Sarah Palin To Give CPAC Keynote Speech I’ll Be Skipping

Just announced by the planners of next month’s CPAC conference:

Sarah Palin will be the keynote speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 11, after four years of consistently rejecting the top spot at the high-profile conservative conference in Washington, D.C.

“Few national conservative leaders in America today energize and inspire our grassroots activists like Governor Sarah Palin. Her strong record of leadership, championing of our shared principles and magnetic personality have made Sarah Palin a hero to millions of conservatives across the country,” American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement. “As we ready for the critical 2012 election, I’m honored to welcome Governor Palin to the Conservative Political Action Conference for the first-time ever.”

The former Alaska governor has a rocky history with the group.

She declined to keynote the event in 2011, citing a scheduling conflict. But her refusal to participate fueled speculation that she wasn’t going because of GOProud, a gay Republican group, that planned to attend. She denied that was the case. Her political action committee, SarahPAC, did sponsor a reception at the convention.

In 2010, Palin cited ACU’s business dealings, particularly those of its then-chairman David Keene, as the reason for dodging CPAC.

In 2009, she initially accepted an invitation to kick off the convention, but then dropped out, saying that she had to attend to the “duties of governing.” She sent a taped message instead.

And in 2008, Palin cancelled her speech just two weeks before the event. By then, she had not been named Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential candidate, but in 2007, the man who would eventually become her running mate was booed by the crowd.

Palin’s standing in the CPAC straw poll has tumbled over the years. She came in ninth in last year’s poll, after a third place finish in 2010 and 2009, behind Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

Last year’s keynoter was Herman Cain Allen West. I believe I was at the bar during that speech.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I guess Fred Thompson and Tom Tancredo must have been unavailable.

  2. Fiona says:

    Poor Sarah–not getting enough time in the spotlight these days and yet to realize her growing irrelevancy.

  3. @Tsar Nicholas:

    Fred Thompson is busy selling reverse mortgages on infomercials. Not sure what Tancredo is up to but I’m sure it involves hating Mexican people in some way.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Doug, you know you want to be there…. Deep down inside, you really do…. kinda like driving by an accident and looking for bodies, you just can’t help yourself.

  5. anjin-san says:

    I predict within a year Palin will have a new reality show that involves pole dancing. If she can get Christine Odonnell to be a guest star they may be on to something…

  6. ed says:

    I’m sorry, who is this person again?

  7. Gustopher says:

    I hope she made them pay a fortune in speaking fees.

    Every dollar she extracts from the right wing is one less dollar they have to spend usefully. I love her.

  8. tcat says:


    Why do you attend GOP events when you hate Republicans? Do you go so you can sit in the bar and drink? Don’t they have bars in your neighborhood?

  9. PhilipJames says:

    Hey Doug…. nobody noticed you weren’t around last year and it will be same this year…
    as a matter of fact, why even bother going if you can get sh*t faced back home in your regular booze hangout? Your writing isn’t any different sober or drunk, so no one will know. Mail it in.

  10. merl says:

    @anjin-san: I’d watch it.

  11. David Zimmerman says:

    In spite of the nasty, snarky comments, Sarah Palin can draw bigger crowds than any of the current politicians, including Obama. She has a solid following that is bigger than Ron Paul’s.
    Furthermore, it represents more independents and democrats than Ron Paul’s. Eat your heart out Doug, they won’t miss you at the event. You can hear about it and quote anonymous sources.