Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he enjoyed Sarah Palin's book and thought the former Alaska Governor, who he helped thrust into the national spotlight, had an important role to play in the Republican Party's future.
Asked about his pick for vice presidential candidate during an appearance on "Meet the Press," the Arizona Republican sounded more like an adoring father than a man frightened by his own creation.
"I think that Sarah Palin has earned herself a very big place in the Republican political scene," McCain said. "I'm proud of her. I am entertained every time I see these people attack her, and attack her and attack her. 'She's irrelevant!' -- but they continue to attack her.
"We had a wonderful relationship, Todd [Palin], Sarah and I," McCain added. "I just saw her recently. And I'm very proud of her. And we need a vigorous discussion and debate in the Republican Party. She's going to be a big part of that discussion and debate in the future."
It was a gracious bit of praise from the senator. Palin's memoir, "Going Rogue," contains blistering rebukes of McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and more than a handful of swipes at the senator's top aides. Asked about this portrayal during his Sunday show appearance, McCain smiled and ducked.
"You thought her book was fair?" asked host David Gregory.
"Oh sure, yeah," said McCain. "I enjoyed her book."