Foiled eBay Bidder Challenges Palin to $100,000 'On the Record' Dinner for Veterans' Charities

Think of it as a second chance. Or a second course in the "Dinner with Sarah Palin" eBay auction that you thought was already history.


Here's a quick recap for those of you who haven't been playing along at home.

Sarah Palin decides to auction off dinner with herself with proceeds going to benefit the veterans' charity Ride2Recovery. Nice.

Bidding ensues. The end of the auction nears, and one of the bidders is revealed as former Wall Street Executive Ken Morris (more on that later), and another is outed as author Joe McGinniss who is currently working on a book about Sarah Palin. As soon as his identity is revealed, he is no longer allowed to bid. He is cut off at $60,101.01, although he wanted to bid higher. No more bids allowed from him. Not so nice.

The winner of the auction is one Ms. Cathy Maples, an Alabaman, owner of a defense contracting company, self-described conservative, and big Sarah Palin fan.

Despite Ms. Maples claim on FOX & Friends that she was willing to raise her bid so that Palin "wouldn't have to go through that" (meaning dinner with McGinniss), it's likely that neither he, nor Morris would have passed the final test on the way to the dinner table, even if they had been the winning bidder.

The auction rules state in no uncertain terms that:

Governor Palin reserves the right to refuse dinner with a winning bidder if, in her sole discretion, the winning bidder is not a suitable bidder based on her subjective standards of suitability, professionalism, background and other factors. In the event the high bidder is rejected for this reason, the high bidder's bid will be refunded, if paid, and the next highest bidder shall be notified, and thereafter, until a suitable match is determined.

Palin had no intention of sitting down and breaking bread with anyone who disagreed with her on anything. The whole idea of this rankled Morris who had hoped to engage in genuine substantive conversation with the ex-governor. There are those who would say he was already being optimistic in that regard. But be that as it may, Morris is prepared to make an offer; an offer he hopes the governor can't refuse. Here's his proposal.

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Dinner Part Two?The "Dinner With Sarah Palin" eBay auction came and went with Ms. Cathy Maples, a grandmother who happens to be a military contractor, winning with a bid of $63,500. Good for her. That I participated is a good thing, even though I didn't win. As there were only seven bidders, each of us played a role in advancing the final tally for the benefit of Ride2Recovery.
However, I remain concerned over issues I raised when earlier explaining my participation:
There exists an emotional divide in this country that I've not experienced since I attended the University of California near the end of the Vietnam War. While leaving scars that thickened the hearts of many from that era, the ending of the war allowed for a healing to begin. Painful, but now mostly a distant memory.
Today's rancor, however, troubles me more profoundly. Why? Maybe it's because I don't see a catalyst -- like the end to a tragic war -- that will magically lead us to end this political divide. This period has more the odor of the Civil Rights debate that ripped apart the South during the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson; a rift that has never been bridged.
How, I'll ask Ms. Palin, can we work together ("we" meaning not just her and me, but all people on both sides of the political fence) to begin to fix this? I'll ask her a few questions that might seem harsh, but aren't intended to offend -- after all, we must be honest, no? Do you regret saying several hundred times that our president "palled around with terrorists?" Do you really believe that providing health insurance to all Americans is socialism or fascism or Naziism, or that there are truly 'death panels' in these proposals? I'll likely feel compelled to suggest that she doesn't, in her heart of hearts, actually believe any of these things (if she does, then this will give her a chance to educate and win me over). In any event, doesn't she think we should all tone down the rhetoric? Angry mobs and gun-toting advocates can't be in anyone's best interests.
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