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Who Wants to See Sarah Palin?!

A few weeks ago, Sarah Palin declined her invitation to speak at CPAC. Many saw the former governor and former vice-presidential candidate’s snub of CPAC as a knee-jerk response to the co-sponsorship of the event by the John Birch Society, though this was never directly stated. Then in what came as another shock, Palin accepted an offer from a relatively unknown Tea Party group, Tea Party Nation [1], to speak at their swanky national convention being held in early February in Nashville, Tennessee. For $349.00 plus nearly a $10.00 processing fee, you too can drive, fly, walk, cycle, or boat to Nashville, Tennessee, find a hotel room, eat to your heart’s content, as long as you also pay for that too! So not only do Tea Partiers have to throw down a ludicrous sum of money (in tight economic times I might add) to see the popular politician speak, they also will be doing their part of spending every last dime they have to stimulate the economy of Nashville (I bet President Obama wished he thought of this one earlier…). And, according to the paypal.com link off the conventions site, the convention is sold out.

I have been unable to find any official estimates of the number of attendees for the convention, but according to the Gaylord-Opryland Hotel’s (this is the location of the event in Nashville) website, they have some serious conference space. Just doing some general number crunching, and just averaging the cost of the basic ticket level plus the even more expensive banquet level, if 3,000 people attend the convention, the people behind the convention would rake in over 1.3 million dollars, minus what they had to pay the hotel and event support. Now if the number of attendees is even more, and we’re talking around 5,000 or 6,000 then the money really starts coming in, between 2.25 and 2.7 million dollars.

And, strangely enough, I’m not the only crazy one who thinks this all smells fishy. Even GOP cheerleaders, who normally dump praise on the Tea Partiers, like Erick Erickson [2], have had reservations about this event.

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#1 Comment By Charles Everett On January 12, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

If it wasn’t stated what makes you think Palin snubbed the convention because of JBS.
Sounds like yellow journalism to me

#2 Comment By William Upton On January 12, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

Charles,

I probably should have clarified, that it was never directly stated by Palin or her press person. But just because Palin doesn’t say it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t sitting in her head when making this decision. JBS has a rather infamous name, especially among those who wish to be apart of or appear to be more mainstream and in lockstep with mainstream GOP types. Palin may be wanting to have it both ways, appear mainstream by rejecting JBS but also appear in touch with the roots by speaking at the Tea Party Convention. Ben Smith at Politico has some insight on the issue, or a quick google search will give you plenty of hits on individuals who have some insight into what may have been the reasoning for ditching CPAC. I wouldn’t call it yellow journalism. [3]

#3 Comment By Norwegian Shooter On January 12, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

Has John Birch always co-sponsored CPAC?

Here’s a stimulus idea: send Hillary and Sarah out on a world-wide debating tour and charge thousands for admission and hundreds of thousands for photo exclusives. Then at the second to last stop, hint that they will kiss at the end of the last event. Bump up the prices ten times.

Please don’t link to EE or ShameState.

#4 Comment By William Upton On January 12, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

Norwegian Shooter,

Thanks for the question and comment, JBS has not sponsored CPAC in the past. It should also be noted that JBS has been attempting to reform itself in the past few years and sees CPAC as a way to continue on that path, even though there has been some media backlash against CPAC speakers due to JBS’s co-sponsorship, Tim Pawlenty to name one.

The only reason I linked to EE was as evidence that I wasn’t the only one who had this line of thought, especially since I am not the biggest Palin fan out there.

#5 Comment By Joe On January 12, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

I don’t think Palin attended last year’s CPAC either, but I do think she will attend and headline there next year just before Republican nomination time. The reason Palin is attending Tea Party Nation is simple – these people are activist they get out off the couch and get things done. Hmmmmm….sounds like just the right group to have pushing you for the GOP nomination and then the election the Presidency.

Palin 2012

#6 Comment By James On January 12, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

I love this thinking…”just because Palin doesn’t say it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t sitting in her head when making this decision”…
so now you are reading her mind? you are a certified, professional mind reader and therefore can advance a theory and a commentary on pure bullcrap, as she would say.
You are a conservative? are you sure? since you seem to be digging for any little piece of baloney to push your own weird agenda… there is a long calculation that these people might actually do something capitalistic and make money…. wow… how unholy how unTea Party, which according to you has sworn a vow of poverty and disorganization.
By the way, did you pick up on O’Reilly that she was offered a speaking fee and apparently is not profiting personally from this speaking slot… could it be that she had any fee paid to SarahPac so she could help other candidates and the Conservative movement???
I can’t help but think you are an idiot.

#7 Comment By Lynn On January 13, 2010 @ 10:00 am

The Tea Parties are saying Constitution. JBS has always said Constitution. If Palin is not speaking at the CPAC it seems more likely it’s because of her history there, not any history with the JBS.

From Ben Smith’s article linked above: “CPAC’s Keene accused Palin of “whining” after she backed out of her CPAC appearance last year, and the jabs at him and his group may be revenge, served cold-ish.”

#8 Comment By Lynn On January 13, 2010 @ 11:51 am

Norwegian Shooter,
I believe JBS has taken part in CPAC in a minimum of the last several years.

Glenn Beck is the Keynote Speaker at CPAC 2010
[4]

Last year, the Conservative Political Action Conference closed with a speech from Rush Limbaugh. This year, according to CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale, it will close with a speech from Glenn Beck–who really became a national leader of some importance last year, if you talk to Tea Party activists

#9 Comment By William Upton On January 13, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

Lynn,

I do not know of any prior involvement of JBS in CPAC, they may have participated but as far as actual co-sponsorship, CPAC has acknowledged that this is their first year co-sponsoring. From the MinnPost: “The JBS has not been a co-sponsor of previous CPACs, but DePasquale said they met the criteria, they “seem to be on our side,” and she didn’t think they should be shunned over things they said and did 50 years ago. “Most of the people on both sides of those arguments are dead,” she added.” [5]

My main point here again though is not JBS, I think DePasquale makes a good point, what was was, and now is now as far as JBS is concerned. The real point is why Palin turned to a self aggrandizing organization out for personal profit rather than contribute to and perhaps provide constructive criticism toward a recognized organ in the conservative movement.

#10 Comment By Norwegian Shooter On January 13, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

Yeah, MinnPost and especially Eric Black! [6].

Your last sentence included the answer to the question: she’s out for personal profit too. This is not lambs laying down with lions.

As for JBS, there’s a reason why they’re reviving the brand. If they didn’t like the previous image, they could go elsewhere for their activism.