WASHINGTON — The “will she or won’t she” game with Sarah Palin is no longer just about the larger question of whether she’ll be a candidate for president in 2012.
Now, even nailing down whether she’ll follow through on a commitment to headline a major “tea party” rally in Iowa is proving a difficult task.
Conflicting reports Wednesday indicate that Palin has either canceled, or is at least reconsidering plans to speak Saturday at the Tea Party of America’s “Restoring America” rally in Indianola.
Her participation was announced last month by the group, which said Palin “embodies the spirit of public service that our founders believed was essential to the survival of our liberties and our republic itself.”
Just last week, Palin linked to a YouTube video of a speech by President Barack Obama and tweeted: “I’ll be talking about this and more on September 3rd.”
But sources close to Palin tell Real Clear Politics that the former Alaska governor has put those plans on hold, citing “some planning issues regarding the hosts and some concern that the invitation that was proffered is not the event that is now being put together.”
One issue: the possible inclusion of former Delaware Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell in the program. O’Donnell was invited, then uninvited, then re-invited, and now reportedly re-uninvited, all just in a matter of days. Organizers told NBC that Palin’s camp wasn’t interested in sharing the stage.
Palin’s attendance at the rally was seen as a possible signal that the 2008 vice presidential nominee may, indeed, be ready to join the battle for the 2012 presidential nomination.
That speculation grew more intense Tuesday night, when another “tea party” group — Tea Party Express — announced that Palin would follow up the Iowa “Restoring America” event by taking part in its “Reclaiming America” bus tour, in Manchester, N.H.
The website for Tea Party of America still includes Palin as the keynote speaker. Organizers of the Sept. 3 event have not yet responded to requests for comment.