It seems this week that there has been almost more "news" media attention for Sarah Palin, the former GOP V.P. nominee, than for President-Elect Obama. Sarah has done a series of interviews including appearances on Larry King, The Today Show, Wolf Blitzer, and a two day special with Greta Van Susteren filmed with the Palin family in Alaska.
But today's speech at the Republican Governor's Association meeting in Miami Florida was the first time Governor Palin has had the opportunity to make a major address without the burden, some would say shackles, of speaking solely on behalf of the McCain campaign. Sarah can now be herself and no longer muzzled by campaign staff who may not always have had her best interests at heart.
Columnist Bill Kristol, who spoke during a panel discussion on Thursday described the RGA meeting as "The Republican presidential candidates association" noting that so many potential 2012 candidates were in attendance. Even with Bobby Jindal (LA), Tim Pawlenty (MN) and Mark Sanford (SC) in attendance all eyes seemed to be on Sarah.
A few excerpts from her speech:
Gov. Sarah Palin Remarks at the Republican Governors Association
Washington Post Transcript
November 13, 2008
An opening joke:
It hasn't been that long, I think, since we all gathered, but, I don't know about you, but I managed to fill up the time. Let's see, I had a baby. I did some traveling. I very briefly expanded my wardrobe. I made a few speeches, met a few VIPs, including those who really impact society, like Tina Fey.Thanking President Bush:
Let me add that I was honored as well to have the support of a former RGA member, and his beautiful wife, who will soon return home from the White House to Texas.On the Financial Bailout:
In politics, people sometimes go to great lengths to avoid stating the obvious, but I think it's about time that we all remembered that the greatest measure of a president is whether he protected and defended this great country. America's 43rd president took that foremost responsibility, that most important charge, seriously. He poured his life into it. He succeeded in keeping America safe from another attack. I'm thankful he is my soldier son's commander in chief. And for that I say God bless George W. Bush. And I thank you, Mr. President.
A lot of us just supported that first $700 billion bailout. We need to have a rational discussion. I look forward to a debate and Republican governors participating in this debate of what and when is enough enough.Memories of the Campaign Trail:
I want our national leaders to expand the debate and talk about accountability and personal responsibility and corporate habits and activities called to account. We can start talking about the conservative solutions to these economic challenges.
Now, we can do this and we can lead in this discussion and in this debate, and we had better lead with ethics reform and an end to the self-dealing and corrupt special interests on Wall Street and in Washington that contributed to the housing crisis and elements of the economic collapses. And this has resulted in hardworking, middle- class Americans being the ones who really get the bum deal in all of this.
And we need to not be afraid of interjecting the solutions that we see based on free market solutions as those that can meet these great challenges.
For years to come, I'm going to remember all the young girls who came up to me at rallies to see the first woman having the privilege of carrying our party's vp nomination. And they inspired me.GOP Governor's Form the Bedrock of Principled Opposition and Reform:
With an extra hurdle or two in front of us and in front of these young girls, I feel that we've got this mutually beneficial relationship now -- me and these young girls -- where we're going to work harder, we're going to be stronger, we're going to do better. And one day, one of them will be the president, because in America, there will be no ceilings on achievement, glass or otherwise. And if I can help point the way.
And I'm going to remember all the people along the way who said that they were praying for us. They were such a strength and a shield, those prayer warriors.
I will remember with gratitude all the families with special needs children who were the stars of the show in our rallies: kids with autism and some in their wheelchairs and these beautiful kids who maybe before were made to feel like there wasn't a place for them in the life of our country.
How could I ever forget the banners held up high that would say "We're here for Trig," "Trig in the White House," and these beautiful children and their families?
You know, and always being warned you can't cry on the campaign trail or you can't show that -- well, my goodness, speaking to some of these families and the challenges that they have -- and they who aren't asking anything from government or from anybody else -- perhaps a hand up, but not a handout, these families.
I would see them in the audience, and they would hold up their banners. And I'll tell you, I came close to crying few times, because they just touched my heart.
So now, with recent elections wrapped up, yes, on the federal level, we are now the minority party, but let us not resolve to become the negative party, too eager to find fault or unwilling to help in this time of crisis and war.
Losing an election does not have to mean losing our way. And for governors the way forward leads through our own state capitals in reforms that we will carry on or begin anew.
And I promise you Americans will be looking to their governors for reaction, for stepped-up leadership, and for our abilities to unite and to progress. Let the pundits go on with their idle talk about the next election, what happens in 2012. Our concern should be about our state's next great reform, our next budget, our next opportunity to progress in the states that we serve.
And on the issues like taxes and energy and health care, immigration, education, we will not lack for opportunities to serve and to lead and to show the way.
If the new Congress and president err on the side, for instance, of excess taxes, then it will be falling on us to show them a better way.
In our federalist system, we governors have one of the greatest powers there is in an democracy, and that is the power of example. And we in the RGA must use that power to create the growth and the opportunities and the jobs that come from lower taxes and more efficient bureaucracy for everyone.
in the months ahead, let us build our case with actions and not just words. Let us reclaim our good name as the party of spending restraint and limited government and economic opportunity and personal freedom and responsibility and American tradition. Let us be true to our beliefs, strong in the defense of the weak, unafraid to speak for American ideals, and firm in our support for the men and women who defend those ideals in a dangerous world. And in all that we do, let us carry ourselves with good will and confidence and with a servant's heart. Let's lead by example.