NOTE: I will be liveblogging this event tonight starting at 8:00 PM Eastern/5:00 PM Pacific (4:00 PM Alaskan). Be sure to check back for minute-by-minute coverage. (You will be able to watch a live stream by clicking here)
The brouhaha surrounding Gov. Palin's State of the State address tonight has got to be one of the most bizarre and convoluted political messes that I have ever seen (luckily, the Governor is handling it very well). I will make an attempt to describe the madness below, but you may be better served by simply reading the details from the Anchorage Daily News and listening to Gov. Palin's excellent interview this morning on "The Bob and Mark Show" (Thanks yet again to Trish at Palintology.com).
The intrigue started yesterday when news broke that, ostensibly due to bad weekend weather, the Senate would have to delay the opening of the legislative session until 6:00 PM tonight, the exact time when the Governor planned to speak (after which Gov. Palin has to immediately catch a flight to her son's boot camp graduation in Georgia). This set up a situation where the Senate would not be able to attend the address. Then news surfaced today that there were plenty of seats available on flights into Juneau that would allow Senators to attend their original 1:00 "gaveling in" time (when the State House actually did gavel in). Then the the speech was moved to 4:00 PM by request of Senate president Lyda Green, pushing the speech out of prime time TV hours, which had been the reason for the 6:00 time in the first place (Lyda Green is a well known enemy of Gov. Palin).
The Senate is blaming the Governor for speaking at 6:00 instead of 7:00, and not speaking later in the week (even though the time was requested a month ago and the Senate session was only scheduled yesterday). It appears that this snafu may have come about due to a breakdown of communication between the House Speaker and Senate President, but it seems to have blown up into a showdown between the governor and Lyda Green.
If you are still confused; don't worry, so am I. Be sure to check back here for live updates as soon as the speech starts. The one thing I will say is that Palin had every right to speak at 6:00 PM, and every right to see her son become a soldier as well. The Senate could have easily made their originally scheduled 1:00 "gaveling in" session (because the much larger House DID make that time). The whole thing smells just a little rotten to me.