Published March 31, 2009
Congressional Republicans decided Tuesday to ditch the former GOP vice presidential nominee in favor of the former House speaker for the critical House-Senate fundraising dinner in June 8 in Washington. It's the marquee Republican event to raise money for GOP House and Senate candidates.
Just weeks ago, the House and Senate Republican campaign committees were giddy at securing the telegenic Palin for the dinner. But then things grew murky. At the time, the Alaska governor's office told FOX News that Palin was still considering the invitation and had not yet made a decision. Meantime, spokespersons for the committees insisted that Palin was scheduled and it was just a misunderstanding between the Alaska governor's office and Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, that accepted the invite.
Sources familiar with the Palin snub fumed about how the governor handled this.
"She was a disaster," one Republican source told FOX News. "We had confirmation."
As for inviting Gingrich, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said the GOP "decided to go in another direction."
"Speaker Gingrich is a leader," Spain added.
Another source familiar with the invitation indicated that the campaign committees were so incensed with Palin that they did not even bother to officially notify her that they rescinded the invitation.
Multiple efforts to reach Palin's staff in Alaska for comment were unsuccessful.
The decision to book Gingrich instead of Palin seems to be indicative of growing discontent in the party with the Alaska governor and her potential ability to lead the GOP. And it's the latest in a series of gaffes that have plagued her since the November.
Palin withdrew at the last moment from speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting in Washington earlier this year.