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.)
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.
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