When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin arrived backstage for our NEWSWEEK Women & Leadership Event in Los Angeles last March, John McCain had just wrapped up the GOP nomination. Palin had yet to endorse McCain--she liked Mitt Romney--and as we waited in the green room, I urged her to "feel free" to make some news on stage. She grinned broadly--looking back, I guess it was a grin of the Cheshire Cat variety--and thanked me for the offer.
Once onstage, together with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Palin talked about what women expect from women leaders; how she took charge in Alaska during a political scandal that threatened to unseat the state's entire Republican power structure, and her feelings about Sen. Hillary Clinton. (She said she felt kind of bad she couldn't support a woman, but she didn't like Clinton's "whining.")