It’s hard to see how the Republican Party is going to orchestrate a comeback if it’s having this much trouble organizing the seating chart for one dinner. Politico’s Jonathan Martin tells us:
Sarah Palin’s on-again, off-again appearance at Monday night’s gala GOP fundraising dinner is off — again.
After being invited — for a second time — to speak to the annual joint fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Palin was told abruptly Saturday night that she would not be allowed to address the thousands of Republicans there after all.
The Alaska governor may now skip the dinner altogether, and her allies are miffed at what they see as a slight from the congressional wing of the Republican Party.
The reason given for the snub, said a Palin aide, was that NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions was concerned about not wanting to upstage former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the fundraising gala’s keynote speaker.
“A great deal of effort has been put into this fundraising event, and Speaker Gingrich has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain. “It is our hope that Gov. Palin will attend the dinner and be recognized, but we understand if her busy schedule doesn’t permit her to do so.”
UPDATE: From Greg Sargent: Breaking news! (Honestly, I just can’t keep up):
NRCC chief Pete Sessions is working behind the scenes to get Palin reinvited to the big GOP fundraiser tonight, GOP sources say.
It’s the story of the day that GOP leaders have been battling over who’s to blame for the fact that Palin was “snubbed” when she was mysteriously disinvited from the big fundraiser, which is for the two Congressional committees, the NRCC and the NRSC. Politico laid the blame on NRCC chief Sessions, claiming he didn’t want her to upstage keynote speaker Newt Gingrich, prompting a round of bitter finger-pointing.
But GOP sources say that Sessions right now is working the phones to try to get Palin to attend, after all. The Hill, in what seemed like an answer to the Politico piece, reported that the real culprit behind Palin’s disinvitation had originally been NRSC chief John Cornyn.
UPDATE2: Wait, wait, wait … Cillizza reports she’s going to make it after all. Unless she doesn’t.