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Palin urges GOP governors to keep Democrats in check



Lynne Sladky / AP Enlarge

MIAMI - Sarah Palin called on fellow Republican governors to keep the new president and his strengthened Democratic majority in check on issues from taxes to health care as she signaled she'll take a leadership role in a party searching for a new standard-bearer.

Addressing the Republican Governors Association meeting yesterday, this year's GOP vice presidential nominee revisited some aspects of the bitter campaign and talked about the role of the governors in the coming year. After losing the White House and several seats in the Senate and House, the party is engaging in some soul-searching about its direction.

Mrs. Palin noted that Congress is led by the likes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Rep. Barney Frank, and said it was incumbent upon GOP governors to ensure the federal government doesn't take over the health-care system. She said if President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress "err on the side of excess taxes, we have to show them the way."

Mrs. Palin also displayed a sense of humor, telling the governors at the beginning of her remarks that she wanted to catch them up on the developments in her life since they last met.

"I had a baby, I did some traveling, I very briefly expanded my wardrobe, I made a few speeches, I met a few VIPs, including those who really impact society like Tina Fey," she said to loud laughter.

Facing the prospect of being out of power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue for the first time since the 1992 election, Republicans are looking to their governors to fill the leadership vacuum. Speculation has centered on the telegenic Mrs. Palin despite her tumultuous two months on the national political scene. She likely would have competition for a possible 2012 bid from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

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