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Gridiron Dinner 2009: Palin Comes For Russian Embassy, Barney Frank Talks About Twitter

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WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin poked fun at herself in a speech to journalists Saturday night, drawing laughter when she announced she "came down from my hotel room and I could see the Russian Embassy."

The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate also joked that she had orginally thought of titling her book "How To Look Like a Million Bucks For Only $150,000" before settling on "Going Rogue." In one of the controversies surrounding her candidacy, the campaign spent about $150,000 on her wardrobe.

Palin was the Republican speaker at the winter dinner of the Gridiron Club, an organization of Washington-based journalists.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., represented the Democrats.

Palin targeted her hosts, Democrats and Sen. John McCain's campaign staff, as well as herself.

If the election had turned out differently, she said, "I could be the one overseeing the signing of bailout checks and Vice President Biden could be on the road selling his book, 'Going Rogaine.'" Biden has sparse hair.

The crack about seeing the Russian Embassy from her hotel referred to Palin having told an interviewer during last year's campaign that her qualifications for high office included that "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska."

As for her hosts, she said she was glad to be appearing before an elite audience of leading intellectuals, "or as I like to call it, a death panel."

McCain's campaign staff also came in for a barb from the former Alaska governor when she said she is touring the country by bus as she sells her book.

"The view is so much better from inside the bus than under it," she said, referring to the poisonous relations between her and some of the McCain campaign staff.

Focusing on criticism she has received from Steve Schmidt, a senior strategist in McCain's presidential campaign, she said, "If I need a bald campaign manager I guess I'm left with James Carville," a Democrat.

In her book, she wrote that Schmidt felt she wasn't prepared enough on policy matters and even wondered if she was suffering from postpartum depression following the April 2008 birth of her son Trig, who has Down syndrome.

Palin, who resigned as governor following her vice presidential campaign, is a potential contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

In his remarks, Frank poked fun at new media like Twitter and said he hoped for newspapers to make a recovery.

"Maybe I lack intellectual curiosity, but I'm not that interested in what Claire McCaskill has for lunch," said Frank.

McCaskill is one of the most avid users of Twitter in Congress.

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