[T]he Romney campaign has not asked Palin to speak at the convention nor contacted her about even attending the party’s marquee event in Tampa. Queries to the Romney camp about any possible Palin role at the convention meet with a stony silence. Palin does not seem surprised. “What can I say?” she responded in an email from Alaska, when asked by Newsweek about the convention, just before heading to Michigan to deliver an Obama-thumping speech. “I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.”
“In accepting those consequences,” she added, “one must remember this isn’t Sadie Hawkins and you don’t invite yourself and a date to the Big Dance.”
Romney was the choice of the party’s elites, whom Palin has regarded with open disdain ever since her rough treatment during the 2008 campaign. They are some of the same people who anonymously disparaged Palin as a clueless bumpkin, and some of them are now helping to run Romney’s campaign. When unnamed Romney aides tell reporters that Romney will likely go with a “safe” choice for vice president because of the 2008 “disaster,” Palin notices.
She noticed, too, that when the Romney camp reined in Fehrnstrom after his “not a tax” goof, the man assigned to take on a more public role as Romney spokesman was Kevin Madden, best known in Palin’s sphere for his appearance on a CNN news panel just days before the 2008 election. The subject was the latest piece of leaked Palin gossip—her $150,000 “shopping spree” (for which Palin later reimbursed the Republican National Committee)—and the damage Palin was perceived to have done to the McCain campaign. “That’s an indication just how unseasoned Sarah Palin is as a national candidate,” Madden opined, before laughing about Palin’s lack of knowledge about issues and declaring that “people who have done this before” know enough to choose running mates “that are nationally vetted.”
Palin says that she doesn’t know Madden and will not comment about him personally. However, she adds: “I assume he didn’t do his homework and his disparaging remarks were due to him actually believing the BS reporting on my record and reputation that began the day I was tapped to run for VP. I’ll assume and hope he’s evolved since then, perhaps understanding now the leftist media’s agenda against candidates they oppose.”
The Romney camp will not comment on Palin, or on plans for the convention, but one adviser associated with the campaign suggested that Palin would be prohibited from speaking at the Republican convention by her contract with Fox News. “It’s true I’m prohibited from doing some things,” Palin says, “but this is the first I’ve heard anyone suggest that as an excuse, er, reason to stay away from engaging in the presidential race. I’m quite confident Fox’s top brass would never strip anyone of their First Amendment rights in this regard.” (Fox says her contract would not prohibit speaking at the convention if she sought permission.)
Palin is keeping the dates open in late August, just in case. In any event, she says, she plans to be politically active between now and November, starting with a Michigan Tea Party appearance, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. “No matter the Romney campaign strategy,” she says, “I intend to do all I can to join others in motivating the grassroots made up of independents and constitutional conservatives who can replace Barack Obama at the ballot box.”