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Palin still attending Indiana fundraiser

From MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell
Sarah Palin's dinner date with Republicans in Washington may be off, but she's still planning a political trip in two weeks to Indiana to attend a Right to Life fundraiser.

Her political travel is likely to raise new questions. Her spokeswoman said she would not commit to a Senate-House GOP dinner in June because she was focused on Alaska state business -- not politics.

On April 16, Palin will be attending the Vanderburgh County Right to Life dinner in Evansville, IN, as well as a breakfast the next day for S.M.I.L.E., a nonprofit organization for people with family members who have Down syndrome. Palin's spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, said Palin will be taking a "36-hour vacation" to attend the events in Indiana. Palin's political action committee will pay for the travel.

Palin was replaced as the keynote speaker at the Republican dinner in Washington by Newt Gingrich. The event's organizers grew tired of waiting for her to commit to the party's big spring fundraising gala.

Stapleton said Palin would not agree to political events until after April 20, when the Alaska legislative session ends. "She is focused on Alaska," Stapleton said today.

And while Palin's camp claimed no hard feelings about being replaced by Gingrich, Stapleton said, "She probably would have said yes if they could have waited."

Stapleton could not explain why Palin would say yes to a political event in Indiana and not attend a political event in Washington. However, she did note that Palin wanted to honor her son Trigg, who has Down syndrome, at the S.M.I.L.E. event in Indiana.

It's possible there could be a huge increase in political travel by Palin after the legislative session in Alaska ends. "There are thousands of requests" for appearances across the country, Stapleton said.