Sarah Palin called on fellow Republican governors to keep the new president and his strengthened Democratic majority in check on issues including taxes and 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 Thursday, this year's GOP vice presidential nominee – and an oft-mentioned candidate for 2012 – revisited some aspects of the campaign and talked about the role of the governors in the coming year.
“We are the minority party,” Palin said at a session on “Looking Towards the Future: The GOP in Transition.” “Let us resolve not to be the negative party.”
Still, she took a swipe or two at President-elect Obama. She said with governors, “the buck stops on our desk. … We are not the many voting yea or nay or present.” While an Illinois state lawmaker, Obama often voted “present,” a practice the GOP criticized during the campaign.
Palin said it was incumbent upon GOP governors to ensure that the federal government doesn't take over the health care system. She said if Obama and the new Congress “err on the side of excess taxes, we have to show them the way.”
“Let's reach out to Barack Obama,” Palin said. “Show him how lower taxes provide opportunity for the private sector to grow.”
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 Palin despite her tumultuous two months on the national political scene.
She likely would have plenty of competition for a possible 2012 bid.