On Larry King Wednesday, Palin was asked about Bristol's pregnancy: "Was that very hard for you to take?" King asked. Palin: Well, what do you think Larry? Of course. You know. I looked at her and thought and I thought, I thought Bristol honey, you're gonna have to grow up really fast. . . . Bristol can be used as an example of, Larry, taking less than ideal circumstances and still making the best of these circumstances and that is who she is. She's strong. She's kind-hearted. She's gonna be just fine."
And, of course, more on 2012: "If I have to call an audible down the road here and circumstances change, and the door is open for me to do so," Palin said, "I would take that challenge on, that responsibility, if I believed it was in the nation's best interest."
Later: "If they call an audible on me, if they say they want me in another position, I'm gonna do it. I'm not gonna -- especially here, today -- tell you what some crystal ball is gonna show me, 'cause we don't know what that crystal ball has within it. And there again -- there again -- my hands, my life is in God's hands. If he's got doors open for me, that I believe are in our state's best interests, the nation's best interests, I'm gonna go through those doors."
Don't forget Bill Ayers (since Palin hasn't): "Well, I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers. . . . And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That's an association that still bothers me."
Newt Gingrich thinks things are bad: "The Republican Party right now is like a midsize college team trying to play in the Superbowl," Gingrich tells Politico's Roger Simon.
Learn from the Democrats? "Ultimately the GOP must find candidates who may diverge from the party "line" but can win over voters outside conservative strongholds," Jennifer Rubin blogs. "The choice is up to them: become the Dixiecrats of the 21st century or forge a new Republican majority."
On the Hill:
Will there by a challenge to John Boehner's leadership? "Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) will soon decide whether he will mount a challenge to displace Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), his spokesman said Wednesday," per The Hill's Jackie Kucinich and Susan Crabtree.
"He has been busy making calls and he has received strong encouragement from members to run," said Lungren spokesman Brian Kaveney.
Sen. Max Baucus', D-Mont., proposal lays down a marker, on healthcare: "Both Baucus and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, have been working for months to lay the groundwork for major healthcare legislation, holding hearings and informal talks with business groups, providers, and consumer advocates," Lisa Wangsness writes in The Boston Globe. "Kennedy, who is fighting brain cancer but plans to return to Capitol Hill in January, hopes to offer a single Democratic healthcare bill by Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration or earlier."