Palin may speak at conservative conference

The Anchorage Daily NewsDecember 23, 2008 

Gov. Sarah Palin's next act on the national stage could come as early as February, at a major conservative convention in Washington, D.C.

The annual event is called the Conservative Political Action Conference, and Palin was supposed to be the keynote speaker last February, long before she became a household name as the Republican choice for vice president.

When Palin couldn't make it, Vice President Dick Cheney took her place.

The convention isn't affiliated with the Republican Party, but big-name Republicans make a point of stopping by. It's where presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded to John McCain this year, and where McCain drew boos from self-described "Reagan conservatives" – and national headlines – when he talked about immigration.

Now the 2009 convention is just two months away, and Palin is expected to speak to the thousands of conservative activists and college students that attend each year, director Lisa De Pasquale said in a phone interview Monday.

A Palin spokesman said it's no sure thing.

It would be the third time Palin has left Alaska – and claimed the national spotlight – since losing the Nov. 4 election. She spoke at a Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami during the second week of November; earlier this month, she campaigned in Georgia for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss before meeting with President-elect Barack Obama in Philadelphia along with a group of other governors.

That last trip drew complaints from local Democrats who said Palin's time would be better spent at home on state business. At the time, a spokesman said the governor had been hard at work on Alaska issues and compared her time campaigning to a vacation day.

To read the complete column, visit The Anchorage Daily News.

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