Trying to smoke Palin out?

At 11:05 p.m. last night, the Iowa Family Policy Center’s Bryan English emailed a news release, revealing the IFPC’s “ACTION” arm is trying to land former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a speaker for an event in four weeks.  (You can read the news release below.)  For those of you who don’t have your calendar/daily diary handy, November 21, 2009 — the date on which the IFPC ACTION folks would like to have Palin speak — is the same night that Vice President Joe Biden will be in Des Moines to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.

It means Palin would be sharing the spotlight with Biden that night, as most stories would be written about what each had to say about the other — or that they failed to acknowledge in their speeches that the other “personage” was in the same area code.  It means reporters would compare the crowd for Palin and the crowd for Biden: Which one was bigger?  Which one was more enthusiastic?  Which one exhibited/highlighted greater schisms in their respective party? It means the “roll-out” of a new Democratic contestant for a possible race against Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley would be overshadowed.

But this preemptive news release also means the folks at IFPC ACTION are having as difficult a time in landing a Palin appearance as the folks at the Republican Party of Iowa did.  The RPI’s annual fall fundraiser is scheduled for November 7, 2009, and the “keynoter” for that event is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.  I’m sure “T-Paw” is well aware that the RPI’s first choice was Palin, but she would not commit.

Palin, as you may know, will be selling a book in November and it’s anybody’s guess how a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 21, would fit into the game-plan for selling that book.  Mikc Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, is selling a new book, too, in November. He plans to visit three Iowa bookstores on November 8, 2009.

On Saturday night in November of 2003, former Arkansas First Lady Hillary Clinton — New York’s junior senator at the time — came to Des Moines, Iowa, to serve as emcee for the Iowa Democratic Party’s 2003 Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner which featured all the Democratic presidential candidates in that cycle.  The next day, which was Sunday, Clinton did an afternoon book-signing event at a West Des Moines bookstore.  People stood in line for hours to get her autograph.

So, perhaps the Palin folks are considering a Saturday night speech in Des Moines, followed by a Sunday after-church booksigning at a bookstore in the Des Moines metro.  They’d have to decide which church Palin would attend that morning.  Would the event be open to cameras?  Would Palin speak to the congregation? Would she sell and sign books at the church, too?

So many questions, unanswered today.  Read the IFPC ACTION news release below.

10/27/09 Pleasant Hill, IA – In response to media inquiries, Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION President Chuck Hurley responded today to questions concerning a potential appearance by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at an upcoming IFPC Action event.

According to Hurley, “We have reached out to Governor Palin through both official and informal channels and extended an invitation for her to keynote our annual fundraising event.” He went on to say, “We are not yet ready to confirm the specifics, but are hopeful that all the details can be worked out for her to come.”

IFPC Action began soliciting financial support for the event this week in anticipation of the Governor’s potential visit. Responding to questions raised by preliminary fundraising for the event, Hurley said the event, scheduled for November 21st, would be “on a much larger scale than our banquet last November,” and that “we are preparing now to make sure the Governor’s visit is a huge success should she accept our invitation.”

IFPC Action welcomed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on his first trip to Iowa when he spoke at last year’s event.  Previous IFPC Action speakers include Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

Should Palin accept the invitation, her appearance at the IFPC Action event would mark her first trip to Iowa since she traveled the state as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. […] Update: Kay Henderson I think is making way too much of the invitation.  Like even planning out the next day for her. On Saturday night in November of 2003, former […]