Media barred from Palin’s post-gubernatorial debut
Sarah Palin is expected to make a visit next week to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, in what would be her first public appearance outside Alaska since resigning as governor, and the sponsors said on Wednesday the event will be closed to the media.
Palin, the self-described hockey mom turned politician, is slated as “our expected guest” on Aug. 8 for a 50th anniversary gala hosted by the Simi Valley Republican Women, Federated, a nonprofit group of GOP volunteers, according to an e-mail from the group’s president Peggy Sadler. An accompanying notice states bluntly: “No press or other media allowed.”
The group is renting space for the invitation-only event at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, a suburb north of Los Angeles. Tickets for the gala reportedly were going for $100 per person for members and $150 for invited non-members. Up to 900 people were expected to attend. Sadler said the party is “not a fundraising event” and that proceeds would go to pay for the event itself.
“Expected guest” may be the operative phrase since Palin’s personal representatives say she “has not confirmed her attendance at any event” and that the Simi Valley party is “one of hundreds of outstanding invitations” she has received.
If she does appear in Simi Valley on Aug. 8, and nowhere else before then, it would mark Palin’s first venture to the Lower 48 since stepping down as Alaska governor on Sunday, 18 months before her term of office was scheduled to end.
The surprise resignation has sparked intense speculation about Palin’s future ambitions and whether she has hurt or helped any chance she might have of seeking higher office. Palin became a darling of Republican Party conservatives in 2008 when she catapulted to the national spotlight as John McCain’s running mate and the first female GOP nominee for vice president.
In a reminder of her often-testy relations with the media, she took a parting shot at the press during her farewell address in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Sunday, saying: “Democracy depends on you. That’s why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about in honor of the American soldier you quit making things up?”
Photo credit: Reuters/Nathaniel Wilder (Palin delivering farewell address in Fairbanks, Alaska, on July 27)