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Palin facing media to save face?

By Emily Ngo

Just one week after Election Day, Sarah Palin is reversing course on something she was criticized for: not granting media interviews.

The former GOP vice presidential nominee spoke with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Monday and NBC’s “Today” host Matt Lauer Tuesday and is scheduled to appear with Wolf Blitzer on CNN Wednesday.

“I think the economic collapse had a heckuva lot more to do with the campaign’s collapse than me personally,” the Alaska governor told Lauer.

The 44-year-old mother of five said she resents claims that she torpedoed John McCain’s presidential hopes: “It’s pretty brutal.”

Without the McCain campaign orchestrating her steps, Palin is speaking out as a matter of self-preservation, said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University.

“She feels that her reputation has been damaged,” Bystrom said. “It may be as simple as wanting to rehabilitate her image and go on being governor of Alaska, or it could be as broad as, ‘I want to have a political future beyond being governor of Alaska.’ ”Political analyst Keli Goff agreed that timing was important.

“The longer you wait, the more of problem it becomes,” Goff said. “Perception becomes reality. She has to immediately respond to these things.”

Palin is slated to speak at the Republican Governor’s Association conference in Miami Thursday on a topic aptly named “Looking Toward the Future.”

Whether that future includes a 2012 presidential run or a Senate seat remains to be seen.

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