Why Gov Palin Chose SRLC over CPAC


With CPAC 2010 finished, media reports are swirling discussing Governor Palin’s absence from this event, which they billed as “mandatory” for conservative candidates for anything. Was it?

SRLC the Real Proving Ground for Gauging A POTUS Run

According to Politico’s Ben Smith, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) is “the first real chance to gauge the interest in her candidacy among the core of Republican activists and operatives” (Painter, 2010, ¶11). Peter Hamby, of CNN describes SRLC as “a major gathering of Republican officials, donors and activists from 14 southern states” (Hamby, 2010, ¶2). “Political watchers will be paying close attention, and not just because several potential presidential candidates are expected to attend. The SRLC – ‘the most prominent Republican event outside of a Republican National Convention,’ the organization boasts – also conducts a presidential straw poll” (Hamby, 2010, ¶5). As noted in prior coverage of SRLC Governor Palin will not be earning a speaker’s fee for this event.

CPAC Supposedly Owned by Romney

CPAC is practically owned by the Romney camp with the organization’s executive director in his back pocket. This is not a secret to anyone. CPAC’s darling; however, delivered what some considered a snooze-fest of a speech, complete with a front row of staffers reading along, two teleprompters, and a serious story about a trip to WalMart to pick up stuff for his grandchildren. His “ownership” did not translate into a straw poll victory this time around.

CPAC Co-Sponsored by the John Birch Society

The John Birch Society has indeed co-sponsored CPAC 2010 (Hahn, 2009, ¶1). Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post cited this factor as one reason why Governor Palin declined CPAC (Cillizza, 2010, ¶1). Indeed, the fringe elements of the right appeared to have taken over CPAC under Mitt Romney’s nose. Politico’s Ben Smith wrote, “ ‘in 2008, people had this perception of Mitt Romney as this kid sitting in the front of the classroom with his hand up,’ said Gary Marx, a conservative adviser to Romney’s ’08 campaign” (Smith, 2010, ¶4). According to Smith, Marx thinks that Romney has now secured “the full embrace of the conservative movement” (Smith, 2010, ¶4). Our analysis begs to differ. Delivering a boring speech, losing a straw poll and losing control of your own gathering to fringe elements does not constitute anything approaching a “full embrace.” That circumstance more points to Marx’s 2008 “kid in the front of the classroom with his hand up” metaphor. It’s the original analysis that was spot on and in our assessment that has not changed.

Perhaps this explains why only one tenth of this year’s participants bothered to vote in the straw poll and why Ron Paul won. Governor Palin still managed to come in third — phenomenal, considering her absence and the demographic catered to. She handily beat Pawlenty. Huckabee, long considered “Mr. Conservative” was not even listed as an option on the straw poll.

CPAC Chair Disrespects Palin, but Wanted Her at Conference

Dave Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC (which he is also the chairman of) has said disrespectful things about Governor Palin. For instance, “Sarah Palin needs to stop whining about unfair media coverage and get over the fact that some people don’t like her…Keene…tells Newsmax” (Kessler, 2010, ¶1). Keene devotes the rest of the interview to trashing Governor Palin as “a quitter,” (Kessler, 2010, ¶5-8), “rock star” without substance (Kessler, 2010, ¶9-12), “taking shots at the media,” (Kessler, 2010, ¶13-14), and “unreliable when it comes to speaking engagements that help the GOP” (Kessler, 2010, ¶15). He declares her “not ready to run for the Presidency” (Kessler, 2010, ¶20-21).

Since CPAC was supposed to be mandatory for conservative candidates for anything, and Keene has belittled Governor Palin, why would her flat-out rejection of this year’s invitation matter to him? Keene wanted Governor Palin at CPAC, because she would have drawn many more participants, enhancing CPAC’s bottom line. Indeed, one of the hottest pieces of swag at the event was giant Sarah Palin posters. The entire batch ran out very quickly.

CPAC Losing its Luster

Shenanigans such as the Federal Express conflict of interest and catering to the lunatic fringe diminish the value of this once prestigious gathering of conservatives. Keene rather than taking splinters out of Governor Palin’s eyes might do well to take the planks out of his own. Those Sarah Palin posters were snatched up so fast, because those who wanted her image yearn for a leader to carry Ronald Reagan’s torch. None of the alternatives present could satisfy that yearning. In her absence, Governor Palin won the real poll, and she was summoned yet again.

Our vigil is posted awaiting her beckon.

Register for SRLC

Make your voice heard loud and clear! We want Governor Palin to be President Palin. Register for SRLC and vote for Governor Palin in its straw poll.


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Cillizza, C. (2010, January 8). “Sarah Palin and the first 2012 Republican proving ground.” The Washington Post. Retrieved February 19, 2010 from: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/1-2-3-house-republicans.html

Hamby, P. (2010, January 7). “Palin to speak at major GOP event.” CNN Political Ticker. Retrieved February 19, 2010 from: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/01/07/palin-to-speak-at-major-gop-event/?fbid=M2y_6z-QpHt

Hahn, B. (2009, December 15). “The John Birch Society Announces CPAC 2010 Cosponsorship.” The John Birch Society. Retrieved February 19, 2010 from: http://www.jbs.org/press-room/5768-the-john-birch-society-announces-cpac-2010-cosponsorship

Kessler, R. (2010, January 9). “CPAC Chairman: Palin Not Ready for Presidential Run.” Newsmax. Retrieved February 19, 2010 from: http://newsmax.com/RonaldKessler/sarah-palin-cpac/2009/07/09/id/331430

Painter, J. (2010, January 7). “Sarah Palin says no to Keene’s CPAC, yes to SRLC.” Texas for Sarah Palin. Retrieved February 19, 2010 from: http://texas4palin.blogspot.com/2010/01/sarah-palin-says-no-to-keenes-cpac-yes.html

Smith, B. (2010, February 19). “The new Mitt Romney.” Politico. Retrieved February 21, 2010 from: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0210/The_new_new_Romney.html?showall

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  • Linda

    Thank you for offering insights into how & why Ron Paul may have won the CPAC straw pole. I know that I was floored when I saw the result.

    It would be very helpful if Mr. DeVito would share with us some stats on the voting at CPAC. Specifically, how many of the attendees voted versus how many were in attendance. And, why any attendees may have not voted. Please do share with us what you know in this regard. Thanks so much!

    • exodus2011

      I believe that out of approx 10,000 at CPAC, only just over 1/5 voted in the straw poll ….. about 2,300 (going on memory here, from some news report … I think Molly Henneberg from FOX)

    • joe lawson


      Ummmm….the numbers that voted in the straw poll are about the same as they were for the last two years. Ron Paul came in third last year, tied with Sarah. The difference is that conservatives have woken up to what is going on. On the debate stage during the Republican primaries, Ron Paul said that the United States was heading for a financial disaster and economic depression. This was a full year before any finacial downturn, banking crisis hit, the others on the stage – McCain, Romney, Huckabee laughed and said Paul was nuts. They aren't laughing now are they? This is the reason why Dr. Paul won, he is NOT going to run for POTUS again, he already said it a million times. So its the message he is preaching that is connecting. Sept 23, 2008 Romney on Glenn Beck was for the bailout using scare tactics etc, same with McCain and the others. Ron Paul AGAINST it and every other Big Government program – thats why they call him Dr. NO. So its not so shocking that he won. Was Ron Paul against the Iraq war – YES, was he against the war in Afghanistan – NO he voted for it. Was the Iraq war necessary, I don't think so. Where were the WMD's? Where was the link to 911? No where, and Ron Paul also said that just like McCain predicted a pull out in 2011 or 2012 Obama would be no different and would also pull out in 2011 or 2012. As you can see we are still in Iraq with no intentions of pulling out until 2012. The original estimates of the Iraq war was to be 60 billion on the high end, to date, $1.05 trillion dollars have been allocated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With at least another 2 trillion needed to end them. All Ron Paul is saying is that we will go broke well before the country ever spends that much on the wars, simply because we cannot afford it. This is nothing new, he predicted this along time ago, and he also predicted that China was financing all this stuff and it turns out to be correct. All I can say is investigate all this for yourself. Most people in the tea party movement are johnny come latelys, people who voted Ron Paul and other third party candidates like Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan said this would happen years ago. But the Rockefeller Republicans always tried to deny it or make fun of it. People are waking up, hope its not too late.

  • Timothy

    The high spot was Glenn Beck's speech. Everything else was a snoozer.

    All eyes will be on SRLC.

  • Henrey

    SRLC is comprised most of southern political people is it not?Do oppratives from the establishment east coast go there?I think she will be a huge draw.Allready 3 of 5 majour hotels are sold out with people attending the confrence.I hope her speach will again be covered by the media.I did not bother to watch all the butt kissing at CPAC.I think Pauls supporters will be out in full force at this confrence as well.Palin supporters I hope show up in record #s and for those attending make sure to vote.Encourage others who you meet there to vote as well.Seriously straw polls mean almost 0 2 years out.However Paul suppporters are sure gloating attacking Palin calling her a loser washed up dummy as usual.It is so interesting how supporters of her rivals can all suddenly unite and attack her together.Palin gets hit from 4 sides,the DNC,her rivals & their fans,the GOP establishment elites,and the MSM.That tells me one thing she gives them all the most heartburn.Interesting how so many positive economic stories from her state ,such as the cng pipelines enviroment Canada approval,its open season bidding starting this spring,the record # of oilfield workers in 2009 in AK,and her 3rd budgets 2.2 billion surplus are all ignored.What is it 7+ billion in budget surpluses under her leadership?Reduced spending by over a billion,reduced earmarks by 85% ? In tough times you would think reporters would jump on those stories.Especially when so many states are facing fiscal nightmares.You would think great economic news and the reasons behind it(Palin decisions) would be tossed at suffering states,as a model to follow wouldnt you?Why are they not reporting these stories and the reasons they are happening even at fox?Oh ya its because Palin is involved in all of them.

  • Frank

    I was there for Romney's speech. He rocked the house. Scott Brown introducing him reminded everyone of Romney's early involvement in Scott Brown's campaign, when other Republicans wouldn't even give Brown the time of day. Thank you Mitt Romney and Scott Brown for saving America from the Obama agenda!!

  • syn

    "Thank you Mitt Romney and Scott Brown for saving America from the Obama agenda!!"

    No doubt Mitt Romney and Scott Brown appreciate the enthusiasm however it is premature to claim victory when Obama and Democrats are insisting upon a televised health care debate with Republicans to discuss Obamacare which was debated then resolved as being a horrible 'Death Panel' plan long before Scott Brown won the election.

    I am delighted Scott Brown won but to declare both he and Romney saved America from the Obama agenda is both arrogant and short-sighted.

    It must be noted that cleaning out the Highly Educated Social Engineering class in Washington DC will not happen in one or two elections; the Highly Educated Social Engineers have made such a horrific mess of things it will take a generation or two to clean out their rotted filth.

  • Donna C

    Kessler claim that Sarah Palin is not ready for a Presidental Run?? Why?? Is he afraid of Sarah too?? I hope b/c she knows what our country need to get back at the top where she belongs!! God Bless Sarah!

  • Henrey

    Isnt Scott Brown and Mitt both huge fans of their states socialized HC plan?How different is it from Obamas?I did read somewhere it has Americas highest premiums,legal immigrants are being tossed from its rolls and group doctor visits are comming soon to a clinic near you.I think Brown even said it should be the model plan for all of America.I wonder if Americas ready for the massive costs that his state has,the cutbacks,the spending increase after spending increase to cover exploding costs.I imagine that results in either cuts in HC services,cuts in other areas or more taxes or debt.I like Brown but I think his election victory has gone to his head.Writing a book after what is it 3 weeks in the senate? Not having voted yet on anything.Lets just say if you lived in his state and were about to be forced to sacrifice your HC,to help pay for the rest of America.Be it either more taxes or cuts to service,more state debt.A vote for Brown would in my opinion be a no brainer,even if I was a hard core liberal. I agree with you syn,where was Scott & Mitt last summer when the debate was in the heat of battle?No one knew who Scott was and Mitt was MIA.Palins FB post death pannels, not only woke up America to the reality of Obamas HC plan,the entire world took notice.After her post all of America became interested overnight,as to whats in those 3,000 pages?Ever since Obama has being on the ropes scrambling watching his poll #s dive.

  • Angelo

    Americans, please use a little bit of your common sense on anayzing the outcome of CPAC straw polls. Sarah Palin was not there, and of course her huge crowd supporters will also be not there. Most of the people that attended CPAC are Romney and Paul's supporters. Of course, the straw poll result will be in favor of these two "conservative" guys. Besides, Did Reagan and Bush ever win the CPAC straw polls in the past? They both did not, and yet they had become presidents. SRLC is much more huge conservative event and this will be testing water for the POTUS aspirants. In my own opinion, what important ammunition that Sarah Palin has is the same charisma as Obama's that magnetize the crowds. This means, the only GOP that can match Obama's tale of the tape is Palin and others are just surrogates should Palin decided not to run on 2012.

  • Friday Boy

    Sarah Palin draws crowd wherever she has speech engagement: from Ophra, Fox news to Tea party convention. She has the power and charisma to force the american populist to listen to her. Using Face book with just two simple words such as death panel, Obama's healthcare reform was paralyzed. Can Ron Paul do this? Can Mitt Romney do this? Were are these two guys by the way? It seems they are just afraid that they too will be ridiculed and attacked by the left. From the time the healthcare care bill was under a deliberation process and that controversial climate gate by Al Gore, who is the only republican that stood still in front of Obama, Pelosi, Reid and al Gore?? Sarah Palin!! Have you seen Romney and Ron Paul around?? By 2012, if GOP party made a mistake in choosing either Romney or Paul as the POTUS nominee, we can rest assure that Obama and his cohorts can sleep soundly because the DNC victory is in sight. Obama will be again re-elected. IF SARAH PALIN IS OF NO SIGNIFICANCE, WHY THE NEGATIVE ATTACKS ARE EVERYDAY FROM BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT??

    • james

      right on!! you get the big picture! romney is a phony, and ron paul is unelectable!!!

  • Wishful Thinking on

    Do those of us posting messages here think for one moment that our Sarah who was incapable of taking follow-up questions during the vice presidential debate (That was her decision, remember?) can really LEAD this nation? We need to do a little more research on what our Sarah is really about since leaving the governorship of Alaska.

    • syn

      Not sure which debate you saw however I saw the only VP debate offered; between Palin and Biden I found myself shedding a few tears of sympathy for poor ole Joe Biden.

      I was astonished to listen to Biden's ignorant answers to most questions; for life-long inside DC politico he certainly did not have his government gobbledygook down in the fashion to which garnered Obama his Presidential position.

      Particularly Joe's pathetically ignorant claim about the 'French In Lebanon helping to bring the Cedar Revolution' ; this answer from a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee?

      It is no wonder why so many Americans find Sarah Palin a breath of fresh everything; her words are commonsense wisdom in an environment suffocating in gobbledygook speak.

      The greatest of leaders are the straightest of talkers; whereas BS artist are for people who need to be bamboozled.

      I like Sarah, she is a straight talker.

  • james

    i'm one of those voters from massachusetts, i don't believe in any gods, i'm a registered republican, believe in a limited safety net, extremely pro gun ownership with absolutely no interference from government, pro womans right to do with her body whatever she, and her doctor decides. etc. a mixed bag!! democracts, from massachusetts, are either government employees, or people who indirectly receive their income from the government, or are on some kind of government relief.

    sarah palin is the only person outside of the federal government who can, and will make the necessary changes that are needed! wake up america, palin will kick butt when she is elected president!!

  • james

    mitt romney is a, i'm for it, i'm against it, wishy, washy liar, and you can take that to the bank. if you want someone that will compromise your conservative values away, he is your guy. his ego is much bigger than his brain!! remember, he was my governor!!! we now suffer from HIS HEALTH PLAN. the price is going up daily, not everyone is covered, and they just dropped a lot of people from coverage!!! he passed the most restrictive gun law in the country, chap, 180

  • ljrwildberry

    Sarah will be exactly where she needs to be at just the right time.

    Ears will be opened to hear her, and to know her, spirit and soul.

    She was revealed at just the right time, and the path of her progress and purpose will be made straight. She will have confidence and courage, and she will relay that to us, the American people. This is God-anointing. Yes, people of America are first people of God, and we believe in His leading and His provision.

    We will trust in Him. He will never fail us.

  • ljrwildberry

    Sarah Palin will do at SRLC what she did at the Republican Convention, and what Glenn Beck just did at C-PAC.

    If you heard that speech, you have no doubt about Glenn's part in the times we're living in. His speech(es) will impact all of America before this next political contest is through. He is a mighty modern-day Paul Revere, Thomas Paine, and John Quincy Adams, all rolled into one.

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  • glen

    I too like Gov. Palin for her wisdom and honest speak. We need her for the next Pres.
    We have so many reruns in the pol. group that it makes me sick. We need to vote all of them out and start over with a new batch that understands the need to go back to the const. and keepour great country free as we have always wanted it to be. A lot of us put our lives on the line for freedom. I served in two wars for this country and at age 76 I feel sick
    about the way our present pol. are trying to take our country.

    • james

      don't feel sick, feel proud. times are changing, and good old common sense will prevail!!!

      my father was a prisoner of war in wwII, and my son is serving now. we will recover, but things might get worse first.

      sarah palin, and glenn beck are modern day patriots, and with their truths the american people will recover from this temporary madness that our present government has inflicted on us.

      be proud, and thank you for your service!!

  • Raymond

    CPAC straw polls were just made to boost the morale of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul and at the same time to destroy the morale of Palin's loyal guards. Sarah Palin did not attend the CPAC. That is why she got only 7 points but surprisingly, she was on top 3. Just imagine this, Palin was absent but her name was still on number 3. I wonder if Palin was there at CPAC, for sure her supporters would be in full force and the straw polls would have been reversed in Palin's favor. However, Palin supporters do not want this kind of straw poll. Her loyal army of legions want her to win on 2012 and if you have these kinds of loyal following, it is such a force to be reckoned with. I am an independent voter along with my families and friends and we are leaning towards Palin on 2012. What the United States need right now are young politicians with little conservative leanings but has the common sense and capacity to rule on the center or right of center either way. Sarah Palin has shown a record of governing by the center when she used to be governor of Alaska, and she was able to govern Alaska on a bipartisan way without sacrificing her moral convictions and religious beliefs. She governed according to American constitution. By the way, she was able to get rid of corruption and put Alaska on 2 billion dollar surplus unlike the macho man of California, Arnold the terminator. Arnold has terminated California's budget surplus and turned it around with amazing 5 billion dollar deficit. Now, California is bankrupt, a state where you can find liberals like Maher and Joy Behar that continually bad mouthing Palin. What a life in the USA..too much freedom of speech and that is why it is now screwed up by the far left wingnuts.

  • joe lawson

    I am a Ron Paul supporter, and I do not consider anything he does as Lunatic Fringe. As a matter of fact, using the negative wording only shows that the author cannot stand on merits, but rather uses name calling.
    Note – the number of those that voted this year and the year before in the straw poll are about exactly the same. If I remember Sarah tied Dr. Paul last year. No Dr. Paul did not win the straw poll because it was taken over by Paul supporters, but rather its Dr. Paul's statements during the Republican Primaries about how the United States was heading for a financial disaster, and economic collapse a year before it happened (while Romney, McCain, Huckabee and the rest laughed on stage and said he was nuts) that have opened up conservative's eyes to what is happening. Could it be that over 350 fellow Congressmen (all Republicans and most Democrats) are on board with Dr. Paul's "Audit the Fed" because he is simply right, is it just a coincidence that the first Tea Party was started by Ron Paul's backers during the primaries? The problem with lots of Ron Paul supporters is that they don't trust Sarah Palin because she came on board with McCain – they are purists. It also does not help that she is supporting McCain over JD Hayworth. Saying that, as a Ron Paul district coordinator during his primary campaign, I am a huge Sarah Palin supporter for President 2012. Palin is no NeoCon, she is the real thing, and she must embrace ultra small government and be careful to not become a Pro Interventionist, War monger, but rather someone that strengthens America's borders, and promotes and pushes for a National unstoppable military force, yet understands that we cannot be or afford to be the World's Policeman. This is a fine line, she cannot appear to be weak on defense or terrorism, yet she cannot appear to be willing to make a preemptive strike (conventional or God forbid tactical nuke) for any reason. America is war weary, and just plain tired of the situation. She is better to take the line of Reagan, which is Peace through Strength. What Would Reagan Do? He probably would NOT have attacked Iraq, he probably already would have captured Bin Laden and probably would have had a covert operation to arm Iranian protesters with weapons. Why is the Middle East important? Only one reason and thats oil – Sarah needs to express that she wants oil and energy independence which would prevent the need to enrich these terrorist producing nations, which would limit our footprint in the region, thus limiting the one element terrorist use to attack us, which is that we are breaking their holy laws, on their holy grounds etc which allows them to recruit the nutjobs that do the crazy things.

    Earth to everyone here, if you think the GOP establishment wants Sarah Palin – you are in for a huge shocker. They don't, its more grassroots, America First conservatives that want Palin. No Global, Multi National Corporate agenda elite Republicans want her. They want Romney, and you should listen to those that voted for Ron Paul in the straw poll, because Ron Paul is not going to run again, but its the message that is important and Palin needs to understand that Reagan was not just Conservative, but very much a small "L" Libertarian and that was his winning formula. As for idiotic Scott Brown of Mass., this guy is no conservative, and is a total joke. The first thing the guy votes on is a multi hundred billion dollar "stimulus" program. The Tea Parties that swept him in, are already planning someone to run against him. People like Brown unbelieveably just don't get it.

    Sarah Palin for President 2012

  • Pistone in 2010.
    Palin in 2012. http://www.pistoneforcongress.org