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Palin's Participation in Iowa Rally "On Hold"

Palin's Participation in Iowa Rally "On Hold"

By Scott Conroy - August 31, 2011


On the heels of ongoing disputes with event organizers, Sarah Palin is rethinking her commitment to participate in Saturday’s Tea Party of America rally in Indianola, Iowa, two sources close to the former Alaska governor told RealClearPolitics.

"It's on hold," one of the sources said of Palin's participation. "There are some planning issues regarding the hosts and some concern that the invitation that was proffered is not the event that is now being put together."

The Tea Party rally is expected to draw thousands of Palin supporters -- many of them from out-of-state -- and a potential cancellation from Palin just three days before the event could throw a significant wrench into her efforts to pave the way for a potential presidential run. Palin has indicated that she would make her final decision on whether to launch a White House bid by the end of September.

Sources close to Palin said that the former vice presidential candidate will likely be in the Indianola area on Saturday, whether or not she attends the Tea Party of America rally.

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

The rally’s organizers have caused a stir over the last couple of days by first announcing that former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell had accepted an invitation to speak at the event before Palin. Organizers then disinvited O’Donnell before re-inviting her to speak once again.

Previously, the organizers had publicly 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 earlier on Wednesday morning. “I’m way green.”

A final decision on whether Palin will attend the Indianola rally or instead participate in a separate event of her own will likely come later on Wednesday.

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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