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Sarah Palin Being Frozen Out Of Republican Convention?

Over at The Daily Beast, Peter Boyer notes that, as of now, Sarah Palin has not been invited to speak at the Republican National Convention and there don’t appear to be any plans to include her at all:

Palin would certainly light up the base at the convention—her 2008 vice-presidential acceptance speech was, in terms of partisan enthusiasm, the high-water mark of the McCain campaign—but a jolt of Palin at Romney’s convention seems most unlikely. The Romney campaign prides itself on a slavish adherence to script, and Palin cannot be trusted to avoid the impulse to go rogue. That is why, perhaps, the Romney campaign has not asked Palin to speak at the convention nor contacted her about even attending the party’s marquee event in Tampa. Queries to the Romney camp about any possible Palin role at the convention meet with a stony silence. Palin does not seem surprised. “What can I say?” she responded in an email from Alaska, when asked by Newsweekabout the convention, just before heading to Michigan to deliver an Obama-thumping speech. “I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.”

“In accepting those consequences,” she added, “one must remember this isn’t Sadie Hawkins and you don’t invite yourself and a date to the Big Dance.”

The article then goes on to assert that this potential snubbing of Palin, who would be the first former Vice-Presidential nominee to be denied a role at their parties convention since, well, John Edwards in 2008 and pretty much nobody else, has made the Tea Party “livid.” It also goes on for more than two pages about the tensions that we’ve always known exist between the Romney camp and Tea Party activists. But, the real story here doesn’t strike me as being about the Tea Party at all, and Ed Morrissey picks it out quite easily:

After reading the article, there doesn’t appear to be much in which to respond, frankly, except one point.  The article seems to be pretty heavy on sourcing from Palin’s camp, and very little from Tea Party activists. In fact, it seems very heavily sourced from Palin herself.  The one comment made by “one adviser associated with the campaign” was that they thought Palin’s contract with Fox would preclude her from speaking at the convention, which Palin refutes herself on the record (and Fox concurs).  It looks like a shot across the bow, leveraged through Boyers with some very weak Tea-Party-is-angry dressing, aimed at Team Romney to give Palin a platform in August.  We’ll see if the message is received, and what the response will be.

The Tea Party tie-in is such a weak part of the story, that one has to think it was grafted on to what seems to clearly be, as Morrissey says, a shot across Romney’s bow from Team Palin and a signal to her supporters that she intends to fight for a voice to be heard no matter how reluctant Romney’s people may be to give it to her. Indeed, if you read through the article pretty much all the quotes about the Palin-at-the-convention part of the story seems to clearly come directly from Palin herself or her spokespeople. The only indication that Tea Party activists are “livid” comes from a single quote from one activist. As Morrisey notes, there’s simply no indication that this has been an issue of much concern to activists, most of whom have been spending the last several weeks reacting to the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision. Of course, if the “Palin being snubbed” story goes viral, it’s likely that these same activists will start rallying behind Palin again. So, what we’re really looking at here, I submit, is a tactical move on Palin’s part to try to wedge her way into the convention.

Dave Weigel says this about Palin’s comments:

Of the many ways you could answer that question, Palin went for the option marked Maximal Self-Aggrandizement. She all but endorsed Newt Gingrich at key moments in the early primaries, but she explains a possible diss — as punishment for “calling out both sides of the aisle.”

Well, that’s typical Palin isn’t it? Get the attention on her, and play the victim.

It’s easy to understand why Romney would want to keep Palin at arms length during the convention. After all, based on her speech at the 2008 convention and other speeches shes given to friendly crowds in the interim years, it’s fairly clear that she has a connection to the base of the GOP and that she would be a huge draw for the crowd of delegates. If there’s one thing a party nominee does not want at the convention that he’s being nominated at, it’s to be overshadowed by someone else and that’s exactly the danger that Romney would face if Palin were speaking a night or two before him. Moreover, as noted above, keeping Palin “on message” would be next to impossible for Romney’s team, just as it was for McCain’s team in 2008. Finally, of course, there’s the fact that being that closely associated with Palin just when the nation is really starting to pay attention to the election risks alienating independent voters, especially given Palin’s approval numbers, which is likely just as negative as it was when pollsters stopped including her in polls a year ago if not more so.

Given all of that, I wouldn’t blame Romney at all for wanting to distance himself from Palin and deny her a spot at the convention. The question is whether he’ll be able to keep that up if the campaign and the party start getting pressure from the insanely loyal Palinistas.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    “I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.”

    Yep, that’s Sarah, finding fault in everyone but herself.

    I still have hope that she will be a keynote speaker at the convention.
    The base loves her, as do Democrats.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 7

  2. mantis says:

    Sarah Who?

    Also, the Tea Party already died of old age. They went out holding signs that read “Keep government hands off of my Medicare hospice benefit!”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 8

  3. JKB says:

    This seems much about nothing. If Palin desired, she could fly to Dutch Harbor, give a speech during the convention and draw greater coverage. This could be swipe at the MSM, with no Palin their ratings for the convention are going to be very conventional.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  4. C. Clavin says:

    The half-term Governor didn’t help herself by upstaging Romney in New Hampshire when he was announcing his candidacy.
    With apologies to Pete Townsend and the Who…Romney won’t get fooled again. At least not by that ignoramous.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  5. ernieyeball says:

    @mantis: “…the Tea Party already died of old age.”

    I wonder if their spouses took the Social Security Survivors benefits?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  6. CSK says:

    Sarahpac has put a deposit on a space for her at the Channelside Mall in Tampa, so she may decide to hold her own little counter-convention there. Her more delusional supporters are praying for something they call “A Miracle in Tampa,” whereby she’ll be accorded the nomination by acclaim and win a landslide 70-30 victory over Barack Obama.

    I’m sure Palin would love the chance to speak in order to refresh her brand and bask in the admiration of her fans. But why should Romney grant her it, given that she hasn’t offered him much support.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  7. ernieyeball says:

    …Frozen Out!?!

    They can put her up at the Masters Inn-Tampa Fairground. $38 (US)/night per Expedia…
    maybe if she looks out the window she can see Cuba!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  8. CB says:

    In all fairness, what is she going to say? “Look, I’m toxic and everyone knows it”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  9. C. Clavin says:

    @ CSK…
    Palin is too stupid to realize she needs to

    “refresh her brand”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  10. MM says:

    @CB: But not everyone knows she is toxic. The people who think Romney’s bus driving around Obama speeches honking and who carry around signs about birth certificates think that she is a net asset. Romney needs to get those people to hold their nose and vote for him without having Palin scare moderates away in the fall. Again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  11. paladin says:

    “The Tea Party died of old age”. Really?

    They have been instrumental in giving the heave-ho to big spending GOPers in favor of more fiscally conservative candidates. They have driven the debt debate away from how much can we spend/squander to how do we turn this debt train wreck around. In my own state of Texas, the race for US Senate is between establishment GOPer Dewhurst and Tea Party candidate Cruz.

    Mantis, maybe it’s time for you to expand your news sources beyond msnbc and Mother Jones—-there’s a whole wide world of reality out there waiting to be explored.

    But if it makes you feel good about yourself, by all means, hold on to your leftwing delusions.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 21

  12. CSK says:

    Well, as it turns out she IS giving a speech and I, lucky person that I am, just received an advance copy. Here it is:

    “Don’t retreat, reload…crony capitalism…death panels…permanent political class…sudden and relentless reform…commonsense conservatism…we the people…constitutional conservatism…warning the British that we were gonna be free and we were gonna be secure…tea party patriots…death panels…don’t retreat, reload…corruption and collusion…crony capitalism…we the people…commonsense conservatism…permanent political class…we the people…wtf…don’t retreat, reload…crony capitalism…death panels…sudden and relentless reform…permanent political class…wtf.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  13. paladin says:

    Palin had her chance and she blew it. They only people interested in her are leftwing blogs like Daily Beast, leftwing columnists and bloggers like Doug who feel the need to throw out some red meat for his leftwing commenters. The rest of us have moved on. She isn’t what energizes the Tea Party, it’s Obamacare now.

    Sarah Palin is about as relevant to the current political scene as Joe Biden.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 23

  14. PJ says:

    The GOP should have shunned her on November 5, 2008.
    Instead they nurtured her and let her grow.
    And now it’s too late.
    (I guess they could bribe the grifter…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  15. anjin-san says:

    more fiscally conservative candidates.

    If by “fiscally conservative” you mean screw senior citizens and make every day Christmas for billionaires and defense contractors, sure.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  16. Wayne says:

    Romney has not solidified the conservative Republican base. Snub them once again especially if the doesn’t choose a conservative VP could cost him big time in the election. Yes, conservatives hate Obama but that doesn’t mean their numbers won’t decrease if they don’t like Romney.

    I suspect they will throw her a bone yet try to keep distance from her. Stupid not to. The loss would dwarf the gain if they don’t. Independents will unlikely to leave because of a minor speaker at the convention but Tea Party members may if they fell excluded.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  17. Fiona says:

    I’d imagine that the patrician Romney finds white trash Sarah too unseemly to share a stage with her. The only reason she’d want to speak at the convention is self-promotion. Now that she’s no longer the right wing bimbo du jour, the money’s probably not rolling in nearly as fast as it used to.

    Romney can find another conservative stalwart to gin up the base. The party’s full of them and there’s likely to be a couple that won’t make independent voters want to vomit in their mouths.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Romney should remember LBJ’s words of wisdom about J. Edgar Hoover and tents…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  19. wr says:

    @al-Ameda: I think the real problem is that they wouldn’t pay her massive speaker’s fee…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  20. mantis says:

    @paladin:

    “The Tea Party died of old age”. Really?

    Yes, I know there are still a few of them tooling around on their government-bought Rascal scooters. If we could only get those death panels started!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  21. C. Clavin says:

    “…Sarah Palin is about as relevant to the current political scene as Joe Biden…”

    Biden may be politically irrelevant…that’s arguable…but he is tremendously important to the actual business of governing…which Republicans in general, and Tea Partiers specifically, have no interest in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  22. Mr. Replica says:

    What do you think would happen if Romney allowed himself to be closely affiliated with Palin and he lost the election?

    Do you think Palin would be saddled with losing consecutive presidential elections for the republicans?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: Those damned geriatric racist Tea Partiers are screwing things up royally in Texas, backing a Cuban-American against the white Lt. Guv for the US Senate.

    I guess Cruz must be one of those “white Hispanics” we just discovered…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Biden may be politically irrelevant…that’s arguable…but he is tremendously important to the actual business of governing…which Republicans in general, and Tea Partiers specifically, have no interest in.

    How in HELL did you type that with a straight face? Biden, “tremendously important?” Good lord, I think I pulled a muscle laughing.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 20

  25. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, given that Palin outside of the echo chamber is as toxic as mustard gas if you’re on the pragmatic side of the GOP aisle you better hope she’s being frozen out of the convention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  26. wr says:

    @Mr. Replica: “Do you think Palin would be saddled with losing consecutive presidential elections for the republicans? ”

    Palin can not fail. Palin can only be failed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  27. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Those damned geriatric racist Tea Partiers are screwing things up royally in Texas, backing a Cuban-American against the white Lt. Guv for the US Senate.

    I guess Cruz must be one of those “white Hispanics” we just discovered…

    I didn’t say anything about racists. You brought it up. Why are you so obsessed with race?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  28. rudderpedals says:

    She’ll overshadow anyone picked for veep. Ms. Palin will have to settle for Sarasota.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @wr:

    @al-Ameda: I think the real problem is that they wouldn’t pay her massive speaker’s fee…

    Good point, but isn’t her speaking fee is walking around money for Romney?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  30. al-Ameda says:

    @mantis:

    “The Tea Party died of old age”. Really?

    Yes, I know there are still a few of them tooling around on their government-bought Rascal scooters. If we could only get those death panels started!

    You meant “rectal scooters” right? After their colonoscopies, we can schedule their consultations with their beloved Death Panels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  31. An Interested Party says:

    They have been instrumental in giving the heave-ho to big spending GOPers in favor of more fiscally conservative candidates.

    A shame they couldn’t get one of their own as the presidential candidate, eh?

    They have driven the debt debate away from how much can we spend/squander to how do we turn this debt train wreck around.

    Good luck convincing senior citizens that all that money that is spent on them is “squandering” on a “train wreck”…that’ll get the Tea Party crowd really far…

    She isn’t what energizes the Tea Party, it’s Obamacare now.

    Well you better do everything you can to make sure that Moderate Mitt is elected president and that you get a Senate with 60 GOP senators (good luck with that, by the way), otherwise you’ll never get rid of “Obamacare”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: You really missed the memo, didn’t you? Romney, once elected, will have several options to kill ObamaCare without needing 60 Senators. He’s already mentioned one: simply granting all 50 states the same waivers that Obama’s been handing out to his supporters.

    Alternately: simply announce that he won’t be enforcing the laws, much like Obama has announced he won’t be enforcing certain laws he doesn’t like.

    Alternately: simply defund the program, with emphasis on the enforcement arm — maybe the 16,000 new IRS agents should be first to go.

    Obama has shown us, time and again, that presidents simply don’t need to go through Congress to do a lot of things we thought they did before. The precedent is there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  33. An Interested Party says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Keep hope alive, especially the part about Romney actually becoming president…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  34. HI $ARAH says:

    Last week Sarah admonished Romney to “light our hair on fire”. Well I personally think Sarah should be there so we can watch her set that example by lighting her own hair on fire.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  35. HI $ARAH says:

    @JKB: I doubt it. Only 300 people showed up in Michigan this past weekend to hear her screech at the fairgrounds. I predict that in a couple of months she’ll be making the county fair circuit all across the land in those little pockets of “Real Amerikkka”. You’ll be able to find her in the tent with the bearded lady and lizard man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  36. labman57 says:

    Sorry Sarah, once again it appears that you don’t understand — it’s not always about YOU.

    Palin has gotta keep up appearances, lest her foolish fan base come to their collective senses and recognize that Sarah only cares about the popular and financial success of Sarah.

    For Palin, it’s always about self-promotion in an effort to paint herself as God’s gift to patriotism so that her mindless minions will continue to throw their hard-earned money at her and she can continue to maintain the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed.

    With that in mind, the best thing that everybody could do is simply ignore her. She bailed on her state’s constituency because she could not handle the rigors of the job. She simply wants to bask in the spotlight, free of serious responsibilities.

    Why feed her overinflated ego by drawing attention to her daily bout of histrionics?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  37. Leewards says:

    @HI $ARAH:

    I was there.

    Over 2,000 in attendance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  38. ernieyeball says:

    @Leewards: I was there. Over 2,000 in attendance.

    Palin told a cheering crowd of at least 400 strong gathered at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. “We must not lose our sense of optimism.” Detroit News July 14, 2012

    “Former vice presidential candidate and Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin greeted hundreds of tea party supporters Saturday at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Belleville.”

    News-Hearld Willoughby, Ohio July 15, 2012

    “Yesterday, Americans For Prosperity held a fake grassroots rally called “Patriots in the Park” in Belleville, Michigan near the Detroit Metro Airport. Around 400-500 tea party supporters and Sarah Palin fanatics showed up to bake in the hot sun to witness an event, dubbed “Kochstock”” Daily Kos July 16, 2012

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  39. anjin-san says:

    @ Leewards

    That’s pretty cool. Was she on the same bill as the puppet show and Spinal Tap? Does she let Todd play the tambourine now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  40. Leewards says:

    @ernieyeball:

    I was there as Media. I have no skin in this game (I thought Palin was vapid). I too read Detroit News, and they were wildly inaccurate (although I guess my “over 2,000″ is technically “at least 400″). And what do you expect from Kos?

    Americans for Prosperity (hosts of the event) had over 1,600 pre-registered, and there were many more in attendance than that. I have photos. Believe what you want.

    I was there.

    Over 2,000 in attendance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  41. Leewards says:

    @anjin-san:

    No, she apologized for not having her traveling entertainment entourage. She was shrill, shallow and smiley as usual. There was an interesting performance group there, however- a local high school group of fiddlers, cloggers, and band. Highlight of the day, in my opinion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  42. secction9 says:

    This is typical for our old friend Doug, who is finding new ways to rationalize an increasingly incompetent Romney Campaign.

    By this time in the 1980 Cycle, Reagan had reached out to the party liberals, such as the Bush family, and had found a way to bring on board all of his opponents. He had even made peace with the Rockefeller wing of the party. The only ones he hadn’t been able to reconcile with were the forces behind John Anderson’s quixotic quest.

    But Romney and his people are not leaders of the caliber of Reagan or any of the members of Reagan’s superb 1980 staff. They don’t even come close. They are going to blow an eminently winnable election because they are unwilling to do the things they need to do to unify the party for the fall. Palin’s case is not the only one of high-handedness towards Movement Conservatives and Tea Party people by the entitled Bush Wing for which Romney is the present Front Man. Other people are being frozen out, and those names will come out.

    Romney should be up on this President in Clown Shoes by five to seven points right now. Instead, he is on the defensive about Bain Capital and his tax returns. He is on the defensive to a President with a record that looks increasingly unfavorable to Stalin’s stewardship of the Ukraine during the 1930′s.

    Meanwhile, the Usual Suspects, like Mataconis, are going to become increasingly shrill towards Reagan Conservatives like Palin as the wheels begin to come off the Romney bandwagon. Poor Doug can only whine about Palin and point fingers, instead of looking where the responsibility belongs: to Romney’s own incomptence and the incompetence of his staff. And to Romney’s own unwillingness to fight by the Chicago Rules while Obama kicks him in the gonads day after day after day.

    As for Palin? She answered questions from Peter Boyer is all. Oh, and had she been in this race, Douglas? Palin would be punching Obama’s lights out right now. This woman fights. Unlike Romney, who apparently needs to be taught how by a better woman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  43. Jr says:

    Can’t say I blame Mitt.

    “Put Palin on stage and simply remind voters why they went with Obama in the first place.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  44. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: What a waste of pixels that was. No answer of substance.

    This is my surprised face. Well, you can’t see it, but trust me — I look totally flabbergasted that you wussed out on actually addressing my points. Gobsmacked, even.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3