Thursday, at the Republican Governors Association convention in Miami, Sarah Palin finally held her first press conference on a national stage.
But Palin's appearance was a little like opening your gifts on Christmas morning after months of anticipation to find that Santa has only gotten you some reindeer-themed socks -- a study in disappointment. She was onstage for a remarkably short time: Less than 8 minutes, to be exact, with just three minutes, 23 seconds devoted to a Q&A with the media. In that time, standing in front of some fellow Republican governors, she took just four questions from the press corps before Texas Gov. Rick Perry abruptly took the mike, said, "Thank you all for coming" and ended the press conference. It was a bizarre, paternalistic move on Perry's part. You can watch video of the press conference below.
During her brief time onstage, Palin hinted she would have liked more freedom to speak with the press during the McCain campaign. Asked about her recent spate of post-election interviews with everyone from Matt Lauer to Wolf Blitzer, Palin said, "I don't want to talk about the strategy of a campaign that is over." But she also downplayed expectations about her political future, especially the possibility that she may run for president in 2012. And naturally, she slammed the press, this time for "playing the pundit's role" and already discussing the 2012 race. "The media wants to dissect the past" and 2012, she said, adding, "As far as we're concerned the past is the past."
CNN's Dana Bash reports that, originally, Palin was supposed to appear onstage by herself but just two hours before this morning's conference, that plan changed. The event was also initially slated to last 20 minutes.
According to Bash, Palin and many of the other governors at the convention held a meeting this morning during which they decided to appear onstage together. Bash writes that an RGA official told CNN that the cause for the scheduling change was a "long story" and that at the private meeting today, the governors, Palin included, expressed the desire to move beyond the McCain campaign.