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GOP watch: Palin's wild ride

"Gov. Sarah Palin resigned … Sunday with a blast at the media that reflected the frustrations that led her to leave office a year-and-a-half before her term expired," Politico's Martin writes. "But speaking in a style that her fans see as plain talk and her detractors consider disjointed, she offered almost nothing about what she was planning to do next. Plainly feeling liberated, Palin said that the freedom of the press was an important American right and one that members of the military died to protect."

"'So, how about, in honor of the American soldier, quit making things up,' she said with an insistent voice, prompting loud applause and cheers from a mostly sympathetic audience gathered at a park here."

She concluded her remarks by saying, "Let's all enjoy the ride."

Video: Sarah Palin slams the media and her opponents as she officially steps down as Alaska's governor. Among her next moves: a speech in Iowa, the first-caucus-in-the-nation state. NBC's Norah O'Donnell reports.

The Washington Post's Dan Balz: "She exited office in classic Palin style, with folksy picnics at which she bade farewell to her constituents, and with a running series of Twitter reports as she traversed the vast state. In one posted Saturday en route to Fairbanks, she wrote, 'We remember all of AK is big/wild/good life; feel freedom here.'"

The AP: "With this decision, now I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right and for truth, and I have never felt that you need a title to do that," Palin told a cheering crowd of about 5,000 in a Fairbanks park."

As Palin stepped down from an official position, Tim Pawlenty

steps up to become vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He speaks Thursday at the RNC's meeting in San Diego. 
 
And: "House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)

and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) released a report Monday detailing the possible negative effects of Congressional Democrats' health care reform plans on state governments," Roll Call reports. "The document marks the latest collaboration between House Republicans and a governor eyeing a presidential run in 2012. Pawlenty's attempt to raise his national profile comes as several Republican governors have watched their presidential aspirations become complicated over the last year because of a series of scandals and political missteps."