Palin disappoints her fans

The Alaska governor has dropped plans to speak at a big-name conservative conference, citing a busy schedule -- could problems in her home state be the reason?

By Alex Koppelman

Published February 11, 2009 12:30AM (EST)

If you were planning on going to this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (and I know you were), prepare to be disappointed: The star of the show won't be in attendance.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a darling of conservatives since her run for the vice-presidency, was supposed to be the headliner on Feb. 26, the first day of the conference. But Tuesday brought the news that she had decided to bow out, citing "duties of governing."

Since Palin did find time to travel to Washington recently for a comparatively lower-profile event, one less important to her future political ambitions, there is the question of why she was too busy for CPAC and not the previous commitment. The state legislature is in session, so that could be one reason, but it may also have something to do with the recent resignation of Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee. He'd come under fire recently for having tried to squash subpoenas issued during the legislature's "Troopergate" investigation.

"It is a harsh political environment right now. You saw what he went through these last couple of weeks with speculation that a couple of the lawmakers wanted to continue to grill him, a couple of the lawmakers not believing, it seems, what he had to say," Palin told the Anchorage Daily News. "I just hope this political environment doesn't deter others who want to make a positive difference."

Meanwhile, don't feel too bad for CPAC attendees: Rush Limbaugh is still scheduled to be the final speaker of the convention, and to receive its "Defender of the Constitution Award." Plus, Palin will be sending a video message.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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