Sarah Palin, the GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008, was not asked… (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File )
TAMPA, Fla. -- Sarah Palin has seemed content to sit out the big Republican show here this week. She campaigned earlier in the week in Arizona for GOPHouse candidates and said she was happy to leave the limelight to others, four years after her star turn at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
But Palin clearly figured she would have at least one brief moment connected to the 2012 convention and that it would come Wednesday, when U.S. Sen. John McCain, her running mate, got his chance to speak to the party gathering.
It didn’t happen.
Palin said via Facebook: “I’m sorry Fox cancelled all my scheduled interviews tonight because I sure wanted to take the opportunity on the air to highlight Senator John McCain’s positive contributions to America, to honor him, and to reflect on what a biased media unfairly put him through four years ago tonight.”
It was unclear exactly how much air time the former Alaska governor expected to grab, but she’s a fairly regular contributor, particularly on "Hannity" and Greta van Susteren’s “On the Record.”
Fox News, on the other hand, was never seen as entirely embracing McCain, the onetime Vietnam War veteran who alienated hard-line conservatives by compromising with Democrats on issues such as campaign finance reform and immigration.
Fox programmers may have simply decided Wednesday would not be McCain’s night. The now Romney-dominated party gave the Arizona senator his speaking slot, yes, but a couple of hours before prime time.
So why would Fox want to give Palin, his onetime running mate, any time to sing the praises of the man who brought her to the national stage? Far better to be building the brand of the party’s newly minted star, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, than to dwell on the old guard represented by McCain, the thinking doubtless went.
“I look forward to hearing his words to his fellow Americans tonight more than any of the other convention speeches,” Palin said in her Facebook posting. That would make her more interested in McCain than, notably, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and many others, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who have replaced her as the GOP's hottest brand names.