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Unplugged, Palin has plenty to talk about Alaska governor pops up on TV


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as she arrives at the 2008 Republican Governors Association in Miami, was largely kept away from the media as she campaigned with Sen. John McCain.

John Watson-Riley / AP Enlarge

CHICAGO - Suddenly, Gov. Sarah Palin is everywhere.

Mrs. Palin, Republican nominee John McCain's vice presidential running mate, was kept cloistered for weeks during the heat of their losing campaign against Democrat Barack Obama.

The McCain campaign largely kept her under wraps out of fear that she might make more verbal missteps as she did in high-profile TV interviews shortly after she was picked as Mr. McCain's No. 2.

But because she is no longer under the campaign's watch, the Alaska governor is talking, and talking, and talking. She will talk some more in Miami today when she holds a news conference and addresses a Republican governors meeting.

Last night, she was talking to CNN's Larry King Live, where she was pressed on whether she had cost Mr. McCain the election.

"I personally don't think that I, Sarah Palin from Alaska, the V.P. pick, I don't believe that I caused the outcome to be what it was," she said.

"I think the economy tanking a couple of months ago had a lot more to do with it than the V.P. pick."

"If I caused even one person to shy away from electing an American hero, John McCain, to the presidency, then I apologize," she added.

This was just hours after she had been talking to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who wanted to know whether she might run for Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens' seat should Stevens have to step down because of a conviction for corruption.

Maybe, she said, noting that she wants to serve the people of Alaska the best way she can. "At this point, it is as governor."

"Now if something shifted dramatically and if it were, if it were acknowledged up there that I could be put to better use for my state in the U.S. Senate, I would certainly consider that but that would take a special election and everything else," she said. "I am not one to appoint myself or a member of my family to take the place of any vacancy."

She was also asked about speculation that she is the Republican party's future.

"I don't think it's me personally, I think it's what I represent," she told reporters. "Every day, hard-working American families - a woman on the ticket perhaps represents that. It would be good for the ticket. It would be good for the party. I would be happy to get to do whatever is asked of me to help progress this nation."

Asked by Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren recently about running for president in 2012, Mrs. Palin did not rule it out. "If there is an open door in [20]12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door," she said.

Another possible Republican presidential aspirant in 2012, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, said yesterday he was glad Mrs. Palin was being vocal.

"I think it's a good thing that Sarah Palin is going to be speaking out," he told MSNBC. "I hope all of our governors will talk about what they're doing in their states, learning from each other."

Mr. Jindal and another possible candidate, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, are in Miami too for the meeting of GOP governors.

The governors said yesterday that the party's future rests within their ranks and not Washington politicians.

"Republican governors are the only people who can propose and implement Republican policies," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in four years as well. "For America to see that Republican policies work, they're going to see it in states with Republican governors."

Mr. Barbour is a former Republican Party chairman.

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