Former Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has been scratched from a lineup of speakers scheduled to appear at a rally for Tea Party supporters in Iowa on Saturday.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be the main attraction at the “Restoring America” event in Indianola, a town about 18 miles south of Des Moines.
Originally, the Tea Party of America (TPA) organization said O’Donnell would speak just before Palin, but apparently changed their minds by Tuesday morning.
However, there appears to be some confusion over the real reason behind O’Donnell’s snub.
Ken Crow, co-founder of TPA, told The Wilmington (Del.) News Journal: “It is all my fault. I’m taking the sword. Ms. O’Donnell did nothing wrong. I did. It was my fault.”
But Charlie Gruschow, another co-founder of TAP, told The Wall Street Journal that his group decided to axe O’Donnell from the speakers’ list after receiving many “e-mails from a lot of Tea Party folks that were very disappointed that she would be speaking.”
“We decided not to have her speak,” Gruschow told WSJ. “We felt it was in the best interest of the movement.”
In yet another statement posted on the TPA website, Crow said: “While [O’Donnell’s] appearance was discussed among a list of many possible speakers, she is not scheduled to speak at our event. Tea Party of America was informed that Ms. O’Donnell would be in the Des Moines area and was invited to stop by the rally and autograph her new book if she desired.”
The Iowa rebuke just adds to more disappointment for O’Donnell, who has been touring the nation to promote her new book: “Troublemaker: Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again.”
Book-signing events have been less than successful for O’Donnell, who lost the Senate election last November by a whopping 17 percent.
Meanwhile, speculation is growing that Palin -- the unsuccessful Republican Vice-Presidential candidate in 2008 -- may use the Indianola event to launch her 2012 Presidential campaign.
Crow said Palin is believed to be planning “a major address” at the rally, but declined to confirm it was to announce a bid for the White House.
“If I did, I could retire,” Crow told The News Journal. “I could sell that news story for $20 million and I could retire.”