A News Conference From Someone No Stranger to the News
By MICHAEL COOPER | November 14, 2008
MIAMI — Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska did something here on Thursday that she had not done in her entire campaign as the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee: she stood behind a lectern and held a news conference.
She was asked what had changed.
“The campaign is over,” she said.
Granted, the question-and-answer session lasted only four minutes, and for only four questions.
But after it ended, Ms. Palin did allow herself a look back, as she addressed a session of the Republican Governors Association conference and told conferees that she had managed to keep busy since their last conference.
“I had a baby,” she said. “I did some traveling; I very briefly expanded my wardrobe; I made a few speeches; I met a few V.I.P.’s, including those who really impact society, like Tina Fey.”
And, yes, she spoke of Joe the Plumber, the Ohio man who briefly dominated the McCain-Palin campaign and its talk of taxes.
The conference has been dominated by soul searching among Republicans worried about their future after last week’s poor Election Day showing. To that end, Ms. Palin was again asked whether she would run for president in 2012.
“The future is not that 2012 presidential race; it’s next year and our next budgets,” Ms. Palin said. It is in 2010, she said, that “we’ll have 36 governor’s positions open.”
Ms. Palin tried to play down her celebrity (even after a week in which she was featured in interviews on NBC, Fox News and CNN). In her speech, she tried to shift the focus from herself to the work that Republican governors must now do, including developing energy resources and overhauling health care.
“I am not going to assume that the answer is for the federal government to just take it over and try to run America’s health care system,” Ms. Palin said. “Heaven forbid.”
She implored her fellow Republican governors to “show the federal government the way,” while also reforming their own party.
“We are the minority party. Let us resolve not to be the negative party,” Ms. Palin said. “Let us build our case with actions, not just with words.”