The cancellation of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's scheduled May 2 speech in Glendale so quickly after its announcement can't help but smack of hinkiness.
So, too, does the stated reason for the plug-pulling: personal attacks made on Palin that allegedly stop short of actual threats.
Palin's appearance, sponsored by the Sharon K. Pacheco Foundation, was to have included "an awards banquet and fundraiser for military families in need and for a grief camp for children who had lost loved ones in combat," according to the Washington Post.
But just a day after this news broke, the SKP Foundation nixed the shindig via the following notice on its Facebook page:
NEWS FLASH: Event Featuring Sarah Palin Canceled
The Sharon K Pacheco Foundation (SKP Foundation) announced today the cancellation of the 2011 Patriots & Warriors Charity Gala, featuring former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, citing safety concerns resulting from an onslaught of negative feedback received by the organization after yesterday's announcement.
"Due to an onslaught of personal attacks against Governor Palin and others associated with her appearance, it is with deep sadness and disappointment that, in the best interest of all, we cancel the event for safety concerns," says the Foundation's Director.
He points out that no direct threats have been made against anyone, but the recent increase in negative rhetoric against the former Alaska governor "raises concern for her safety and the safety of others despite the call for civility in America," following the tragic Tucson shooting.
The organization deeply respects Sarah Palin, and appreciates her willingness to come and honor our military.
The organization plans to host the event at some point in the future, featuring another speaker.
The "personal attacks" rationale seems wacky. After all, such reactions are absolutely standard for a figure as polarizing as Palin. If she was really that cowed by "negative rhetoric," she'd eschew this whole running-for-president thing for which she's clearly sowing the seeds in favor of lying low in an Alaskan dugout with a weapon at her side waiting for the next moose to amble past.
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So what's really going on? As the Washington Post points out, "the cancellation of the speaking engagement frees Palin to attend the NBC/Politico Republican presidential primary debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in California, also scheduled for May 2" -- and while neither Palin nor other potential or announced Republican presidential candidates have confirmed that they'll be there, it opens the option for her.
And then there are details shared by the Denver Post in an article accessible via this item's initial link -- namely that the SKP Foundation reported total assets of just over $2,200 in 2009, and had already cut the originally announced ticket price of $185 in half before telling the public about the Palin visit. Such factors encourage speculation that either folks at the organization or members of the Palin camp realized that SKP was in over its head.
Whatever the case, the incident suggests that Palin's forthcoming campaign -- and make no mistake about it, she will launch a formal bid for the White House sooner or later -- has the potential for being extremely memorable, if not always for the most positive reasons.
More from our Hearsay archive: "Yerkish singer's half brother is 'Joe the Turkey Killer' in Sarah Palin video."