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Sarah Palin CPAC

Sarah Palin CPAC - Sarah Palin has declined the keynote speaker slot at next weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference, the yearly confab for conservative activists that also doubles as something of a cattle call for GOP presidential contenders.

Palin has now skipped the conference four straight years, a rarity for a prominent Republican politician. Among those attending this year are Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, John Thune, Haley Barbour and Mitch McConnell.

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union (which runs CPAC), said in a statement released to CBS News that Palin "expressed interest in wanting to come this year" but had "a scheduling issue."

"We're disappointed she couldn't make it this year," Keene added.

Palin's decision to skip the event comes amid a mini-revolt against it by social conservatives, who are sitting out due to the involvement of a gay conservative group called GOProud. Among those who are skipping the event are the Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women for America and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a hero of the Tea Party movement.

Sarah Palin CPAC


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