Palin Rebuffs CPAC

Sarah Palin will not be speaking at CPAC this year, citing the pay-for-play scandal involving organizer David Keene.

palin-cpac-disPalin is declining an invitation to address the Conservative Political Action Conference next month because, a source said, she does not want to be affiliated with the longtime organizer of the traditional movement confab.

At issue is the role of David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union which organizes CPAC. In September, POLITICO reported that Keene asked FedEx for between $2 million and $3 million to get the group’s support in a bitter legislative battle with rival UPS.

A source close to the Palin camp says that request led to a decision to stay away from the upcoming CPAC conference, calling it a forum that will place “special interests over core beliefs” and “pocketbook over policy.”  “That’s not what CPAC should be about and people are tiring,” the source said. “Palin is taking a stance against this just as she did in Alaska.”

I’ve gone to CPAC the last several years and may well do so again, as it’s a great opportunity to see some other bloggers that I’d never otherwise run into and otherwise network.  But the convention and its organizers have lost a lot of luster in recent years.
As an aside, it’s noteworthy that Palin declined to attend CPAC last year, well before the scandal broke.  And Keene has been quite critical of Palin, essentially saying she’s not ready for prime time.  So Keene’s effort to strongarm FedEx may be a convenient excuse.
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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dantheman says:

    Also, Palin’s not being paid to speak by CPAC, unlike the Tea Party Convention, which may influence her decision.

  2. sam says:

    Smells like third-party spirit to me. Yay!!

    Load up on guns
    Bring your friends
    It’s fun to lose and to pretend
    She’s overborne and self-assured
    Oh no, I know a dirty word

    Fill in the dirty word for yourselves. I got dibbs on ‘liberal’, ‘leftist’, and ‘Obama’.

  3. tom p says:

    Also, Palin’s not being paid to speak by CPAC, unlike the Tea Party Convention, which may influence her decision.

    yep, I suspect she has her own ideas about what “pay for play” means.

    and just in case, I’ll add that that is her right.