Palin passes on CPAC again

posted at 1:02 pm on February 4, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Three years ago as well as two years ago, Sarah Palin’s schedule as governor in Alaska kept her from making an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual gathering on the Right and the most significant convention for conservatives of the year.  Last year, rumors of disapproval over David Keene’s stewardship swirled around a third straight demurral, but on the record, Palin missed again over scheduling issues.  This year, her PAC plans to participate at CPAC, but Palin once again has already filled her schedule and won’t appear:

“February is our busiest winter month and with all the prior obligations and outside travel already scheduled for the month I had to forgo some of the opportunities in the Lower 48,” said Palin in an email to the Fix Thursday explaining her decision.

Palin’s statement, plus the fact that her political action committee issponsoring a reception at the event seems aimed at making clear that there’s no beef between her and the organizers. (Some conservatives, including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) are skipping out over the inclusion of gay groups.)

But, is there more to the story? …

She can draw press wherever she goes. And, given the heightened controversy over gay and Muslim attendees, the exposure might seem too risky.

Jim Geraghty scoffs at the notion raised briefly that Palin was afraid to take a risk in appearing at CPAC:

Er… risky? She quits her term after two-and-a-half-years, endorses long-shot underdogs in GOP primaries, does a lot of her communications through Facebook and Twitter, did a reality travelogue series , had her daughter appear on a national realty competition series about dancing and issued a video commentary on the Tucson shootings right before a presidential address at a memorial service… and we’re to believe Palin going to CPAC would be risky? Heck, she deals with bigger risks when she goes fishing near bears.

Besides, as noted, Palin’s PAC is one of the participating groups at CPAC.  If Palin was boycotting the conference over issues with Keene or the other groups participating at the conference, then Palin would hardly set up shop at the conference, with or without her personal presence.  She may be choosing to skip the podium for other reasons, but disapproval doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Rachel Weiner at the Washington Post more correctly deduces that Palin doesn’t need the appearance to raise her profile, especially with conservatives attending this conference.  That suggests, though, that Palin isn’t terribly interested in stoking support for a presidential run.  This particular CPAC will be key for those considering a run in the Republican presidential primaries, as the next CPAC and the large gathering of conservative activists needed to do the necessary organizing won’t convene again until the middle of the primaries themselves.  Her former running mate, John McCain, made a huge strategic error in skipping the 2007 CPAC in favor of an appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, and then had to return to a clearly diffident crowd in 2008 to beg for support.

McCain had a lot less credibility with conservatives in 2007 than does Palin, of course.   However, if Palin is seriously considering a presidential run, she would still need to do some retail politicking in person with the groups gathered at CPAC, and also to win the talent race for a presidential campaign.  That’s also true for Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, and everyone else mulling a run.  Skipping events, especially with large draws among the activist base, sends a signal that campaigning may not be a priority.

If Palin plans on an activist path for this cycle, however, getting her PAC into the mix would be more than enough exposure.  This decision, along with her lack of traditional organization in Iowa, makes it look as though she’s aiming at a kingmaker role in 2012 — which will be fascinating to watch, if so.  Whatever her strategy, it’s certainly not to play it safe.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

SARAH PALIN HATES TEH GEYS!!

SouthernGent on February 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM

She doesn’t, she said she doesn’t, I think her and Lynn Cheney should team up or her and Allen West!

dhunter on February 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

SG left off the sarc tag…

Gohawgs on February 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Well are you going to be placing yours? For someone with as much bluster as yours, you don’t seem very certain.

gryphon202 on February 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM

what bluster? please quote me saying so and so is going to be the nominee or eventual winner.

only people I see here with bluster are some of the more obnoxious Nistas, If you asked today I would give the eventual Repub nominee a 50% shot at winning, and right now I wouldn’t take that bet because of incumbency, the press, and voter stupidity

this has nothing to do with what I would like to happen, I’ll vote for any R versus Obama who I think is the most incompetent President we have ever had

windansea on February 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM

CPAC today is not the same CPAC of Buckley and Reagan.

When you have Ron Paul winning straw polls you have jumped the shark.

CPAC is for the chattering class and BUSH 43 said last week….the Bloviaters!

PappyD61 on February 4, 2011 at 8:10 PM

this has nothing to do with what I would like to happen, I’ll vote for any R versus Obama who I think is the most incompetent President we have ever had

windansea on February 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Ahh. See, that’s the thing about InTrade; it’s just like any other gambling, or futures trading, for that matter — the better your chances, the less you stand to make overall.

But beyond that, I like to think I’m a pretty reasonable guy. I an not, however, a member of the “anyone but Obama” crowd. I understand the sentiment, but I don’t agree. George W. Bush continued to increase government spending as few Republicans before him had, and I wanna set the bar a little higher than “I’m not Obama.”

gryphon202 on February 4, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Muslims for Bush, however, will be there.

profitsbeard on February 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM

I am hoping Dick Cheney gets to come..:)

Dire Straits on February 4, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Until the day she does win – the general election, that is – I will continue to point out her flaws. Or mock you Palinistas when you start getting too Obama zombiesque in your neo-Reagan / “the god of conservatism made flesh” transubstantiation worship of her.

Vyce on February 4, 2011 at 2:55 PM

As a Canadian, the US is free to choose whomever they want, but from my POV, it’s not that Palin fans are obsessed. It’s that I don’t remember seeing a Republican candidate that actually had a spine and didn’t back down at the slightest whim of the Left. If I had not seen or heard of Palin myself, I would have to conclude she is a mythical figure. It IS truly remarkable that you have someone like that who not only has a backbone, but is unapologetic about what she believes in. No one else comes close.

So yeah, Palin fans may seem a little over the top. But it’s that there is actual SUBSTANCE there unlike the Obamabots that you compare them to.

MrX on February 4, 2011 at 9:04 PM

MrX on February 4, 2011 at 9:04 PM

+100 Leave it to one from the Great White North to get it right.

shmendrick on February 4, 2011 at 9:08 PM

So yeah, Palin fans may seem a little over the top. But it’s that there is actual SUBSTANCE there unlike the Obamabots that you compare them to.

MrX on February 4, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Or the “electable” moderate losers that Vyce and his ilk enjoy foisting on us.

ddrintn on February 4, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Palin is actually a very shrewd judge of where the Conservative movement is right now.

It’s not at CPAC.

CPAC was vitally important to the life of the Movement in the Seventies. The reason? No internet.

It’s where the Conservative Movement went to exchange notes and synchronize watches. Now? It’s where we go to hear Coulter do her stand-up routine every year.

There’s no there there anymore. Palin knows this. It wouldn’t have hurt for her to show up, but this might be Todd’s last Iron Dog, and she is a fixture at those banquets. Those are more important to the Palin family.

The Reagan speech is probably more important to Palin than the CPAC thing ever will be, because it helps to cement her image in the minds of the rank and file as Reagan’s anointed successor after twenty five years of Bushist Control of the Party.

victor82 on February 4, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Palin made the smartest politcal move I have seen this election cycle today. She scheduled a fundraiser for the troops on the day of the NBC/Politco debate. While all the other candidates are running around excepting the media narrative of if the debate should be attended or not attended. what reason should be given if they ar enot going to attend? (is it too early are they saying NBC is liberal, are they afraid etc……Gov Palin took all that off the table and set her own narrative. She side stepped all the media’s narratives and questions. Now she simply will point to the fact that she is doing a fund raiser for the children of our soldiers and to her the troops are mor eimportant of a “little ole debate”

So while the 7 drawfs continue to run around deciding on how to answer the medi’a narrative, Gov Palin changed the game, changed the rules and placed herself in a position that will fortify her form the media attacks. Because if they now attack her (which you know they can not stop themselves from doing) for not showing up it will paint the media as anti-military and it will draw interest in her fundraiser helping her cause and giving her more street cred with the military (as if she needs it) It will also if played right make her fundraiser seen by more people than the debate itself. She once again set the parameters of being the spotlight and the rest as being followers.

Well played by Gov Palin. Very well played….

unseen on February 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Now she simply will point to the fact that she is doing a fund raiser for the children of our soldiers and to her the troops are mor eimportant of a “little ole debate”
unseen on February 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Wow. Thanks for the scoop.

This will suck all the oxygen out of their sails.

Geochelone on February 4, 2011 at 9:53 PM

The Reagan speech is probably more important to Palin than the CPAC thing ever will be, because it helps to cement her image in the minds of the rank and file as Reagan’s anointed successor after twenty five years of Bushist Control of the Party.

victor82 on February 4, 2011 at 9:27 PM

And on a more personal note, I’m sure she’s very honored and excited to be asked to speak at the centennial celebration of someone she admires so much.

Missy on February 4, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Palin made the smartest politcal move I have seen this election cycle today. She scheduled a fundraiser for the troops on the day of the NBC/Politco debate. While all the other candidates are running around excepting the media narrative of if the debate should be attended or not attended. what reason should be given if they ar enot going to attend? (is it too early are they saying NBC is liberal, are they afraid etc……Gov Palin took all that off the table and set her own narrative. She side stepped all the media’s narratives and questions. Now she simply will point to the fact that she is doing a fund raiser for the children of our soldiers and to her the troops are mor eimportant of a “little ole debate”

So while the 7 drawfs continue to run around deciding on how to answer the medi’a narrative, Gov Palin changed the game, changed the rules and placed herself in a position that will fortify her form the media attacks. Because if they now attack her (which you know they can not stop themselves from doing) for not showing up it will paint the media as anti-military and it will draw interest in her fundraiser helping her cause and giving her more street cred with the military (as if she needs it) It will also if played right make her fundraiser seen by more people than the debate itself. She once again set the parameters of being the spotlight and the rest as being followers.

Well played by Gov Palin. Very well played….

unseen on February 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Have you read The Soul of Battle by Victor Davis Hanson? The three generals he discusses in that book, Epaminondas, Sherman, and Patton, approached their respective military goals in much the same way as I’m convinced Palin approaches her political goals. Absolutely brilliant book, in any case.

pugwriter on February 4, 2011 at 9:56 PM

pugwriter on February 4, 2011 at 9:56 PM

I just ordered it [The Soul of Battle by Victor Davis Hanson] from Amazon. Thanks for the reference.

Geochelone on February 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Victor Davis Hanson is a national treasure. No one can put current events in historical perspective like he can.

Missy on February 4, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Victor Davis Hanson is a national treasure. No one can put current events in historical perspective like he can.

Missy on February 4, 2011 at 10:00 PM

VDH and Thomas Sowell. If I were POTUS I’d have both of those gents on my speed dial if I couldn’t convince them to assume a place in my administration.

pugwriter on February 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM

VDH and Thomas Sowell. If I were POTUS I’d have both of those gents on my speed dial if I couldn’t convince them to assume a place in my administration.

pugwriter on February 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Yes! Both of them, certainly.

Missy on February 4, 2011 at 10:10 PM

I just ordered it [The Soul of Battle by Victor Davis Hanson] from Amazon. Thanks for the reference.

Geochelone on February 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM

You’ll love it.

pugwriter on February 4, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Have you read The Soul of Battle by Victor Davis Hanson? The three generals he discusses in that book, Epaminondas, Sherman, and Patton, approached their respective military goals in much the same way as I’m convinced Palin approaches her political goals. Absolutely brilliant book, in any case.

pugwriter on February 4, 2011 at 9:56 PM

have not but will place in my cart sounds like a good read.

unseen on February 4, 2011 at 10:20 PM

She ain’t a runnin and we’re a Gunnar b stuck wit one dem old Progressive white guys.

Lord help us…….and our grandkids that’s a gunna have to reclaim this country.

PappyD61 on February 4, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Sarah (we are on a first name basis because I am hip…), the folks in the lower 48 count. I’m stuck in WA, God help me…!
Don’t make me vote for DeMint. He can’t win. Nor can Newt. They don’t have the face that America craves (yes, we are THAT shallow).

Fartnokker on February 5, 2011 at 2:24 AM

duh, ya think because CPAC is NOT “Conservative”, ya think because CPAC is RINO just like the HotAir commentators, YA THINK

mathewsjw on February 5, 2011 at 3:47 AM

unseen on February 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Thanks. You’re right. This power to set narratives is what baffles and terrifies the establishment and the media. Media, especially. That’s their province. How dare she.

rrpjr on February 5, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Well played by Gov Palin. Very well played….

unseen on February 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Her evasive maneuvers infuriates and exposes the establishment when they try to pin her down.
“But but , she needs to do this , she needs to do that!!11!”
It’s a guerrilla campaign. Keeping her presence, while staying elusive.

the_nile on February 5, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Until the day she does win – the general election, that is – I will continue to point out her flaws. Or mock you Palinistas when you start getting too Obama zombiesque in your neo-Reagan / “the god of conservatism made flesh” transubstantiation worship of her.

Vyce on February 4, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Somehow I bet you’ll continue even after she’s elected.

alwaysfiredup on February 5, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Well, duh. Who needs CPAC when you have an Internet full of starry-eyed followers?

Dark-Star on February 5, 2011 at 11:42 PM

MrX on February 4, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Spoke directly to my heart, Dude.

hawkdriver on February 6, 2011 at 12:15 AM

According to Palin this is the reason why she is not attending per her interview on the Brody File:

On her decision not to attend CPAC this year:(Video coming after 9pm ET Sunday Night)

Sarah Palin: “Well, I’ve never attended a CPAC conference ever so I was a little taken aback this go around when I couldn’t make it to this one either and then there was a speculation well I either agree or disagree with some of the groups or issues that CPAC is discussing. It really is a matter of time for me. But when it comes to and David, perhaps what it is that you’re suggesting in the question is should the GOP, should conservatives not reach out to others, not participate in events or forums that perhaps are rising within those forums are issues that maybe we don’t personally agree with? And I say no, it’s like you being on a panel shoot, with a bunch of the liberal folks whom you have been on and you provide good information and balance, and you allow for healthy debate, which is needed in order for people to gather information and make up their own minds about issues. I look at participation in an event like CPAC or any other event, along, or kind of in that same vein as the more information that people have the better.”

Unfortunately, I am unable to translate this.

lexhamfox on February 6, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Palin/Paul 2012.

Angry Dumbo on February 6, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Speaking at Reagan’s Commemoration in Santa Barbara,

Palin focused in particular on a Reagan speech during conservative Barry Goldwater’s losing 1964 presidential campaign, titled “A Time for Choosing.”

Coloring, the MSM “losing presidential campaign titled…”

Readers notice Reagan’s rise was through alliance with Goldwater Libertarian-Republicanism.

And the media was merciless to Goldwater, adding venom to the poison from LBJ who blamed Goldwater personally for JFK’s assassination, since the public needed to vent. If anyone, obviously LBJ had more to gain than anyone else, just as he did gain out of that horror. “Never waste a crisis” is nothing new in the Socialist-Democratic Party.

maverick muse on February 6, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Paul/Palin ’12

I am heartened by Rand Paul’s delivery of bills past due WITH accountable means for national economic prosperity to return after tightening the congressional belt so as to restrict insane federal spending while also releasing ESSENTIAL INDUSTRY from insane federal mandates unconstitutionally maintained by Obama’s insane policies meant to kill American energy that is our industrial strong suit, along with highly classified technical information that Obama just gave away to Russia and China, et al. non-allies of the USA.

Constitutional Conservancy, Fiscal Sanity and Common Sense have my vote.

The Tea Party movement has its platform defined, in case doubters have failed to go figure, preferring instead to stay stuck on stupid apologies for corruption that butters their side of the bread.

Fight the establishment before the Primary. Don’t relent to Republican use of Alinsky tactics that brow beat voters into dhimmitude under the reconstructed-reformed GWBush Party for globalist elitists to rule in their feudal supremacy over the world. Witness to yourself what you see has become of federal abuses of power.

America’s “Cross Roads” are at this point of no return. Hence, refuse to support any from the progressive brew of “likely winnable” establishment candidates. That means, be willing to go against the grain of “conventional wisdom” when that wisdom selectively ignores the simplicity of common sense. Support the candidate that represents your platform and who organizes the strategy to implement that platform agenda, even against all odds. Constitutional Governance: It’s now or never.

maverick muse on February 6, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Unfortunately, I am unable to translate this.

lexhamfox on February 6, 2011 at 4:03 AM

And if the media didn’t transpose comments for most people they quote, you’d have a hard time reading a lot of public statements. But you know this.

hawkdriver on February 6, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Unfortunately, I am unable to translate this.

lexhamfox on February 6, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Really? Seemed pretty straightforward to me. Perhaps the issue is your abject hatred for the speaker?

runawayyyy on February 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM

SARAH PALIN SouthernGent

HATES

WANTS TO LYNCH PALIN AND TEH GEYS!!

SouthernGent on February 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Better!

TheAlamos on February 6, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Whatever Ed.

HotAir has been one of the devilish blogs against Sarah Palin lately.

SARAH PALIN 2012!

TheAlamos on February 6, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Unfortunately, I am unable to translate this.

lexhamfox on February 6, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Just for you:

“Sorry, I can’t make it to CPAC. I’m busy. I don’t really see why it’s a big deal that I’m not going seeing as how I’ve never been to CPAC before. You people need to calm down. I do believe in reaching out to new people and groups so I don’t have a problem with accommodating groups with different perspectives at a big gathering like CPAC. That controversy is not why I’m not going.”

alwaysfiredup on February 7, 2011 at 1:00 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3