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Palin returns to cold and snow of home
ANCHORAGE, NOV 6 (Agencies):
Published on 6 Nov. 2008 11:43 PM IST
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Her last ride on the McCain-Palin campaign plane ended here, back home in the cold and the snow and the familiar. “We are Alaskans!” Governor Sarah Palin, standing with her husband Todd, told scores of cheering supporters who showed up to greet her upon her return to Alaska late Wednesday. Standing on the icy tarmac on a subfreezing night, Palin said she had learned much about America in her time on the campaign trail with Senator John McCain. She also said she looked forward to getting back to her day job. She promised to work to expand development of Alaska’s oil and gas resources and also to be a voice for families, like her own, that have children with special needs. She said she would “reach out” to Senator Barack Obama, the president-elect, on these issues and more. “I just thank God for this opportunity that I have to be your governor,” Palin said. “You did so great out there,” one woman in the crowd said. “We are so proud of you,” read one sign. A chant gained volume, encouraging Palin to return to the national stage: “Two thousand twelve!” Then Palin turned to speak to reporters. Once again, she asserted that the rumors of tension between her and McCain were not true. In fact, she said, they spoke by phone today during her layover in Seattle. “We had a great relationship,” she said, adding, “I love him.” One tough lesson she said she learned Outside, as Alaskans often call the rest of the country: the media is not always fair. She mocked the notion that she had, as some have claimed, “gone rogue” while running for vice president. Palin faces some complicated political dynamics now that she has returned. Some state Democrats, often her allies in the past, have been angered by her aggressive partisanship on the campaign trail. Then again, Palin has criticized some important local Republicans, too. Last week, after Senator Ted Stevens was convicted on federal charges that he failed to disclose gifts and free home renovations he received, Palin joined McCain and other top Republicans in calling for him to resign. Yet while Palin lost her bid for the vice presidency, Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, holds a narrow lead in his bid for a seventh full term. Asked Wednesday whether she still believed that Stevens should resign, Palin was circumspect, saying only that the people of Alaska “just spoke” on the issue at the ballot box and that “they want him as their senator.” She said Stevens should decide “what happens next.” ( Stevens could still be forced to step down, and Palin is widely viewed as a potential candidate for his seat if he does.) The governor took a few more questions, then turned back to the crowd of supporters and worked her last rope line under the supervision of media advisers to the McCain-Palin campaign and the Secret Service. “This is the last time they’ll be doing this for her,” said Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the campaign, gesturing toward the wall of agents at Palin’s back. “But for right now, she’s still under protection.”

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