Palin 2012: Crafty or Chaotic?


"When you sublease responsibilities [for planning an event] to another group, organization, or individual, even if it friendly, it's not the same," he added. "You lack control of the event."

Added Robinson, "This is not a Sarah Palin event although that's how it's billed, how it's perceived. It is someone else's event and she is part of it."

The latest in Palin's confirmation-cancellation dance recalls her behavior after the vice presidential campaign, when she cancelled several events that she had confirmed.

It's this decentralized organization and chaotic moves that convinces establishment Republicans that Palin is not running, although she has consistently said she is keeping the door open and more recently said she will decide by the end of next month.

The Palin team, says Robinson, "wouldn't have these problems if they were willing to do the grunt work and leg work to build the event themselves."

Crow blames the confusion not on SarahPAC, but on the one volunteer leading Palin's effort in Iowa, Peter Singleton. Singleton is a California attorney who moved to the state almost a year ago to try and build support for Palin in Iowa without knowing if she would even run. Singleton consistently says he is working independently of SarahPAC, and his efforts to lay a grassroots campaign for the non-candidate is his own doing.

However, Crow says once Palin's team confirmed her attendance last month, his group began working with Singleton to organize the event. Crow said he and the other Tea Party of America event organizers were under the impression that Singleton spoke for Palin in Iowa.

Crow said Singleton told him they needed to get a security team together because Palin is "threatened more than President Obama is." According to Crow, Singleton instructed the Tea Party of America to not only get a security team, but also get bomb sniffing dogs and make sure there are two exits out of the event for Palin; he also reportedly requested that the rally had to be in a "bucolic setting."

Crow said it was at that point he and Tea Party of America president Charlie Gruschow realized the rally was a "major undertaking." But they completed the list of demands.

But when SarahPAC touched base with the group, only recently, Crow told them they had security lined up and the bomb-sniffing dogs were ready to go. Palin's team informed Crow that Singleton doesn't speak for Palin and her team and they actually had their own security and transportation lined up.

Crow said all SarahPAC requested was "a bale of hay, a bullhorn, and other people talking at the rally."

Crow said that Palin herself didn't seem upset at the "mistakes" he admitted were made and instead passed word through her advance staffers, Jason Recher and Doug McMarlin, that she was excited to meet him and especially wanted to meet his 72-year-old mother, who didn't get a chance to meet the former Alaska governor at her event in Pella, Iowa, in June.

Singleton didn't respond to several requests for comments.

O'Donnell Drama

Then on Wednesday, Palin's team "put the event on hold" and one of the things on Crow's list of "mistakes" that he needed to correct was informing O'Donnell that she was back off. Crow said that he "found out we in fact had been lied to by her [O'Donnell's] people and we didn't want to participate. I didn't want to expose the governor to that sort of stuff."

It seems O'Donnell stretched the current relationship she has with Palin, whose endorsement led to her beating Rep. Mike Castle in the 2010 Delaware senate race. One of the Tea Party of America organizers said it's just not the case: "I can tell you that the governor and Ms. O'Donnell have not spoken in a year, but that's none of my business."

O'Donnell did not return requests for comment left with her publicity firm.

Palin has maintained that September would be the latest she'd wait to get into the 2012 race, but if today's back and forth is any indication, she's not in a rush to take on the organization, planning and scheduling common in most candidates.

ABC News' Sheila Marikar contributed to this report.

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