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Palin Will Attend Iowa Rally After O'Donnell Is Disinvited (Again)

Palin Will Attend Iowa Rally After O'Donnell Is Disinvited (Again)

By Scott Conroy - August 31, 2011


After a dizzying day that saw members of her inner circle threaten to pull Sarah Palin's participation in a rally Saturday in Indianola, Iowa, a source close to Palin confirmed to RCP that the former Alaska governor will in fact attend the Tea Party of America event, as scheduled.

"We had some long discussions with the organizers; we talked about our concerns and worked them out, and they stepped up their game today," the Palin source said.

Two sources close to the former vice presidential candidate had told RCP earlier Wednesday that Palin’s involvement in the rally was “on hold,” due to concerns over how the hosts were handling what has been billed as a major event.

“The primary concern of the governor is the people that are coming to this event,” one source had said. “The planners are an issue that’s gotten in the way.”

The organizers caused a stir over the last couple of days when they first announced that former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell had accepted their invitation to speak at the event before Palin. They then disinvited O’Donnell before re-inviting her to do so.

After Palin’s associates made it known that Palin was reconsidering her participation, the organizers once again disinvited O’Donnell.

An O’Donnell aide told RCP that the former GOP candidate for senator in Delaware had texted Palin to ask about the rapidly developing situation but had not received a response.

While it is clear that O’Donnell’s proposed speaking slot was not acceptable to Palin’s camp, the Palin aide denied that anyone on the Palin team had explicitly demanded that O’Donnell be removed from the speaker’s list.

Palin’s concern arose, the aide said, when an O’Donnell aide suggested to event organizers that Palin wanted the Delawarean to share the stage with her.

“They haven’t spoken in over a year,” the aide said of the two women.

The Tea Party rally is expected to draw thousands of Palin supporters -- many of them from out of state -- and a cancellation from Palin just three days before the event would surely have dampened attendees' spirits. It also would have thrown a significant wrench into Palin's efforts to pave the way for a potential presidential run. The Fox News commentator has indicated that she would make her final decision on whether to launch a White House bid by the end of September.

Previously, the event organizers had suggested that Palin might use the rally to launch a White House run -- a prospect that sources close to Palin have sought to dial down.

“The truth of the matter is you’ve got a couple old cowboys running a Tea Party and we’re not professional politicians,” Tea Party of America President Ken Crowe told RCP Wednesday morning. “I’m way green.”

Despite the potentially significant hiccup over the planned Iowa rally, Palin’s travel schedule continues to befit a potential presidential candidate. On Labor Day, she will speak at a noontime Tea Party Express rally at Veteran’s Park in downtown Manchester, N.H. 

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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