Palin to miss first GOP debate at Reagan library
posted at 7:13 pm on March 8, 2011 by Allahpundit
Good politics, actually, and if not for the location, I’d say it was great politics.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) will headline a military appreciation event and fundraiser on May 2 in Colorado — the same day as the first GOP presidential primary debate in California…
The 7 p.m. Mountain Time event falls on the same day as the NBC News-Politico debate — the first of the GOP primary season — which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif…
Melissa Giller, a spokeswoman for the Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, told the Post that no likely Republican candidates have committed to attend the debate, which will be moderated by NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams and Politico editor John Harris.
SarahPAC’s treasurer tells NRO that the scheduling had nothing to do with the debate. Okay, but raising money for families of deceased vets on a night when the Pawlentys and Gingriches of the world are chasing their personal ambitions on national TV is a pretty sweet contrast to draw. It’s also an opportunity to enlarge the shadow she’s cast over the field. Her absence at the library will be felt regardless, but if she says something provocative in her speech at the fundraiser that gets the media’s attention, she might steal the spotlight away from the debate the next day. That’ll drive her rivals nuts and build momentum for a splashy late entry into the race.
The only potential liability is that skipping a photo op with Nancy Reagan makes it a bit harder to claim the Reagan mantle. Even that’s a minor concern, though: None of the other top-tier candidates seriously present themselves in the Reagan mold, and since the debate’s being sponsored by two media outlets that grassroots conservatives loathe, her decision to skip the event is easily forgiven. It’s all upside. Exit question: If it’s wrong to read any political significance into the scheduling of the May event, is it okay to read some significance into the scheduling of this event in October?