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Mr. Roach said that he watched Sen. John McCain rush to choose Mrs. Palin as his running mate, potentially putting her second in line for the presidency.

“I said, ‘We gotta talk about this,’” Mr. Roach joked.

“Girls” star Lena Dunham earned the guild honor for TV comedy, while Rian Johnson won for drama series for “Breaking Bad.”

Miss Dunham won for directing the pilot of “Girls,” which focuses on the lives of a group of women in their 20s.

“It is such an unbelievable honor to be in the company of the people in this room, who have made me want to do this with my life,” Miss Dunham said.

Filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Babel,” ”Amores Perros”) won for best commercial for a Procter & Gamble spot he directed.

Among other TV winners:

• Reality program: Brian Smith, “Master Chef.”

• Musical variety: Glenn Weiss, “The 66th Annual Tony Awards.”

• Daytime serial: Jill Mitwell, “One Life to Live.”

• Children’s program: Paul Hoen, “Let It Shine.”

Mr. Affleck‘s win Saturday nicks the Directors Guild record as a strong forecast for the eventual directing recipient at the Oscars. Only six times in the 64-year history of the guild awards has the winner there failed to follow up with an Oscar. This will be the seventh, since Mr. Affleck is not up for the best-director Oscar.

Peer loyalty might play in Mr. Affleck‘s favor at the Oscars. The acting branch in particular, the largest block of the academy’s 5,900 members, might really throw its weight behind “Argo” because of Mr. Affleck’s directing snub. Actors love it when one of their own moves into a successful directing career, and Mr. Affleck — who’s rarely earned raves for his dramatic chops — also delivers one of his best performances in “Argo.”

Mr. Affleck has had no traction in acting honors this season, and he’s joked that no one considered it a snub when he wasn’t nominated for best actor. So a best-picture vote for “Argo” might be viewed as making right his omission from the directing lineup and acknowledging what a double-threat talent he’s become in front of and behind the camera.

A best-picture prize also would send Mr. Affleck home with an Oscar. The award would go to the producers of “Argo”: George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Mr. Affleck.

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