Allah is calling it "grassroots Woodstock." Both Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh have been invited to speak at CPAC09. Their time slots are shown on the schedule of events, but they are listed as "invited" rather than "confirmed" - at least for now. According to Paul Bedard, Joe Scarborough, the lone conservative regular on liberal cable news outlet MSDNC, has been invited to participate in a discussion of the Fairness Doctrine. Gov Palin is scheduled for the prime 4:30 Thursday slot, and Rush is slotted in at 5:00 Friday for the closing address. Oh, and Ron Paul has also been invited to speak.
Among the confirmed speakers are Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), former ambassador John Bolton, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), NRA's Wayne LaPierre, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), author Ann Coulter, writer David Horowitz and, of course, the ACU's David Keene.
Invited to speak, but not yet confirmed, are Limbaugh, Gov. Palin, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), former labor secretary Elaine Chao, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the American Civil Rights Institute's Ward Connerly, Human Events' Jed Babbin, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), talk show host Glenn Beck, David Bossie of Citizens United, The New Teacher Project's Michelle Rhee and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Many other politicians, pundits and bloggers have been invited to participate in a number of panel discussions, including RedState's Erick Erickson and Rob Bluey.
Early reports that Gov. Palin had been confirmed as a CPAC speaker are... well, unconfirmed. Although ACU/CPAC representatives have consistently said that the former vice presidential candidate will be at the conservative gathering at the end of February, the governor's office has only said that she has not confirmed that she will be there.
The reason for this is that her political enemies in Alaska would like nothing better than to be able to attack her for leaving the state to participate in a partisan political event during the legislative session. If Alaska's governor does intend to be there, as may have been her intent all along, she will wait until the latest possible moment to make the announcement. This will minimize the amount of time the stone throwers will have to try to draw blood.
Isn't Alaska politics special?