Last month, the NRSC and the NRCC issued a joint press release announcing that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) would deliver the keynote address at their annual fundraising dinner. Palin’s staff quickly quashed the excitement and said the governor would not be attending. (She was allegedly “worried about overexposure.”) Instead, the NRSC and NRCC turned to former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Palin “hadn’t been expected to attend the event until last week, when her advisers approached organizers saying she would be near Washington and would like to come.” However, as news outlets reported today, Palin’s team is now balking because the governor will no longer be allowed to speak:
Gingrich has done more than his part, according to many involved in raising the money, and Sessions didn’t want the former Speaker overshadowed by someone who had not helped raise the millions the dinner is expected to pull in. Sessions said Palin could be introduced, but would not be allowed to speak.
Palin’s team was offended that she was not given the chance to speak and said they would not send the governor to the dinner, even though she is in Washington on Monday. In the end, it was Palin’s camp that leaked word of the spat.
Over the weekend, Cornyn did his best to smooth over the ruffled feathers. The NRSC chief called Palin on Sunday; that call has not been returned.
Greg Sargent reports that Sessions is now rushing to make nice with Palin. Ironically, Sessions plans to stress that the GOP is “a unified party” in his speech at the fundraising event.