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Posted at 07:35 PM ET, 07/16/2012

Sarah Palin’s convention dare

The Mitt Romney campaign hasn’t invited Sarah Palin to speak at — or even attend — next month’s Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Newsweek’s Peter Boyer reported.
Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential candidate, greets supporters before speaking at a "Patriots in the Park" Tea Party rally at the Wayne County Fairgrounds July 14, 2012 in Belleville, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano - GETTY IMAGES)

The convention schedule is still in flux, according to convention spokesman James Davis.

“While convention planning is well underway, we have not made any decisions on program schedule or speakers at this time,” Davis said. “We will announce those details closer to the event.

Palin surely knows that the official schedule isn’t set, but that didn’t prevent her from pouncing at Boyer’s inquiry, saying she suspects she’s “not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle” and that “in accepting those consequences... you don’t invite yourself to the Big Dance.”

Palin has never shied away away from an invitation to knock the Republican establishment, and she has a knack for turning those knocks into rallying cries. Boyer gifted her with just such an opportunity, which turned into a dare to the Romney campaign: Want to fire up the right wing? Watch this.

Scheduling speakers is a tricky political dance for convention planners and the Romney campaign needs to make all the right moves to appease
Sarah Palin, live from home. Fox News screengrab. (FOX NEWS)
constituencies it is wooing ahead of November.

The Miami Herald’s Adam C. Smith and Aaron Sharockman laid out the difficult choreography of convention scheduling in May:

“The job is daunting. The networks at best will devote five or six hours over four days to convention coverage, and a good chunk of that is taken by all-but required speeches — the nominee, his spouse, the vice presidential nominee — so planners have to make the very most of the limited time they have.
The flexibility is further limited when you factor in other desired messages, such as highlighting the GOP’s diversity even if the audience inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum is overwhelmingly white. In 2008, for instance, the second night of the convention featured some of the party’s most prominent minorities, including Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Jeb Bush’s son, George P. Bush.”

Can another GOP woman, such as Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.), or another tea party hero, like Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) have the same effect a Palin speech would have at the convention? Could Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who unlike Palin has actually endorsed Romney, satisfy both groups?

Romney and the Republican convention planners are likely making that calculation. But after her comments in Newsweek, they will do so knowing whether or not Palin can still motivate her supporters like no one else.

Natalie Jennings is the manager of social media and engagement for @PostPolitics. Follow her on Twitter at @NGJennings.

By  |  07:35 PM ET, 07/16/2012

Tags:  Sarah Palin, Repbulican National Convention, Mitt Romney

 
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