This is a rather shocking–and revealing–blast from the past. Shortly after the the 2008 election, Sarah Palin was invited to take questions at the Republican Governors Conference. Jack Thompson of Human Events describes the scene:
The Republican Governors Conference Press Guidelines promised that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would “take approximately 20 minutes of questions” at today’s morning press conference. Instead, this press conference, attended by 150 local and national media and taped by 26 video cameras, disintegrated into a fiasco when Texas Governor Rick Perry shut it down after only five minutes and four questions.
Eight other governors assembled on the stage, all men, seemed visibly uncomfortable with the “Palin at center stage” format. When Perry stepped in front of Palin at the podium to announce it was over just as it was getting started, Palin looked irritated, and the media shouted, “You’ve got to be kidding,” “This is ridiculous,” “Come on,” and “We were promised more questions.”
Forty minutes later, at a larger gathering attended by most the seventeen governors at the Conference, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard may have given the reason why Palin was reined in: envy. Said Kristol, “This is not the Republican Governors Association. This is really the Republican Presidential Candidates Association.”
Here is a video of the press conference. While it is impossible to tell exactly what went on between Perry and Palin, it is obvious that Perry was displeased with Palin being on the stage, and that Palin was visibly uncomfortable by what transpired.
Apart from Rick Perry, Hailey Barbour, Tim Pawlenty, Mark Sanford, Charlie Crist, Bobby Jindal, and Jon Huntsman were all at the conference. All of these men have either thrown their hats into the ring for 2012, or made it clear that they were interested in running, but have since dropped out of the race.
While the press conference was supposed to feature only Palin and was advertised as such, the decision to shorten the press conference to five minutes and to have the other governors on stage was made two hours prior to the press conference by the other governors, minus Crist. Rick Perry was the chair of the meeting, so he must take a large part of the blame for what happened.
Yes, this was a small incident, but small incidents can reveal people’s hearts. It is clear that these men did not want Palin to have any part of the limelight and were embarrassed by her presence. It was her first chance to defend herself and to finally talk about her vision for America without having McCain’s mindless drones shutting her off. However, this chance was stolen from her by a group of men who wanted to keep her on the trash heap of history because she got in the way of their ambitions.
While Palin has handled her relations with Perry with grace, it seems that she has much less reason to support Perry than his minions would have us to believe, and that his own ambitions for 2012 were present long before he announced last month.
It is true that Palin supported Perry in his reelection bid the last cycle. However, he was the most conservative, viable candidate, and she was doing her job to try to give conservatives some sort of unity. There is no reason for Palin to publicly antagonize Perry, or vice versa, and such public antagonism would be counterproductive. This is not the same as saying that they are close friends, or that either would want the other to be president if there was another choice.
I never in a million years thought I would say this, but thank you Andrew Sullivan for linking to this article. It is always such a blessing when small blogs get linked to by big bloggers.