According to the Anchorage Daily News organizers claim that they had been talking to Palin’s people for weeks. They had been promoting the former governor as the featured speaker at the event. Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery said, “All we can do is take people at their word that we’ve worked with in the past. We’ve been working for several weeks on the event, promoting it very heavily. It would be a grave disappointment if she doesn’t show up but the show will still go on.”
Palin’s spokesperson Meg Stapleton said, “She had hoped to be able to attend but cannot return (to Alaska) in time for that private fundraiser.” That sounds to me like she had committed to attend, but bailed. Palin has played this game with other conservative event organizers this year.
She backed out of a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. In March, she didn’t appear at a Republican Fundraising Dinner after being announced as the keynote speaker, and she bailed on a speech at the Reagan Library earlier this month. How long are Republican organizers going to continue to book her for these events if they can’t be sure that she will show up?
Maybe Palin decided to skip tonight’s event because she thinks she is too big for Alaska now. Since she is no longer governor, she may not feel the need to do these kinds of events anymore, but the professional thing to do would have been to notify the event organizers early enough so that they had time to find a replacement.
The other possibility is that Team Palin is so unorganized that they have no idea what they are doing. However, angering conservative activists, the kind of people who vote in presidential primaries is never a good thing. If Palin wants to be a serious presidential candidate, she needs to be courting these people, not making them doubt her word.
This type of thing may seem small, but it goes to the heart of why Sarah Palin is not a serious candidate for the presidency. Legitimate candidates don’t back out of commitments to the grass roots of their party. The question that this kind of chaos raises is how can people trust her to be president, when she can’t even be counted on to show up to give a speech?