The final GOP Convention speaker announcements came quickly after Mitt Romney announced his vice presidential running mate. Former Alaska GovernorSarah Palin is out, even though Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus had said earlier that he hoped she would have a speaking role, and her absence leaves many very disappointed! But New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in, giving the keynote address on Tuesday night, making many across all sectors of the party happy! And popular Florida Senator Marco Rubiowill be introducing Romney at the Convention. Texas Representative and two time GOP presidential primary candidate Ron Paul, who will be holding a Rally for his Liberty Delegates on Aug 26th in Tampa, will not appear leaving many of his followers shocked, but his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, will take the stage (a deal that many feel was made months ago between the Paul and Romney camps on the campaign trail). And just like the unconventional early Paul Ryan VP announcement this is a bit of a shake-up and surprise, especially for those who consider Mitt Romney and his team predictable… perhaps not so much after all!?!
Having waited to write this for a few days, still hoping there might be a few additional changes (I am one who really hoped Palin and Allen West would still be added), the full slate of convention speakers for the Republican National Convention in Tampa later this month now appears to be set and it reveals a careful attempt by the GOP and Team Romney to highlight voices that will excite party loyalists in the campaign hall while excluding those that could possibly turn-off independent voters watching on television at home, possibly giving some credence to the rumor that Palin was asked to speak during the day… when fewer people would see her. (As Rush Limbaugh has often said, “Wow what power we have given the independents!”)
So unless things change, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the first women ever to be on a Republican Presidential ticket, who just four years ago was the first Republican female vice presidential candidate ever, will apparently not be speaking at the Republican National Convention.
Palin made her announcement through a statement released to Greta Van Susteren, after according to a report on RealClearPolitics.com, “Two Republican sources with knowledge of discussions between the Palin and Romney camps told RCP that Palin made the decision not to attend the convention after not receiving an invitation to speak in prime time: "This year is a good opportunity for other voices to speak at the convention and I'm excited to hear them.", she said. It remained unclear whether Palin would be attending the convention at all. Palin not being asked to speak at the 2012 convention by Mitt Romney’s team is considered a BIG MISTAKE by many and a bit disrespectful to the first GOP female ever to be part of a their ticket!!
Sarah Palin is a galvanizing force among many Republicans, but she was critical of Mitt Romney during the primary; her husband Todd Palin, who is presently appearing on the new high-profile reality show, “Stars Earn Stripes” even stomped for Newt Gingrich. (Eldest Palin daughter, Bristol, who is featured with her son in “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp” is also returning to Dancing with the Stars’ (DWTS) 15th season as part of their first “all-star” cast beginning soon and running through the campaign season). And Sarah has yet to ‘officially’ endorse Romney, but offered strong words of support on the Sunday after the Ryan VP pick was announced. Palin wrote: “As I've repeatedly said, I support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in their efforts to replace President Obama at the ballot box, and I intend to focus on grassroots efforts to rally Independents and the GOP base to elect Senate and House members so a wise Congress is ready to work with our new President to get our country back on the right path."
And through it all Palin is still in spotlight despite passing on the convention
Just because the former vice presidential candidate isn’t speaking at the GOP convention in late August, it doesn’t mean Palin will be out of the spotlight!
In the annuls of former vice presidential candidates, Palin now 48, remains the exception rather than the rule. Most former VP candidates on losing tickets just faded away or returned to their previous jobs in politics after their tickets’ defeat. But, four years after John McCain surprised the electorate with Palin’s selection, after which she soon overshadowed McCain on the campaign trail, Palin certainly shows no signs of disappearing as a political figure and she may just show up at the convention anyway.
But instead of Palin rocking the Convention house, like she doesevery time she speaks, a roster of other young, conservative types such as Paul Ryan (Romney’s VP choice), Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Ted Cruz will be on the podium in Tampa along with a few veterans like Condi Rice.
The Tampa Bay Times saidPalin had already rented hotel space in Tampa down the street from the convention and will be in close proximity to about 15,000 journalists, which has also been corroborated by several pundits on Fox News, where Palin is still working as a contributor as she supports candidates around the country who espouse her same ideas. In the statement released to Greta Van Susteren, Palin said she was looking forward to doing grassroots campaigning:
“As I’ve repeatedly said, I support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in their efforts to replace President Obama at the ballot box, and I intend to focus on grassroots efforts to rally Independents and the GOP base to elect Senate and House members so a wise Congress is ready to work with our new President to get our country back on the right path.”
While Palin’s critics say her convention absence is another sign of her political decline, her supporters would say it is a sign of her strength, still feared by many in the GOP establishment, sentiments that recently emerged through former VP Dick Cheney’s remarkscausing a media uproar as well as within the Republican party and among those outside the party that were swayed by the leftist rhetoric which created Palin Derangement Syndrome that sadly seems to continue.
In historic terms, Palin is one of the most high-profile ex-VP candidates in decades. Since 1912, not many losing vice presidential candidates have come back around to have significant public roles. Little-known fact however, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was on the losing Democratic ticket in 1920 and obviously bounced back in a big way with his subsequent four terms in office as president. Earl Warren lost as a VP candidate in 1948 and then later became the Chief Justice of the United States. Bob Dole, Lloyd Bentsen, Estes Kefauver, Joe Lieberman, and Walter Mondale resumed their careers after their unsuccessful races for the vice presidency. Other former candidates, like John Edwards and Geraldine Ferraro, the first Democrat woman on the presidential ticket, struggled with legal issues.But the Dems did not forget their first female VP nominee and capitalized on having the first women on a national ticket ever, whenever possible.
As for Palin, she is still making headlines, has the unwavering support of the Tea Party, and is frequently mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate if Mitt Romney doesn’t capture the White House, and a 2020 possibility if he does.
Recent estimates put her net worth above $10 million, thanks to her reality TV deal for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her books including America by Heart, and her speaking engagements.
The web site The Hill says Palin’s recent endorsements in Senate primaries helped four of five candidates win in tight elections.
Rather than Sarah’s star power fading… Palin's absence From GOP Convention May Expose a Romney-Palin Rift… Or Perhaps an Establishment-Grassroots Rift
Palin stomping for Ted Cruz in Texas
Real Clear Politics noted if one of Mitt Romney's goals in choosing a running mate was to mine the same mother lode of conservative excitement that John McCain tapped by picking Sarah Palin four years ago, there's one additional dilemma for Romney to address: Palin is still around. However we will acknowledge that the Ryan announcement has definitely boosted the Romney campaign.
Only a day after Romney unveiled House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential pick, Palin suggested in herstatement posted by her Fox News colleague and friend Greta Van Susteren that she would not speak at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa which tells us that perhaps Sarah was on the short least for a VP re-run shot and we are in for surprise appearance, she decided to be the grown-up in the room and do the right thing for the unity of the party and step back to stop anymore friction and speculation, or she is looking ahead to 2016 or even 2020 and figures perhaps absence will make the hearts grow fonder and the voices of those who miss her grow louder?!?
Palin’s apparent decision to steer clear of this year’s convention came almost four years after she took the 2008 presidential race by storm with her speech accepting the GOP vice-presidential nomination in St. Paul, Minnesota, a performance that electrified the party faithful and received almost universal praise from previously skeptical pundits, a fact the has been conveniently forgotten or spun over the past four years. For those who either don’t or choose not to remember that McCain-Palin were ahead in the polls after Palin joined the ticket, Greta Van Susteren recently pulled out the old polls.
Within days the McCain/Palin ticket had surged to the lead in theRCP Average before a series of questionable public stumbles and the near-collapse of the nation’s financial system causing McCain to temporarily suspend campaigning, which ultimately led to the Republicans’ defeat.
And though the differences between that vice-presidential rollout and his own are innumerable, Romney’s selection of Ryan has likewise generated a surge of enthusiasm in the conservative base that had previously rallied to Romney largely by default.
According to Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul, the Republican campaign raised $3.5 million online in the first 24-hours and over $7-million total in the first 3-days following Romney’s selection of Ryan, and the GOP ticket was greeted over the weekend by the largest crowds of the former Massachusetts governor’s candidacy, though the numbers have been less massive than the tens of thousands who regularly turned out for Palin’s 2008 appearances. It was at her first rally in Cali in October 2008 that this writer first saw Sarah Palin speak to a crowd of 23,000 in Carson, CA. I have been a supporter ever since and so are most who hear her speak live and actually listen!
Though she has faded from her once commanding perch on the national political scene, Palin’s role in the Republican Party heading into the campaign’s final stretch remains a consequential matter for the Romney team and not having her speak at the convention may turn out to be something they wished they had addressed and handled differently.
The former Alaska governor has not only demonstrated a continued ability to wield significant influence, particularly in Senate and House primary races, but her penchant for doing things her own way has left the lingering possibility that she could either boost the standard-bearer or become a thorn in his side. For this reason it was notable, at least to some, when she initially offered only a lukewarm reaction to Romney’s selection of Ryan.
On Saturday night, the former Alaska governor posted on her Facebook page, often her venue of choice to communicate to her fans and followers, a statement that clocked in at over 1,100 words, in which she attacked President Obama’s policies and compared the nation’s fiscal mess to California’s, but offered only cursory congratulations to Romney for choosing Ryan and declining to praise specifically any of the Wisconsin congressman’s positive attributes as a running mate. Then the following morning, the aforementioned Republican sources, with knowledge of discussions between the Palin and Romney camps, told RCP that Palin would not attend the convention after not receiving an invitation to speak in prime time. We can only speculate what is and has gone on in this situation on both sides…
“They’ve got Ryan now, so they think they’ve got the Tea Party covered,” one of the sources said.
Two Palin aides did not respond to requests for confirmation that she would not speak in Tampa, leaving room for hope for her followers, but the 2008 VP nominee appeared on Fox News later on Sunday and offered up a far more full-throated endorsement of the GOP ticket than the one that she had provided earlier.
“With Paul Ryan, who’s known for his conscientious concern for our budget and for getting America out of debt, this makes it tougher for Obama to continue to do his distracting and dividing and pivoting off the economy because this ticket representing this campaign is about the economy,” she said. “There’s a lot of us who will have his back.”
In the interview, Palin was not asked why she had declined in her initial statement to join other national Republicans in heaping praise on Ryan, but her newly effusive tone surely must have come as a relief to the Romney campaign.
Shortly after her Fox News appearance, Palin released her statement to Van Susteren indicating that she would not speak at the convention, but the question of how prominent a role the Romney campaign had been willing to grant her remained unanswered.
A Romney campaign spokesperson declined to comment on whether Palin had been offered a prime-time speaking window in Tampa, rather than a less coveted daytime slot, which considering Palin’s standing in the party would have been an insult.
“Governor Palin is an important voice and leader in the Republican Party,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said in an emailed statement to RCP. “While she will be missed in Tampa, Governor Romney looks forward to working with her to defeat President Obama, turn our economy around and strengthen America’s middle class.”
The Romney campaign has long maintained an internal policy of speaking only glowingly of Palin in public settings, but their concern remains evident that she is a polarizing figure in an election that will be decided by voters with whom she is not popular. BuzzFeed.com reported on Saturday that in alluding to the differences between the Ryan pick and McCain’s choice of Palin, one senior Romney adviser sarcastically referred in an email to “the number one policy wonk in the country . . . Sarah Palin.” Shame on them!
Commenters on the pro-Palin website Conservatives4Palin.comreacted angrily to the news that she would not speak at the convention, and a prominent GOP strategist with close ties to the Tea Party told RCP that he blamed the Romney campaign for not fully appreciating what Palin brings to the table.
“The Romney campaign from day one has missed her draw to the Tea Party,” the strategist said. “Even with Paul Ryan, they still miss thatshe’s been there from the beginning.” They also miss that she is a historic figure in the Republican party.
How Palin handles the spotlight, if she decides to make any public statements from this point on, will undoubtedly make headlines.
Palin: Tea partiers have 'no choice' but Romney… 'Of course they're going to go with anybody but Obama (ABO)'
(Fox News) After a long and sharply contested GOP primary battle, many Republicans, conservatives and tea-party types have been left questioning whether they can, in good conscience, vote for Mitt Romney in November.
Romney’s statements as a former advocate of legalized abortion, his hotly contested record on same-sex marriage and his health-care reforms while governor of Massachusetts – sometimes maligned as “Romneycare” – have left conservatives uncertain if the presumptive Republican nominee is really one of their own.
Tea-party darling and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, however, is basically dismissing the concerns, telling Fox News Channel’s Shannon Bream that Romney has the Republican Party’s conservative base in the bag.
On “America’s News Headquarters” over the weekend, host Bream asked Palin if Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as running mate would help persuade those “not completely sold” on the name at the top of the GOP ticket.
“A lot of maybe Tea Party patriots have understood, wisely, that they’ve had no choice,” Palin answered. “Of course they’re going to go with anybody but Obama (ABO), and now, yes, I believe that there will be a strengthening, more enthusiasm, because [of] this ticket.”
When asked how Romney needs to “coalesce” his message to communicate with voters, Palin doubled down on the notion that the GOP base is secured.
“It’s all about the independents, Shannon,” Palin said. “We don’t have to just keep on preaching to the choir, there, of the hardcore base of fiscal conservatives within the Republican Party – we got ‘em; Romney’s got ‘em. We’ve got to reach the independents.”
According to the latest polling data from Rasmussen Reports, however, Palin’s claims may be more predictive of voting in November than descriptive of the current divide within the Republican Party.
Rasmussen’s most recent poll on the question of voter enthusiasm found that only 16 percent of Republicans believe Romney and Obama are the best two options to be running for president, only 35 percent will affirm excitement about the match-up and a sobering 46 percent of all voters believe they “will simply be voting for the lesser of two evils this November.”
Nonetheless, according to the most recent Gallup polls, 90 percent of Republicans say they would vote for Romney if the election was today, and 92 percent of those who voted for GOP candidate John McCain in 2008 say they plan to vote for Romney in 2012.
When asked if she would endorse and stump for the presumptive GOP ticket, Palin responded, “Oh, 100 percent in support; I’m all in for Romney and Ryan.”
Shannon Bream’s interview with Palin can be seen below:
So while as of now Palin won’t be a featured speaker in Tampa, if she decides to go to Florida, which seems fairly probable after her political action committee spent $4,500 on hotel rooms, her presence there will draw a lot of media attention. And who knows, the GOP could have last minute thoughts about having her speak after all or Fox News could put her to work. And depending how the winds shift Sarah Palin may be the special gift received and opened in 2008 but not truly enjoyed or utilized to full potential until 2016 or maybe even 2020 (Sarah will only be 56-years-old in 2020; 4-years younger than Hillary was in 2008 when she ran for the Democrat nomination).
Related: Palin Derangement Syndrome Continues – Lots of Palin background links here Romney-Ryan: America’s New Dream Team and a Clear Choice – Updated Kevin Fobbs: For those not willing to hold their breath to see if they surprise us with Sarah as a guest speaker, speak up now to let the GOP know how you feel: to let Sarah speak:
In 2008, after Sarah Palin became our vice-presidential nominee, she instantly became the most prominent woman in the Republican Party. Since then, she has relentlessly supported the Tea Party and in 2010, she was one of the most valuable players in the best year the GOP has had in half a century. During that election cycle, she endorsed candidates like Nikki Haley, Renee Ellmers, Kristi Noem, Susana Martinez, Chris Christie, Sean Duffy, Bob McDonnell, Tim Scott, Rand Paul, and Allen West and she is back at is again this election cycle. Additionally, there are few people who would dispute that Sarah Palin is a dynamic speaker with a large fan base in the Republican Party. Donald Trump was on ‘On the Record’ the other night again stating how much he likes and respects Sarah Palin… so why aren’t they all speaking up for her now?
What this all adds up to, as Ed Morrisey noted over at Hot Air, is thatPalin deserves a chance to speak at the convention.
Palin electrified the convention in 2008, and it’s just good manners to have the #2 from the last ticket and the 1st GOP woman on a presidential ticket to speak at the next convention. Few people in the party can fire up the grassroots like Palin does, and few people will draw the attention she gets. There is always room to offer her a good speaking slot at the convention, even if they have to juggle people around and they should do so, and do so quickly!
Yes, we want Mitt Romney to win, but we also want to make sure that everyone knows the bad old days of the Republican grassroots suffering in silence while our “leaders” in D.C. made decisions we didn’t agree with, are over. And Sarah Palin represents that. Right Wing News alone can’t generate enough signatures to make a difference. If it’s going to happen, it will be because YOU think they should “Let Sarah Speak”. So, if you agree that Sarah Palin should be given a speaking slot at the convention, then send a message by signing this petition (or contacting the Romney campaign or the RNC directly… or all three). If you really feel strongly about it, email this suggestion and petition out to some friends. Add the petition to Facebook, Twitter, or G+. Stand up, get the word out to let Sarah Speak!
PS: Some people claim Palin was offered a speaking slot and turned it down. However, that’s not what her gracious public statement about the matter actually said. Moreover, not only has the Romney campaign refused to comment, I reached out to the RNC yesterday and it also had nothing to say. I was referred over to Pam Stevens, who’s the Deputy Press Secretary for the 2012 RNC. She didn’t respond to an email about the subject. When this many people are deliberately staying silent when they could just say, “We invited Palin to speak and she declined,” it tells you all you need to know.
This article is absolutely not an anti-Romney-Ryan piece… They are the right team for the times, certainly compared to the alternative, but they would be helping themselves and the party in letting Sarah Palin speak!