Since they couldn’t have Palin, congressional GOP turn to their second choice: Newt Gingrich.

ap03040601408.jpg Earlier this month, the top congressional GOP fundraising committees — 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. However, Palin’s staff quickly quashed the excitement, saying that “[e]nthusiasm during a scheduling meeting…was misinterpreted as a confirmation of attendance.” Embarrassed, Republicans began trashing the governor. “She was a disaster,” said one Republican source. “We had confirmation.” The GOP has now turned to its second choice — former House speaker Newt Gingrich. The Wall Street Journal reports that Gingrich has agreed to “speak in her place.”