Two weeks after GOP campaign officials announced that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) would give the keynote address at the annual Senate-House fundraising dinner, the former vice presidential candidate has been replaced on the program by former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
The move ends what had become a high-profile saga surrounding Palins appearance, marked by a series of miscommunications between the governors Alaska office and Republican operatives in Washington, D.C.
Palins office said the governor had never confirmed that she would headline the June event.
But National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh said Tuesday that after initially confirming her attendance, her team informed both committees that her gubernatorial responsibilities in Alaska prevented her from committing until the end of the states legislative session.
We decided to go in another direction, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said. Speaker Gingrich is a leader and an influential voice within the Republican party, and we are thrilled to have him.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.