One day before the official release of her best-selling memoir "Going Rogue: An American Life," Sarah Palin sat down on Monday with Oprah Winfrey to discuss her book, her family, and her campaign as John McCain's running mate.
In the wide-ranging interview, Palin also spoke about her wardrobe controversy, her teenage daughter's pregnancy, her much-maligned interview with Katie Couric, why the McCain-Palin ticket lost, and more. Some highlights:McCain advisers forced the Palin family to overhaul their wardrobe when they arrived in Minneapolis for the Republican National convention in September 2008.
"I thought this was like one of those relationships you have, when we're young, and somebody says, 'I just love you the way that you are; now let me change you,'" Palin said.The ultimate showdown with McCain staffers came on election night when she was told she could not deliver a concession speech before McCain spoke.
"I was disappointed that the explanation I was given [was] that . . . V.P. candidates never give a speech on election night. I knew that was false because I have seen it happen. In fact four years prior, of course, that had happened."
Special: Get Sarah Palin’s New Book – Incredible FREE Offer -- Click Here Now.Even if Palin had been allowed to be more herself during the campaign, she said, it is likely that the Republican presidential ticket would have lost.
"The reason that we lost: The economy changed under a Republican administration," Palin said. "People were sincerely looking for change. They were quite concerned about the road that America was on with its economy. They did not want more of the same. They did not want status quo. And I think, unfortunately, our ticket represented what was perceived as status quo."Despite plaudits from campaign advisers who said she'd done well in her September 2008 interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Palin knew better.
When Oprah said she wanted to talk about the Couric interview, Palin laughed and said: "Must we?"
Among several missteps in the interview, Palin asserted that Alaska's proximity to Russia enhanced her foreign policy credentials. Critics seized on the interview as evidence that she wasn't qualified to be president if something were to happen to McCain.
Palin told Oprah: "The campaign said, 'Right on. Good. You're showing your independence. This is what American needs to see. It was a good interview.' And of course I'm thinking, 'If you thought that was a good interview, I don't know what a bad interview is.' Because I knew it wasn't a good interview."
She also said that Couric, whom she referred to as "the perky one," annoyed her by "badgering" her during the interview.Palin still considers Levi Johnston, the former fiancé of her daughter Bristol and the father of Bristol's son, "part of the family."
Johnston has complained that he was treated as an outcast following Palin's unsuccessful run for vice president, and claimed that Palin resigned from her governor's post in July to make money.
Oprah asked whether Levi would be invited to Thanksgiving dinner.
Palin laughed again and said: "That's a great question. It's lovely to think that he would ever even consider such a thing. Because of course he is a part of the family and you want to bring him in the fold, kind of under your wing. And he needs that, Oprah. I think he needs to know that he is loved. And he has the most beautiful child.
"This can all work out for good, it really can. We don't have to keep going down this road of controversy and drama all the time. We're not really into the drama. We have other things to concentrate on and do."
She also said she will "continue to pray for Levi."When Palin got a surprise phone call from the McCain campaign asking whether she'd like to be on the Republican presidential ticket, she had no doubts that she was ready for the challenge.
"When I got the call, it was not such a shocking call to me . . . I felt quite confident in my abilities and my executive experience knowing that this is an executive administrative job. I was happy to get in there and contribute."But Palin said she was stunned that McCain aides knew her then-17-year-old daughter Bristol was pregnant, a fact that Palin had yet to disclose back in Alaska.
"I was surprised, too, that we didn't handle that issue, that challenge, better," she said. "If we were given that allowance to deal with the issue in a more productive way, we perhaps could have sent a better message: This is not to be glamorized, not to be emulated."
Palin said Bristol was "devastated" and in tears when she found that her pregnancy was on the news, and contended that the press exhibited a "double standard" by focusing on the Palin family and accepting Barack Obama's demand that his family was off-limits to the press.Palin brushed aside talk about a possible campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
"I am dealing with so many issues that are important . . . and what I am finding, clearer and clearer every day, what I am seeing is that you don't need a title to make a difference."
When Oprah asked if Palin would tell her whether she intends to run in 2012, Palin got a laugh from the studio audience when she said, "No, I wouldn't."As for why she resigned as governor of Alaska with more than a year left on her first term, Palin told Oprah: "I resigned because I wasn't going to run for a second term. I was heading into a lame-duck term.
"We came back from 10 weeks on the road [on the campaign] to a new normal in Alaska. Everything had so changed in my administration. There were so many opposition researchers up there that were sent, probably, by the Obama camp.
"It was a point where my state of Alaska was being hampered by my presence there."
At the end of the interview, Oprah cited talk that Palin was getting a talk show of her own, and asked jokingly: "Should I be worried?"
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