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Sarah Palin: 2 standing Os from Republican governors

November 13, 2008 |  7:06 pm

They like her. They really like her.

As The Ticket forecast yesterday, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke to the Republican Governors Assn. in Miami today and its invited donors. (See news video below by clicking on the "Read more" line.)

Despite a sometimes rambling delivery, the national newcomer who electrified the party convention and base during the September convention got two standing Os today, perhaps partly as auditory appreciation for her dedicatioAlaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks to Republican governors in Miamin and determination during the recently completed presidential campaign that did not end well for her ticket but thrust her fresh face onto the national stage.

Palin's speech was titled, "Looking Towards the Future," which is a really good thing for the nation's 21 surviving GOP govs, a group of state chief executives including Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Charlie Crist, and Tim Pawlenty, who will most likely produce that party's nominee in four years.

Because "Looking Towards the Past" -- especially the "past" week -- is way too depressing for the now leaderless party.

Republican governors -- more pragmatic than dogmatic -- have been most successful at running for chief executive and for running the chief executive branch, in fact, the last eight years.

Besides former Gov. George W. Bush, think Christie Todd Whitman, Mike Leavitt, Tommy Thompson, Dirk Kempthorne, Mike Johanns, Tom Ridge, former ...

... governors all, along with Montana's Marc Racicot, who chaired the Republican National Committee and Bush's 2004 re-election.

"We are now the minority party," the 44-year-old Alaskan told the crowd. "But let us resolve not to become the negative party." Back in the 1990s when Republicans controlled 32 governorships covering some 70% of the nation's population, they earned that acceptance by being doers, settling budget disagreements with Democrats, for instance, as most states require by law, as opposed to the partisan gridlock often associated with Washington.

The Times' Mark Z. Barabak reports that the name Ronald Reagan (another GOP governor) came up often during the RGA meeting, but less so the outgoing White House occupant.

Until Palin spoke:

"In politics," she said, "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 grateful he is my soldier-son's commander in chief, and for that I say, God bless you George W. Bush and I thank you, Mr. President."
She received prolonged applause from the audience of about 150, one of the biggest ovations, in fact, of the two days of waterfront meetings.

Barabak has more details in his story elsewhere on this site.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Hans Deryk / Reuters