Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be the Republican speaker at the Gridiron Club’s Winter Dinner on Dec. 5, the club announced Friday.
Gridiron Club President Dick Cooper told club members earlier this afternoon that Palin accepted an invitation to speak at the black-tie affair, according to a member of the club’s executive committee.
Meg Stapleton, a spokeswoman for Palin, confirmed that Palin planned to address the dinner in an e-mail to POLITICO: “The Governor was honored to accept the invitation.”
Also speaking at the dinner will be Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), whom the club invited to represent his party at the event.
Palin has made few public appearances since her unsuccessful campaign for vice president last year, recently declining an invitation to address the Iowa Family Policy Center, a social conservative group in a state critical to the presidential nominating process.
Palin’s attendance at the exclusive event – put on by a group of top Washington journalists – will mark the second time the former Alaska governor has flown to the capital to mix with the city’s political elite. Earlier this year she attended the annual dinner put on by the Alfalfa Club, an insiders’ organization that exists to throw an off-the-record winter bash.
Her planned appearance at the Gridiron also follows in the footsteps of another ambitious young politician: President Barack Obama spoke at the dinner in 2006.
Carol E. Lee