From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
NBC News has learned that Jeri Thompson, wife of republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, is canceling the first public event where she was to appear on her own. Jeri Thompson had previously agreed to participate in a high-profile forum featuring spouses of presidential hopefuls from both political parties. The event, Tuesday Oct 23rd in Long Beach, Calif., will be moderated by California First Lady Maria Shriver to discuss the balance of politics and family as part of her annual Women's Conference.
Sources close to the 41-year-old mother of two small children say, "We regret that we cannot be there" and stressed, "We were apologetic." The reason cited for the cancellation is "scheduling." Jeri Thompson is scheduled to make her first solo trip campaigning as a surrogate for her husband next week. She is also set to deliver a speech at the Jewish Coalition forum tomorrow with no press coverage.
Organizers of the Shriver event say they "heard rumblings yesterday" about a possible cancellation and expressed hope that "it's salvageable." Planners called it a "brain scratcher" and noted that media kits and materials for the event already printed have Jeri Thompson listed as a participant.