Sarah Palin Skips CPAC, Again

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 3 2011 11:11 AM

Sarah Palin Skips CPAC, Again

File this under grizzly-bites-man:

After skipping the popular Conservative Political Action Conference for the past three years, Sarah Palin has once again turned down the invitation of CPAC officials to address the conference this year.

CPAC officials invited Palin to deliver the closing-night keynote speech on Saturday Feb. 12, immediately following the announcement of the results of CPAC’s annual presidential straw poll, but after several days of negotiations, she declined.

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Palin has turned down a speech at CPAC for three years now. This is actually the closest Palin has come to speaking at CPAC. The "no" was official one week before CPAC is scheduled to begin. In 2010, Palin turned down CPAC a full six weeks before it began, citing her discomfit with ACU President David Keene's business deals. In 2009 Palin was on the CPAC schedule but pulled out two weeks before it started, citing "the duties of governing," which obviously stopped being a problem later that year.

Palin's decision happens outside the context of the ballyhooed War Over GOPround and Muslims, but it doesn't help. It's rare for CPAC to lack a keynote speaker this close to the day, and in the past two years the keynote speech has been a media-grabbing sensation. In 2009, Rush Limbaugh gave his hour-plus "address to the nation," and in 2010, Glenn Beck kicked off a year of political activity with his keynote.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.