To paraphrase John F Kennedy, this has to be the most extraordinary collection of people who have gathered to viciously attack me since the last corporate gathering at CBS. A lot has been made of a few campaign relationships (in the media coverage of my autobiography). The closeness. The warm fuzzy feelings. John (McCain) and I both agree all those staffers should just move past it. It's history.
I don't want to say that the US government is taking over the role of the private sector, but I have to admit, on the flight here, thumbing through a magazine and looking at a photo of President Obama with the President of China, the person next to me pointed at it and said, "Hu's a communist." I thought they were asking a question. When I see this administration in action, I can't help think of what might have been. I could be the Vice President overseeing the signing of bailout checks. And Joe Biden would be on the road, selling his new book, "Going Rogaine".
I'll close by reading a final passage from my book. Page 403: "I've been asked a lot lately, 'Where are you going next?' Good question. Wherever I go I know that, as with anyone in the public eye, I'll continue to have my share of disagreements with those in the media. Maybe even more than my share. It will come as no surprise that I don't think I was always treated fairly, or equally.
But despite that, I respect the media very much. It's important. A free press allows for vigorous debate, which is absolutely vital for democracy. As hard as it can sometimes be, we must all look past personal grievances. We must move beyond petty politics. We must allow these incredibly talented and hard-working women and men to ask the hard questions and hold us, and our government, accountable. Their mission is as true as the sun rising over the Talkeetna and Susitna Mountains."
Ok – so none of that is actually in the book. Not a word. But I do believe it. And I believe we live in a beautiful country blessed with so many different people who want the best for their children, families and for our great nation. I'm so proud to be an American. And that is what I'll be talking about when I travel to where I'm headed.
Taken from the former Governor of Alaska's remarks to the Gridiron Club, a journalists' association, in Washington on Saturday