Status of Sarah Palin’s Tea Party appearance in Iowa unconfirmed, then reconfirmed

posted at 12:45 pm on August 31, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Rumors swirled this morning that Sarah Palin’s appearance at a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa, was “no longer confirmed,” but the event’s organizers insist she’ll still be there Saturday:

“As far as I know, everything is still a go,” Tea Party of America organizer Charlie Gruschow told POLITICO in an email Wednesday morning, shortly after a report in The Wall Street Journal stated that she had pulled out of the rally on Saturday near Des Moines.

Palin’s trip to Iowa had renewed speculation of a presidential bid, which she’s left open as an option.

Palin had committed to the rally and announced she would attend. But a source close to Palin told the Journal Wednesday that organizers’ “continued lying,” particularly the confusion over whether former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell would speak at the event, prompted her withdrawal. O’Donnell’s appearance had been cancelled and then put back on the agenda Tuesday night.

Ken Crow, founder of Tea Party for America, took the blame for the confusion, saying he’s “naive when it comes to politics and what you are supposed to say and not say.”

“We made mistakes and now we are fixing them,” Crow told ABC News this morning, after talking to Palin’s people to confirm her appearance. “It’s all good.”

Specifically, Crow called the O’Donnell mixup “a mistake.” “I didn’t handle it the way I should have,” he said. “I handled it incorrectly.”

Very nice of Crow to call himself naive and reassure supporters that Palin is “a lady of her word and impeccably honest” (as he also did). But it’s also possible the “sources close to the former Alaska governor” who suggested to both the WSJ and RealClearPolitics that Palin was reconsidering her appearance knew a flap like this would generate additional media coverage. It’s also possible Palin really is a little nervous that appearing alongside O’Donnell will tarnish her brand. (O’Donnell, for her part, is doing her best to turn this to her advantage, tweeting that she accepted her re-invitation to speak because she believes in “rising above it,” whatever “it” is.)

No matter the explanation, the calculated chaos is vintage Palin. As WSJ’s Danny Yadron put it, “Ms. Palin is known for last-minute schedule changes that whipsaw supporters and media across the country.”

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