Tales from the Trail

Sarah Palin to visit Washington next month

Look out Washington, Sarah Palin is coming.

Palin will be the Republican speaker at the annual winter dinner of the Gridiron Club of journalists in Washington on Dec. 5.
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“The governor is very excited and was honored to accept the invitation,” said her spokeswoman, Meghan Stapleton.

The former Alaska governor, who rose to fame as John McCain’s vice presidential nominee last year, is about to go on a book tour to promote her memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life.”

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Nathaniel Wilder (Palin talks to well-wishers in Fairbanks in July)

The First Draft: Independents Day

Day-after chatter focused on how independent voters were pivotal in helping drive Republicans to victory in the New Jersey and Virginia governor races.

“The independent voter today is the keystone,” a very happy chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, said on CNN.

“And if you don’t have a message for them, if you don’t have something to say, they’ll let you know by going with the other team or staying out of it altogether. Last night they came home to the GOP,” he said. After repeated TV appearances since last night’s results, Steele is holding a press conference at 10 a.m.

Is Palin’s fee too steep for Iowa?

Iowa Republicans have differences over the propriety of a conservative group’s effort to raise a $100,000 fee for former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to speak at a banquet next month,  according to Politico.com.

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Whether Palin requested a fee (and there’s no indication that she did says Politico) or whether she should be paid may be a moot point — but, more about that later.

First — It’s not the amount of the fee that has some Iowans bothered — it’s that a fee is even being considered at all.

Sarah Palin is REALLY tired of Levi Johnston

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is striking back hard at her daughter’s ex-fiance, Levi Johnston, for what she called “mean-spirited, malicious and untrue attacks.”

Palin, and Johnston, who had a child out of wedlock with Palin’s daughter, Bristol, have been in a war of words since Levi and Bristol broke off plans to marry early this year.

Johnston appeared on CBS’ “Early Show” and repeated a charge he made in a recent Vanity Fair interview that Sarah Palin would often refer to her son with Down Syndrome, Trig Palin, as being “retarded.”

Palin’s financial disclosure: $1.25 mln advance for “Going Rogue”

The following is reported by Yereth Rosen in Anchorage, Alaska.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin got a $1.25 million advance from HarperCollins for her soon-to-be-released memoir “Going Rogue.”

PALIN/Palin listed the advance, which she received while still governor, in the 2009 financial disclosure form filed Monday with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. See the form on The Anchorage Daily News Web site.

“The Governor has complied with Alaska disclosure law by her filing yesterday. Now, as a private citizen, her business dealings, including her publishing agreement, are confidential,” Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said in an email.

Palin: Ready to shake things up in New York

Sarah Palin on Thursday endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman over Republican Party choice Dede Scozzafava in a special congressional election in upstate New York that has the GOP divided.

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“I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next representative from New York’s 23rd Congressional district. It’s my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win,” Palin said in a statement posted on Facebook.

“The people of the 23rd Congressional District of New York are ready to shake things up, and Doug Hoffman is coming on strong as Election Day approaches!” she added.

Another side of Sarah Palin: financial guru

The Financial Times, the salmon-colored authoritative newspaper that is closely read by traders and other financial types around the world, had an eye-opener for readers this morning. USA-POLITICS/PALIN

It wasn’t the front-page, four-column wide headline, “Obama’s critics pounce on falling dollar as fears grow over currency.”

It wasn’t the graphic showing a red downward line over a dollar bill.

The jolt comes at the start of the second paragraph in the top story of the day on the dollar, “Sarah Palin….”

What does Palin no show at “Values Voter” summit say about her 2012 intentions?

Why is former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin passing on the summit of self-styled conservative Christian “Values Voters” this weekend?

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It’s a question worth asking because the annual meeting of “Religious Right” activists has become a “must attend” on the political calendar of any Republican who is serious about running for the party’s presidential nomination in the next election cycle.

Former governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney  – frequently mentioned as 2012 heavyweight Republican contenders — will be there.  So will Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who many pundits see as another possible candidate for a White House run in 2012.

In his own words, former Bush speechwriter blabs

Matt Latimer, who used to make a living writing speeches for former President George W. Bush, has decided to let loose in a book under his own name that describes the White House as more like the TV show “The Office” and less like “The West Wing.”

In excerpts of his book “Speech-Less” appearing in the October issue of GQ magazine, out on newsstands Sept. 22, Latimer says Bush had something unflattering to say about the leaders of the pack running to win the White House in last year’s election. OBAMA/

(We obtained, and more importantly, read all the excerpts to be published in GQ. There is some discussion about the plan to boost the economy which we leave you to read in the magazine or book).

Dinner with Sarah Palin? It’ll cost you

Ever wanted to ask Sarah Palin over dinner what she really thinks? Now’s your chance. But it’s going to cost you — more than $25,000.

Dinner for five with the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate is up for grabs on ebay. The last bid was more than $38,000 (yes that’s three zeroes) for a dinner whose value is being promoted as “priceless.”

It looks like this time ebay may work for her (remember the campaign trail stories of her unsuccessful effort to sell the Alaska governor’s plane on ebay).