Today, Palin canceled the rest of her “vacation”/”education” bus tour to the primary states and now, she’s canceling her Franklin Graham trip to war torn Sudan, which is experiencing a horrific ongoing humanitarian crisis. Omar al-Bashir, the leader of Sudan’s military government, was charged and indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes related to the Darfur region of western Sudan. He was later also charged for orchestrating genocide in 2010 by Hague.
That’s trip number two Sarah Palin has quit today, if you’re keeping score.
The Washington Post reports:
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has canceled a planned trip next month to war-ravaged Sudan, one of the most unstable nations in the world and the focus of passionate advocacy within the U.S. evangelical community.
Palin scrapped her plans to visit the North African country for scheduling reasons, several sources close to Palin said. She was planning to travel with Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical leader Billy Graham, as well as Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren to the July 9 independence ceremony of South Sudan, the sources said.
A Palin spokesman, Tim Crawford, declined to comment on any of it.
Palin first told a London newspaper of the Sudan trip early this month. Graham, who heads the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, said he first spoke to Palin about traveling with her to Sudan several years ago, while she was still governor. The trip didn’t work out because of a special legislative session that kept Palin in Juneau, he said.
The more recent plan was to attend the July 9 independence ceremony for the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.
Palin sources say she canceled due to scheduling issues. Or it could be that security concerns are hindering Palin’s plans to visit Sudan, following an accord by north and south Sudan to demilitarize the Abyei region. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was also tentatively scheduled to attend the independence ceremony, called the agreement an important first step but noted that the real test would be how well both sides implemented the agreement in the following days.
No matter what the reason for Palin’s change in plans, this is evidence of a messaging fail by Palin’s PR folks. Her people should have orchestrated the announcement that her bus tour would not be proceeding on schedule so as not to fall on the same day as her trip to Sudan was canceled. The Palinistas are nervous enough about her not running, this is going to send them over the moon.
If Sarah Palin really has plans to run for President, she needs all of the foreign photo ops and Christian conservative cred she can muster. If she really cares about the incomprehensible suffering in Darfur, and wasn’t just using this trip as a photo-op, she could easily use her fame to raise awareness of the crisis and fundraise for the people even if she can’t make the trip.
George Clooney and other Hollywood “elites” have used their fame to draw much needed attention to the humanitarian crisis, and I will be behind Palin one-hundred percent if she manages to draw some much needed attention to the suffering in Sudan, even if I do cringe at it coming with Franklin Graham evangelical strings in an area that hardly needs any further religious interference. Any help is good help at this point for a nation that been in crisis for too long, even if the help is only a byproduct of vainglorious fame seeking.
As for Sarah Palin’s bus, it looks like she’s in one of her down periods, careening out of control and pulling the rug out from a few more supporters as is her wont. Before we get our hopes up, we should remember that like the perfect horror villain, she always comes back.
However, Palin’s shelf life as a political brand is nearing its end if she doesn’t announce soon.