

Posted by Bernie Adalem | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is a well educated woman who has clearly done an outstanding job in Alaska, this fact cannot be denied. She did not LOSE the election for John McCain, in fact she lit a fire in many women who had not only not taken an interest but felt their voices did not matter. That is what we need, a voice that awakens those voters who have lost hope.Voters who will take an interest in their country and seek truths. While you may not feel Mrs.Palin has all of the answers, nor does she, I do feel she is willing to take the beatings and the overly harsh criticisms for the sake of the Republican Party.

Posted by Becki | Report as abusive

Palin? What are you guys thinking? She is not from Washington that’s for sure. I suspect she is also not from Earth…. Alienating is what she is… Really… Sad state of affairs for the Republicans these days.

Posted by Paul Stewart | Report as abusive

Sorry, Brian, but running for public office is not the same as a popularity contest. Someone’s getting elected to do a JOB. I don’t know of any position in the private world where you can get a high-level job without going through a series of interviews and be likely to face alot of challenging (you said, “hostile;” do you REALLY characterize Katie Couric’s interviewing of her as “hostile”? ) questions. And you don’t get to cherry-pick your job interviewers in the private world, like Sarah Palin wanted to pick hers. The very mainstream media are the most established representatives of the public at large for the purpose of such interviews, like it or not.

In short, she hasn’t been properly vetted, and there are still alot of things she has not given an account of, ranging from the firings of Wasilla’s police chief and library director to her and her husband’s involvement with the Alaska Independence Party. (Regarding the latter, Sarah Palin could have been active in that party and register in a different one, nothing unusual about that, and lots of small parties use that as a strategy; so her Republican voter registration proves nothing about her involvement).

Her husband’s clear history of membership might, however, deny him security clearance, given the historical alignment of the party with paramilitary groups, and the alliance Joe Vogler, AIP founder, made with the Islamic dictatorship in Iran in 1993 to enable his appearing at the United Nations to appeal for Alaska’s freedom from US “tyranny.” Joe’s attitudes were pretty anti-American:”The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government” is one on-the-record remark of his. I’d sure want to hear what Sarah Palin’s views are on the history of the AIP. The party can’t be dismissed as just a quirk of “down-home Alaska politics” for someone applying to hold high office in the U.S.

Yeah, she definitely has alot to answer for to the public at large before she can be considered a candidate for higher office in the U.S. She got away with it once. Not again.

Posted by Donna H. | Report as abusive

Party star indeed. Her PAC has been raising money like gangbusters, and nobody draws a crowd like she does – and she’s an incredible public speaker.

You’ll be seeing more and more of this woman – get used to it. She’s Reaganesque.

Posted by VidOmnia | Report as abusive

Sorry, Brandon, Sarah Palin did not lose the election for us. Despite having to run with Senator McCain, Governor Palin almost won the election for us. Senator McCain never had a chance, even Republicans wouldn’t vote for him. Governor Palin is an excellent choice for a keynote speaker, and we can definitely rally around her. She might even run in 2012.

Posted by Wesley F. Collier, Jr. | Report as abusive

Interesting how Reuters always uses the word “failed” vice presidential nominee. Always have to use a negative connotation when it comes to republicans. She is hardly a failure. She lost, but did not fail. It wasn’t even her presidential ticket.

I never see “failed” anything when it comes to the progressive liberal candidates as well as the programs they try to force on us. When they lose the debate, they just say the republicans were standing firm against progress.

It is so obvious this happens, it makes it laughable.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Good pick.

Sarah is charismatic, courageous and should give an inspirational speech.

ALL of the people I know who voted for Obama think she is the most dangerous GOP politician to Obama getting a second term. The Dem machine continues to view her as top enemy.

Posted by Sapwolf | Report as abusive

She is more qualified and nearer to the way most americans live and think that the current occupant of the White House; and, unlike him, she is a patriot. Hey Sarah, I’d like to hear what you have to say.

Posted by margaret sussmuth | Report as abusive

brandon mc cain lost the election for us not palin,and the republican congress because conservatives could not see any difference between them and the democrats.this carries on with people like shelby,who is like one of those reversible coats,in is out the next is going to be a long winter for us republicans unless we can elect some reps first with principle and second leadership. republicans leave sarah alone the dems are sucking you up,it is a distraction like they fooled you guys with rush, don,t let them reel you in, they already have you hooked.when you worry about moderates you loose,thats how you loose your credibility.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Wise choice GOP! Governor Palin is the future of the Republican Party.

Posted by PH | Report as abusive

Well, Sarah Palin may not appeal to everyone, but picking her to address a fundraiser is not as egregious as picking a tax cheat for Secretary of Treasury in charge of the IRS.

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

Governor Palin was easily more qualified to be President than Obama who was given a free pass by the media. Donna H, your comments are laughable. Sarah Palin is the purest candidate in American campaign history and the media was forced to criticise her over zoning variances involving her Wasilla property and attacking her children. Palin has also received the most negative coverage of any candidate in American history. On the other hand Obama is the affirmative action President. Obama despite his radical associations has never been properly vetted by the media. Obama’s sheer incompetence is now on full display. He is an unmitigated disaster. It will take Sarah Palin a full eight years as President to pull us out of this Obama nosedive. And she will. She has demonstrated her competence as Governor of Alaska by choosing to put aside a rainy day fund (worth some 5 billion dollars) and in the face of the current economic situation is cutting expenses in state programs and agencies(including not taking a pay increase as Governor, giving up her govt. provided vehicle, foregoing a security detail.) Obama on the other hand responded to a maxed out federal credit card by maxing out an additional 4 more. That’ll solve the problem!?!

Posted by William | Report as abusive

Well Margaret Sussman, I’d like to hear what you have to say about what a patriot is because it sure seems to be a word you right wingnuts apply liberally to your own politicians but never to Democratic politicians, even if they served overseas in combat in real shooting wars. And Daniel, most of the money spent on the bailout so far was signed off by your champion George W., and as to wasted money would you consider all that spent in Iraq discovering there were no WMD there after all to be wasted in the same sense as you use it to describe Obama’s efforts to prime the economic pump in this country?

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

I love the Palin supporters, they are the perfect example of low IQ bottom feeders. People too lazy to do well in school and want our country to be run by someone even dumber than them. Yeah, that’s how we will beat India and China in the intelligence era! If someone as stupid as Palin ever got elected, there will be a military coup to save the country.

I do hope that the G.O.P. pushes her to run in 2012. Please, please, please…Palin fans support her bid for 2012.

Talk about a free ride-the woman wanted to be 2 heart beats away without interviewing for the job! Can’t wait for Katie Couric to ask Palin to spell something like pencil and have Palin supporters call Couric a “meanie”. I will have to load up on popcorn.

P.S. has anyone told Palin yet that Africa is a continent, not a country? Or that Russia is a country on a different continent, and NOT her next door neighbor, Buba?

Posted by SueEllen | Report as abusive

Somehow a few Alaskans who are rewarded by the bama administration and the ten democrats in Alaska are to be listened to over research and truth.
The Alaskan newspapers belong to a democrat conglomerate and the comment are yawingly repititious.
America knows and follows the Governor.
Can you blame them?

Posted by Mary Lou Welz | Report as abusive

The writer of this story could not have a more obvious bias. The word, “failed” is where the bias lies. I never knew that one had complete control over one’s VP candidacy. Last I heard, VP was a *running mate* to a POTUS candidate and VP candidate’s success is entirely in the hands of the POTUS candidate. The person responsible for the campaign failure was Senator John McCain, not Governor Sarah Palin, without whom he would have suffered an even more devastating and humiliating loss — large double digits.

Governor Palin got me to go out and campaign, blog, and donate — something I had never done in my entire life. She is directly responsible for Senator Saxby Chambliss’ runoff victory in December, something the Senator himself said. For a month people were calling his office asking when Governor Palin was coming down to stump for him. No one was interested in anyone else. Enough said.

Posted by Ron Devito | Report as abusive

TC, every time I hear about Hillary’s health care reform plan from when she was first lady the word “failed” appears before it. I was not a fan of her plan but wanted to give you an example of what you say never happens.
If you are so concerned about my happiness stop making the GOP out to be the victim and it might improve my mood.

Becki, Sarah Palin is well educated? A BA in communications from three community colleges and the U of Idaho is well educated? I’m sorry but I have a better college education than that and my wife’s maters degree in immunology certainly trumps Palin’s credentials. Furthermore neither one of us took time off to compete in a beauty contest while getting our degrees. Palin was picked because the right wing of the GOP though McCain wasn’t conservative enough so they brought in someone who doesn’t believe in evolution or birth control (how did that work out?) and was in the back pocket of big oil (drill baby drill) it was pandering at it’s finest and you bought it.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Governor Palin is a Winner. Her ability to deliver the Conservative message to enthusiastic crowds of voters during the 08 Campaign just showed America what a grand Campaigner she is. During these very scary and uncertain economic times Governor Palin’s ability to inspire, guide and encourage people will surely help the folks to survive the downturn and come out of it stronger than ever. Governor Palin has the courage and the faith to lead America through it’s dark days.

Posted by Oliva | Report as abusive

It’s always comical to read all you libs wonder what’s wrong with republicans when they chose to listen to Rush and Palin.

You’re all so shallow.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Gov. Palin and Rush

Posted by DavidR | Report as abusive

Gov. Palin will be a great keynote speaker. She united the Republican Party during the campaign, which was something John McCain could not do. She has done a fantastic job as governor of Alaska, is fiscally responsible, and has the values that many Americans have and admire. Go Sarah!!!

Posted by Dianne | Report as abusive

Donna H. Obama could not have passed a security clearance with all the known radicals he hung with, Sarah Palin has very high Security Clearance’s and I am sure her husband was vetted, unlike Obama. Gov. Palin is a fiscal conservative speaks to many million’s of people, that is why she is here to stay, she is not a con artist, tax cheat, liar, or a radical that does not not care about our country! No she is the real deal and if you had read any of the books about her you would know she does not like corruption, she is a breath of fresh air, all the way to the WH in 2012.

Posted by windwalker | Report as abusive

Obama has shown to be a disaster. He is a moron and it is funny seeing liberals squirm.

Obama is a studdering fool who cannot even speak to grade school students without a tele-prompter. Sarah Palin is a much better speaker.

To all you idiot liberals: If you would do some research you will find that The Bush Tax Cuts are a tax reduction for 100% of Americans. They even lowered to tax rate to ZERO for those making under $12,000 (in 2001).

Posted by Cory | Report as abusive

Governor Palin is an inspired pick! She is a star for all the right reasons — an impressive leader, in both words and deeds. Her toughness, integrity, and principled governance indeed come as a breath of fresh air to tens of millions of Americans, despite her enemies’ constant efforts to undermine her.

The GOP could not have made a better choice of keynote speaker. The party — and the country as a whole — will benefit greatly from Palin’s fiscal conservatism and uncompromising stand in defeating the Good Ole Boys’ corrupt cronyism.

Posted by TLR | Report as abusive

Donna H,

Are you kidding me how do you think Obama got elected? He never answered the hard questions at all!!!

Ok let’s take another look at Obama’s friends and oh his reverend. Come on this guy had more shady friends then Palin did. So go blow smoke at yourself. It’s like a pot calling the kettle black. Man you people are one minded. If you’re going to try and state Palin has no experience and the problems she may have, then you better look at your President who is putting this country in debit!!!

Posted by j | Report as abusive

I would like to know where it says you have to have an ivy league degree to be president of this country. I don’t know about anyone else but I am sick of the current status of our country and want someone who actually will think about main street. That would be Palin. And if you are going to post at least take the time to get your facts straight about her. She actually has experience running a state and one that runs in the black. So instead of running community organizers and voting present she actually GOVERNS her state. Palin 2012

Posted by badger | Report as abusive

SueEllen, has anyone told BO there are 50 states?
[During the campaign: *Earlier this month in Oregon, he redrew the map of the United States: “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go.”]

fyi, Russia is a mere 12 miles from Alaska, Little Diomede Island to Big Diomede Island.

Sarah, should she choose to run, will energize the party and the country. If her speech does nothing more than give voters a reason to remove the Pelosi and company cabal in 2010, I will be happy and the country will be healthier!

Posted by Piney | Report as abusive

Govenor Pallin is just wat us repubs need right now! the Liberal media doesnt understand thats why we the REAL AMerican people like Rush Limbah who speak to our values, not stupid things like science. (what has science ever done for us i do not now but sum people want to believe we evolved from monkeys well i guess thats there choice this is a free country after all.) cmon Sara win one for the team! i wish my president was a beauty queen tho obama definately gets some smart points but only books marts not street smarts like Pallin.

Posted by Modecai | Report as abusive

Wow…just look at how ignorant Palin supporters are. Donna H……did you even pass 2nd grade english? Unbelievable. Family values? Unwed, teenage pregnant mother, not engaged….that’s American family values? Palin doesn’t like corruption? Ask that cop she got fired how he feels about her views on corruption. When the Republican Party finally realizes she is doing more damage than good, they will toss her aside like a cheap date on prom night.

Posted by Chad | Report as abusive

I wonder how many of her kids she will take to Washington on Alaska’s dime. I am sure they will all have the nicest of hotel, limo rides, fancy restaraunts, shopping sprees….why not? It’s Alaska’s money right? If she doesn’t become President, she will fit right in with AIG. They will give her a job.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

I feel sorry for the republicans. They are fearful, hateful, and devious. These are not good traits for humankind. I hope they will evolve soon.

Posted by Maat | Report as abusive

Windtalker, Obama does now have the security clearance, and how do you know Palin has a very high security clearance or her husband could have passed one? Evidence, I want evidence, not naked assertions. I may not have read any of the puff piece books about her but I have read extensively in the “main stream media”, i.e. the ones who bother to fact check unlike Rush, about all the shenanigans that have gone on up there in Alaska with its clubby political circle of GOP hacks, so claiming she does not like corruption is like claiming she does not like premarital sex, i.e. do as I say not as I let my kids do.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

I did a google search of “Sarah Palin security clearance,” and despite lots of conjecture, found no evidence of what clearance she might have. I did find this, at

“A local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) public affairs representative in Los Angeles told that elected government officials go through a security screening process but could not go into details as to the level of investigation or the security level given to any one official in particular.”

Todd Palin might have been “vetted” by the Republican party, but I can’t find any indication that VP candidate’s spouses are required to pass security clearance. Since Todd inserted himself into his wife’s governing affairs to an unusual degree, sitting in on her meetings and so forth (imagine Laura or Hillary sitting in on their husband’s meetings!), it’s logical to be concerned about his potential involvement in his wife’s governmental activities. I based my remarks about him on an article written by Frank Naif, who worked as a security officer for an intelligence contractor and said he routinely reviewed employees’ SF 86 application forms before submitting them to the government ( Of Todd Palin’s association with the AIP, he says:

“The answer is not clear cut, but his involvement in a secessionist party with foreign and violent connections would inject serious doubts about his security suitability. At best, the AIP association would raise questions that might be resolved favorably with further investigative work. However, many security officials would likely view the AIP association negatively — especially the Iranian connection — and deny Todd Palin a clearance.”

And on Obama:

“Meanwhile, acquaintance with an aging ex-hippy who once belonged to a terrorist group famous for accidentally blowing itself up — I’m not sure if that’s relevant to presidential qualifications. Or national security.”

Posted by Donna H. | Report as abusive

SueEllen, you have no clue what you are talking about. You must get your news from MSNBC, CNN, and SNL. Those are lies you are repeating about her not knowing that Africa was a continent and she never said she could see Russia from her house. Tina Fey said it. She is a very successful Governor and is actually running one of the very few states who is not on the brink of financial ruin.

Posted by Becky | Report as abusive

Eric. You try to act like you are middle of the road, but you are as progressive and liberal as they come. Quit trying to hide, just come out and admit it.

As for the University of Idaho. You have no idea what you are talking about the quality of education a person gets there. She also went to North Idaho College in Couer d’ Alene, Idaho and it is a good school giving a good quality education. How dare you look down on another school you have never visited or attended. Her parents were residents of Idaho at the time and it makes sense she would go to the University of Idaho. I have known many people who have gone there who have gone on to successful careers in the arts and law.

You can say what you want about the quality of her education, but she is successful. I dare say, you pale in comparison.

So knock off the elite talk.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Alaska may not be a state “who” (sic) is on the brink of financial ruin now, but from a story in McClatchy it looks like in a couple years their permanent fund it going to be so depleted they’ll only be able to give out less than $100/person, far lower than they have before. So tell me again about how well Alaska is run and how that has nothing to do with its oil royalties from the North Slope which is being depleted as we type. And TC, you’re right, having attended elite schools all your life is no predictor of success as the last eight years have shown. But I’d still rather have someone in the White House who is not just one of the ordinary folk given the general level of education and ignorance in this country. Why, I’ll bet there are some folks posting to this site who still believe Iraq was involved in 9/11 and had WMD before we invaded 3/19/03.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

eric h i find that intelligence is not always an indicator of practical common sense,or is directly proportional to a persons ability.i have managed or ran my own business most of my life, and although i was offered a free scholarship at a university in england i declined because i have a type of dyslecia that would have presented problems,so i left school at 15 years old,i have never read a book in 30years that is one of the symptoms,perhaps that is why i am frequently referred to as a nit wit by some my gown and mortar board liberal posters. my younger brother and sister both have masters degrees in fine art, and my son is studying for his literature yet perhaps i am like sarah,not so bright, but have the ability to make decisions and get things done.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

trying to keep it simple borisjimbo , if you had a bridge and on one end you had people starting to cross over that believed the there were wmd in irac,and from the other end you had people who believed bush was behind the 911 disaster,who would get trampled?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

BORIS. You give a lot of opinions. The jury is not out of the Bush years. He will be a better rated president than you believe. Obama must believe he was doing the right things, he is continuing many of his policies. And he isn’t showing any changes in the war as he said he would do during the campaign. Looks like the change we can believe in is that he isn’t really changing much at all.

One thing is certain, Bush became president. Something you will never do.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

sue ellen you ever been an actress?no it can,t be, but similar dialog,i know, you are a unionized teacher in the LA unified school district in CA?no.then a neighbourhood organizer for acorn?no.last attempt an educational administrator in detriot?i give up. i know oil company executive bitter because sarah out smarted you.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive