Newt Gingrich is the new Sarah Palin

GOP congressional committees drop the Alaska governor as the featured speaker for their joint dinner, and invite the former House speaker instead.

Published April 1, 2009 4:30PM (EDT)

The snafu over whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be hosting congressional Republicans' annual Senate-House dinner has been solved -- she's been disinvited.

Last month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced that Palin had been confirmed as the event's headliner, prompting a shocked reaction from the governor's office, which claimed she didn't even know anything other than that she'd been invited. Later, Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, admitted that aides there had -- apparently mistakenly -- confirmed on her behalf.

The confusion hasn't engendered much confidence in Palin or her political team from Hill Republicans. "[T]he campaign committees were so incensed with Palin that they did not even bother to officially notify her that they rescinded the invitation," Fox News reports on its Web site. In the same article, Fox quotes one unnamed Republican source as saying, "She was a disaster. We had confirmation."

Palin has been replaced by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The change is especially noteworthy because both have been laying down groundwork for a run at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. It's far too early to say Palin's falling out of favor, or that Gingrich has replaced her in the hearts of GOP politicians, but it's an interesting move nonetheless.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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