Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has bowed out of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., this month, her spokesman Bill McAllister confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.
Palin, considered the top draw at the Feb. 26-28 event, reportedly will be busy heading the state’s legislative session and won’t be able to fit the conservative confab into her schedule.
"We're obviously disappointed," a CPAC official told USNews.com.
Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate and future presidential hopeful, was expected to address attendees on the opening day of CPAC. Instead, she will send a taped message, her office confirmed.
CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservative activists, policymakers, and students. The presidential straw poll at the event is widely viewed as a reliable bellwether of conservative support.
Palin, who recently launched SarahPAC to help raise money for other conservative candidates and cultivate a national network of supporters, is reportedly still eyeing a run for higher office, and CPAC would have put her in the spotlight, many GOP observers believe.
Other big hitters scheduled to take the stage include an array of conservative icons and politicians, including Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson, Michael Steele, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, John Boehner, Glenn Beck, Tim Pawlenty, Bill Bennet, and Phyllis Schlafly.
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