DAVES:"Now that this campaign has drawn to a close, John McCain has responded to defeat with the grace and dignity we expect from a man who has dedicated his life to serving his country. However, reportedly, members of his staff are not responding with the same grace. Instead, cowardly unsigned statements and whisper campaigns are beginning to pin this loss on the choice of Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential nominee. Not only was Sarah Palin the first Republican woman to ever be nominated for the position, representing a significant step forward for the Republican Party, she also presented herself as a strong and capable leader in touch with regular people across America. She deserves our thanks for her unique contributions to our campaign and our Party. During this campaign, she inspired millions of Americans both with her life story and ability to articulate common sense conservative principles and relate them to the issues and challenges that face America. Those trying to disparage her to save their own political careers should be ashamed. The North Carolina Republican Party stands up for Sarah Palin. I urge my fellow party chairmen in states across the countryto call for an end to the infighting and backbiting and help our party look to the future."