Guy Benson
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Let me see if I've got this straight:  Sarah Palin was scheduled to appear at a major Iowa Tea Party gathering on Saturday, but has (at least temporarily) backed out after former Senate candidate and noted non-witch Christine O'Donnell was invited, then disinvited, then re-invited, but rescheduled, to speak at the same event.  My head hurts.  Over to you, Wall Street Journal:


Sarah Palin’s Saturday appearance at a tea party rally in Indianola, Iowa, is on hold, a person close the former Alaska governor told The Wall Street Journal.  The person said Ms. Palin’s appearance was “no longer confirmed” and cited “continual lying” from event organizers at Tea Party of America, including a recent mixup over whether former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell of Delaware would also speak.

Ms. Palin is known for last-minute schedule changes that whipsaw supporters and media across the country. But the latest decision is puzzling. Ms. Palin’s speech at the rally was viewed as her most high-profile appearance of the summer, fueling  speculation she was indeed plotting to run for the Republican presidential nomination. 

The former governor’s team decided to back out Tuesday night after rally organizers re-invited Ms. O’Donnell to speak on stage. Organizers had booked Ms. O’Donnell, who lost her 2010 bid for a U.S. Senate seat from Delaware, to speak but quickly withdrew the invitation in an effort to avoid controversy.  A Tea Party of America leader told Ms. Palin’s aides that the former governor told him to re-invite Ms. O’Donnell, which is not true, the person said, adding that there were also issues over fund-raising and logistical changes that were not approved by Ms. Palin’s team.


This particular rally has commanded heightened media attention because of rumors that Palin could use her appearance to announce a presidential bid.  This speculation intensified when the former governor's schedule revealed a trip to New Hampshire immediate following the Iowa event -- although that tantalizing twist may have an inocuous explanation


UPDATE - Tea Party of America organizers desperately want Palin to participate, and appear to be catering to her camp's every wish.  To that end, it now seems O'Donnell has once again been disinvited altogether, at the insistence of the Palin camp.  Following this development, Tea Party of America officials are "hopeful" Palin will agree to be re-inserted onto the agenda.  Her status is being described as "on hold."


I'll leave you with an honest question for the "Palin 2012!" crowd: Are you even the slightest bit concerned over the omnipresent whirlwind of drama -- some of it self-generated -- that seems to envelop her at all times?  I ask as someone who (a) likes Sarah Palin, but (b) isn't sure she'd make a great presidential candidate, especially next year.

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Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography