WASILLA, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she wouldn't hesitate to run for the presidency in four years if it's God's will, even though she never thought Campaign 2008 would be "as brutal a ride as it turned out to be."
In a series of interviews in the wake of last Tuesday's elections, Palin said she had no problem with Republican presidential nominee John McCain, but that she resents rumors she said were spread about her and her family by the Arizona Republican's aides. She emphatically denied that she was a drag on the GOP ticket.
"I think the economic collapse had a heckuva lot more to do with the campaign's collapse than me personally," the governor said in an interview broadcast Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.
Palin also said "There were a lot of times I wanted to shout out, 'Hey, wait a minute, it's not true.' It's pretty brutal."
Nevertheless, the relatively obscure governor of Alaska, whose selection for the ticket by McCain last August brought excitement — and controversy — to the 2008 campaign, said she would be eager to do it all again under the right circumstances.
"I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door," Palin said in an interview with Fox News on Monday. "And if there is an open door in '12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."
In the wide-ranging interview, Palin said she neither wanted nor asked for the $150,000-plus wardrobe the Republican Party bankrolled, and thought the issue was an odd one at the end of the campaign, considering "what is going on in the world today."
"I did not order the clothes. Did not ask for the clothes," Palin said. "I would have been happy to have worn my own clothes from Day One. But that is kind of an odd issue, an odd campaign issue as things were wrapping up there as to who ordered what and who demanded what."
"It's amazing that we did as well as we did," the governor said of the election in a separate interview with the Anchorage Daily News.
"I think the Republican ticket represented too much of the status quo, too much of what had gone on in these last eight years, that Americans were kind of shaking their heads like going, wait a minute, how did we run up a $10 trillion debt in a Republican administration? How have there been blunders with war strategy under a Republican administration? If we're talking change, we want to get far away from what it was that the present administration represented and that is to a great degree what the Republican Party at the time had been representing," Palin said in a story published Sunday.
Palin has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2012. She also could seek re-election in 2010 or challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Still uncertain is the fate of Sen. Ted Stevens, who is leading in his bid for another term but could be ousted by the Senate for his conviction on seven felony counts of failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts, mostly renovations on his home. If Stevens loses his seat, Palin could run for it in a special election.
Palin and McCain's campaign faced a storm of criticism over the tens of thousands of dollars spent at such high-end stores as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to dress the nominee. Republican National Committee lawyers are still trying to determine exactly what clothing was bought for Palin, what was returned and what has become of the rest.