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GOP watch: Deep in the heart of Texas

In a conference call yesterday previewing this week's two-day Republican Governors Association meeting in Austin, RGA Chairman Haley Barbour (also the governor of Mississippi) said the purpose of the meeting was "to celebrate and build on the successes in New Jersey and Virginia this month," but more importantly "to work through the ways we can make sure these are effective springboards for victories in 2010."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), also on the call, added that the victories in New Jersey and Virginia -- where GOP candidates focused more on their fiscal records than social ones -- reflected the need for Republican governors to "implement effective conservative policies that are going to regain the trust in our party's ability to govern."

Perry faces a tough primary battle next year against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), who gained the endorsement of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday. When asked about the endorsement, Perry said, he's "got a whole pile of them" and looks forward "to continuing to add endorsements to our long list."

Former McCain campaign communications adviser Nicolle Wallace gave a couple statements to the "Rachel Maddow Show" regarding the allegations that Sarah Palin makes about her in her book. The first one: "The whole notion there was a conversation where I tried to cajole her into a conversation with Katie [Couric] is fiction… I am not someone who throws around the word 'self-esteem.' It is a fictional description. Katie Couric was selected because we did evening anchors... I did not advocate an interview for anyone I am friends with."

"I think she has probably a legitimate complaint that things could have been better conceived and executed [on the campaign]. A book about that would have been painful but not entirely unfair. What she gets wrong is this personalization that [Steve] Schmidt and I were these lone villains -- and that took place entirely in her imagination.  Just like the Obama and Clinton campaigns, we were consensus driven... I think she fixated on me from very early on. She hated me from the beginning. I try not to take it personally, the fact is that she wrote a book based on fabrications. She gave a brilliant convention speech -- other interviews that inspired support. But this book is a bizarre fixation on things that everyone else has moved on from."

The New York Daily News, in a review of Sarah Palin's book, calls her the "complainer in chief." It adds, "Rather than come back swinging, she comes back whining." And as far as what Steve Schmidt was trying to do in getting her a nutritionist, the paper posits: "Obviously headquarters was so distraught at how badly the prep was going that they were looking for something, anything, to make her brain work."