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Who’s Sarah Palin?

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Aug. 29, 2008 at 11:47 am with No Comments »
August 29, 2008 11:47 am

The one place they aren’t asking that question this morning is Alaska, where GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has already made a splash as a reform-minded governor. (Although Alaskans have to be as surprised as anybody that a first-term governor from a deep red state with three electoral votes was tapped.)

Check out the coverage on our Anchorage sister paper’s website for more background on the candidate. Here’s a deep profile of her, written in 2006 while she was mayor of Wasilla.

Here’s an excerpt:

Sarah Palin’s campaign for governor sounds a lot like her campaign for mayor of Wasilla 10 years ago, when she made her first big move in Alaska politics.

In 1996, Palin ran against an “old boy network” that she said controlled local government. She vowed to replace “stale leadership” and a “tax-and-spend” mentality with “fresh ideas and energy.”

Local voters warmed to Palin’s ease in public and her disarming personal touch as much as to her conservative message. And she was a local girl: daughter of a popular local teacher and coach, she was a one-time Miss Wasilla and, in a basketball-mad town, was practically canonized as the point guard for Wasilla’s 1982 girls’ state championship team.

But her political opponents say there was another side to the charming candidate — one captured by her nickname from those basketball years, “Sarah Barracuda.” Supporters consider the name a testament to her aggressive play and ferocious defense. But opponents said the name captured a predatory instinct that Palin could turn on friend as well as foe — one they said occasionally revealed itself in the mayoral years to come.

How do you feel about the selection? Comment on this post, or take our Hot Button poll.

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