Palin to attend big Republican dinner in Washington
WASHINGTON – Newt Gingrich, move over.
Sarah Palin is coming to town.
The latest word is that Palin is going to attend Monday night’s Republican fund-raising dinner for congressional candidates.
But she won’t be addressing the group gathered at the Washington Convention Center.
The Alaska governor, and possible 2012 presidential candidate, had gone back and forth on whether to attend the dinner, first say she would, then saying she wouldn’t and now saying she will.
The dinner is expected to raise an impressive $14 million or more for House and Senate Republican candidates in the 2010 mid-term elections.
There’s a backstory to Palin’s decision to attend. Here’s what we’re hearing:
Gingrich is the keynote speaker. Some Palin associates last week contacted the dinner organizers to ask whether they were still interested in having her attend.
The idea was to make her a surprise guest and let her say a few things. But then there were worries from others in the party that this could upstage Gingrich, another potential 2012 candidate, and why do this when Newt has been helping raise money?
So the dinner organizers went back to Palin’s people and said they would be happy to have her sit at Senator John Cornyn’s main table, but that have no speaking role. That led Palin’s camp to say she would not be coming, but then — alert the photo desk — she will be in town.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked her ahead of the dinner whether she missed being in the “spotlight” since the end of the campaign in which she was the vice presidential running mate to top dog John McCain.
“I love my time in Alaska. At the same time though I crave, if not my voice, other voices out there being bold, being strong letting Americans know that those that are concerned about the growth of government and about national security issues, they’re not alone.”
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