Blame the organizers for the snafu at the Iowa tea-party rally, not Palin

posted at 7:12 pm on August 31, 2011 by Allahpundit

Tina touched on this point before, but here’s Dave Weigel noting something that drives it home:

I met [organizer Ken] Crow in Iowa this month (I’ve been unsuccessful reaching him today) and he struck me as a classic Tea Party archetype — an amateur with big Field of Dreams ambitions. He made me well aware of all the projects he was working on but seemed a little laconic for a guy putting on a mega-rally.

“It’s gonna be televised on C-Span,” he said, “and maybe Fox, too.”

Reading up on Crow today, we find that he’s a talky activist prone to showing how much he knows. For example, on Palin: “I know for a fact she ain’t gonna run.” That’s the guy bringing Palin to Iowa for an event that reporters are attending because they wonder whether Palin will run!

Let’s sum up. The organizer, who should be building hype about an impending announcement in order to promote his event, is inexplicably going around telling people that it ain’t happening. Meanwhile, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Christine O’Donnell has become for many a symbol of “tea-party overreach” (as one of our Headlines commenters put it this morning), the organizers went ahead and apparently booked her (twice!) to appear onstage before Palin, which would have handed the media a “tea partiers are unelectable!” angle on a silver platter. In fact, four different news outlets — RCP, NBC, CNN, and Politico — are claiming that O’Donnell’s appearance was one of the issues in this morning’s drama, with CNN adding this:

The Palin source said O’Donnell’s representatives misled the tea party group about the extent of the governor’s relationship with O’Donnell.

O’Donnell’s representatives told event organizers that she would be in Iowa on the date of the rally and would like to come by and “say hi” to Palin, the source said. O’Donnell was then added to the speaking agenda.

The source told CNN that O’Donnell aides lied to organizers and said Palin had been communicating via text message with O’Donnell about the rally.

“The governor hasn’t spoken to her in a year,” the Palin source said of O’Donnell.

See Ace for more on the politics of inviting O’Donnell and then read R.S. McCain expressing understandable exasperation that a triumphant moment on Saturday would be complicated by leaks and fingerpointing — some of which came via on-the-record statements to reporters by none other than Ken Crow. No wonder Palin’s team was considering walking away. When you’ve got the organizer of the event hinting to the media that you pressured him into canceling another speaker, why do him a favor by sticking around and making his event a success?

As for why Crow thought it was a good idea to invite O’Donnell in the first place, maybe he figured it’d be okay since she was, after all, at one point a tea-party star who won the Delaware primary. Whether and when she lost that stature, I’m not sure; maybe Crow wasn’t either. Last year, before the primary with Castle, it was evidence of utmost RINO-ism to suggest O’D was a poor candidate with a thin record and unlikely to win in a blue state. Now, judging by the comments today in Headlines, it’s nearly universally agreed that she shouldn’t be onstage Saturday. Maybe that’s simple electoral politics at work — Palin needs centrists to win and that’s not O’Donnell’s core constituency, to put it mildly — but then those same calculations applied in Delaware and ended up not mattering somehow. And of course Palin herself endorsed O’Donnell in the primary, which may have led Crow to think a speaking invite would be copacetic. Whatever the answer, it’s a good sign for her campaign that Team Palin is savvier about the optics of this sort of thing than the Crows of the world.

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Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

Let’s just make this simple. The Palin haters like are going to continue on throwing stones for the democrats as the democrats in republican clothing that they are, and the People that like Palin are going to grow in numbers and laugh at them even louder as the carcatures of the donkey wearing elephant clothing deserve.

The thing is you aren’t convincing me that I should remain with you establishment type haters. I am so tired of the establishment “reach across the aisle” republicans. I am spitting mad that it’s been made that we can’t get rid of that hero of you types, Hatch here in Utah. Congratualtions.. Nuts like you win again, and we have to bear this ninny another term of 8 long years that he won’t actually stand for something.

Noelie on September 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM

She needs to walk away from this Crow guy. I think this guy is minor leagues and Palin is not served well with this organization. TEA party is amorphous for a reason and Crow is trying to hoist himself as a director of it.
I hope Palin runs but not for running sake. If she is going to run, she cannot afford to be surrounded with self-serving people – and Crow appears to be just that.

Lostinbluema on September 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I hope this poster from C4P doesn’t mind, however, I am going to
post his commentary because I think it states the obvious very well:

“Let’s also be clear about something else with our friend Ken Crow.

He told an Iowa outlet that, while he loves Sarah Palin, he “knows for a fact that she’s not running”.

Because Palin told him that his bad self, of course.

Of course, he’s trying to blame Pete Singleton so the Palin Guy will get all the blame and deflect it from Crow, the Perry flunky. The L.A. Times is pushing this meme.

He’s Perry’s guy. I’ve been saying that all day. Most of you are just finding out NOW what I was saying this morning (well, thanks to unseen’s reporting from last night).

Unlike McCain, however, I suspect sabotage. Perry’s people are good, and I think they came up with this within the past week to show Palin that they could f**k with her life if she got in.

If I know my Palin, this will just piss her off. Palin’s been screwed by experts, so she’s used to this.

Bottom line? Trust no one in Presidential Politics and ramp up your own Advance and Communications Team. Control your own Message. All the Time.

Or the Other Side will control it for you.

Palin had a void of several hours this morning where there was literally no communications from the Palin Campaign about what was going on.

It was chaotic. Adult run campaigns don’t allow this to happen. Dan Riehl was scathing when he wrote that we are too close to 2012 for this to be allowed to happen. This was Amateur Night.

This kind of thing can’t be allowed to happen again. Palin hired a chief of staff for a reason. He needs to make sure that this kind of confusion doesn’t reign next time out.

I know. All the excuse-peddlers are saying “it wasn’t Palin’s fault!”. That’s BS in a Presidential Campaign. This is the land of No Quarter Asked, and None Given. Nobody cares about your excuses.

It’s always the Campaign’s Fault. Especially if you’re a Republican. Especially if you’re Sarah Palin. The media, by and large, hate Palin, because she exposed the Emperor as having No Clothes, and they will always hate her for that. Reporters like Conroy, Walshe, and Hamby are the exception, not the rule. Palin can’t leave planning and execution to Tea Party people; that’s just asking for your own death sentence.

Palin always assumed that Rick Perry was her friend and wouldn’t pull the kind of crap with her that the Romney people had been doing with Bachmann since January and the Giffords Affair. In all probability, now she is both sadder, and wiser. But I suspect it is something she should have known all along, and perhaps she always did. One thing I know about Palin is that it is very hard to fool her.

Or, to put it another way, as Harry Truman said of Washington, D.C.: “If you want a friend in this town, get a dog.”

Amjean on September 1, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Eight pages on this topic, heeheehee…

If nothing else, I am grateful to Palin for the political dynamic her enemies have created.

The more they bark, the sharper her bite.

Love it.

Cricket624 on September 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

It’s always the Campaign’s Fault. Especially if you’re a Republican. Especially if you’re Sarah Palin. The media, by and large, hate Palin, because she exposed the Emperor as having No Clothes, and they will always hate her for that. Reporters like Conroy, Walshe, and Hamby are the exception, not the rule. Palin can’t leave planning and execution to Tea Party people; that’s just asking for your own death sentence.

She’s not going to outsource her primary campaign. This is not her event.

alwaysfiredup on September 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM

It’s always the Campaign’s Fault. Especially if you’re a Republican. Especially if you’re Sarah Palin. The media, by and large, hate Palin, because she exposed the Emperor as having No Clothes, and they will always hate her for that. Reporters like Conroy, Walshe, and Hamby are the exception, not the rule. Palin can’t leave planning and execution to Tea Party people; that’s just asking for your own death sentence.

She’s not going to outsource her primary campaign. This is not her event.

alwaysfiredup on September 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM

She should control her brand. “Preconditions” are a must – and in writing. A lesson learned.

Amjean on September 1, 2011 at 12:18 PM

She’s not going to outsource her primary campaign. This is not her event.

alwaysfiredup on September 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Yes, but it’s a very important event for her.

Once she is in full control, there will be less of this sort of thing. But I think it’s fair to say she can learn from yesterday, especially wrt communications – and I’m sure she will.

Missy on September 1, 2011 at 1:10 PM

She should control her brand. “Preconditions” are a must – and in writing. A lesson learned.

Amjean on September 1, 2011 at 12:18 PM

true but Palin is facing big money too. she has to take the “free” oppurtunites presented to her to level the field. It will cause problems at times but I think the positives outweight the negatives. Once her campaign kicks off these types of things will be fewer in this preseason these things will happen.

unseen on September 1, 2011 at 1:45 PM

She should control her brand. “Preconditions” are a must – and in writing. A lesson learned.

Amjean on September 1, 2011 at 12:18 PM

true but Palin is facing big money too. she has to take the “free” oppurtunites presented to her to level the field. It will cause problems at times but I think the positives outweight the negatives. Once her campaign kicks off these types of things will be fewer in this preseason these things will happen.

unseen on September 1, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Palin MUST control her brand, paid or unpaid.

This is the difference between Perry and Palin right now -

Perry does NOT have the goods and acts like he is “all that”.
Palin does HAVE the goods and her camp looks like a bunch of amateurs; therefore by association so does she.

Whether you and I like it or not, perception is what many voters
use to make a decision on a candidate. The rest of us with brains
research their record and use these facts to envision what kind of
president they would be. In my mind there are more of the former than the latter. I hope I am wrong.

Amjean on September 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8