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Palin Under Fire

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Sarah Palin hadn't been back home
in Alaska for a full day and her staff had begun fielding requests
Thursday for postelection interviews, including from Barbara
Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King and others.
Palin had been expected at her office in Anchorage but later
notified her staff that she wouldn't show up after all. She
remained at her home in Wasilla, located 40 miles to the north, but
was expected in her office on Friday, spokesman Bill McAllister
said.
"The intensity of all the interest is amazing. Everyone wants
to talk to her," he said.
Palin is coming off a whirlwind nine weeks of almost nonstop
travel and campaigning since becoming Republican John McCain's vice
presidential running mate in late August. McCain and Palin lost
Tuesday's election to Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
"I think she's been working from home," McAllister said.
"Maybe she just liked the idea of spending a whole day at home. It
could be the first time she woke up in her own bed and spent the
night in her own bed on the same day since late August."
Aides to McCain and Palin, meanwhile, responded to reports of
tension between the two sides over the Republican Party's purchase
of more than $150,000 worth of clothing for Palin and her family,
and accusations that Palin was ill-prepared for her role.
Randy Scheunemann, McCain's foreign policy adviser, called the
idea of a split between the two campaigns "laughable."
"It's hard to believe these people worked for John McCain. They
obviously have no loyalty to John McCain and no loyalty to his
running mate," said Scheunemann, who prepared Palin for the vice
presidential debate.
"I've worked in Washington for over 20 years. I have seen
literally dozens of politicians, and Sarah Palin is as smart, tough
and focused as any politician I've ever seen. I'm proud of the time
I was able to spend with her," he said.
Fox News Reporter Carl Cameron reports that the tensions were real and significant.
Cameron says, "There was great concern in the McCain campaign that Sarah Palin lacked a degree of knowledge necessary to be a vice president and a heartbeat away from the presidency. We are told by folks that she didn't know what countries were in NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, that being Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. We're told she didn't understand that Africa was a continent rather than a country just in itself. A whole host of questions that caused serious problems about her knowledge and ability. She got very angry at staff, thought that she was mishandled, it was particularly angry about the way the Katie Couric interview went. She didn't accept preparation for that interview."
Meg Stapleton, a campaign spokeswoman for Palin, said the
accusations were unfortunate.
"We have the highest regards for Sen. John McCain," she said
in an e-mailed statement. "Gov. Palin was honored to be chosen as
McCain's running mate."
Palin returned to Alaska late Wednesday night, her final flight
in the McCain-Palin campaign plane. Dozens of supporters greeted
her with chants of "2012! 2012!" as she walked off the airplane -
encouragement for her to run for president in four years.
Asked by reporters if she might run, Palin said: "We'll see
what happens then."
The governor said she hoped to work with President-elect Obama
on energy policy.
She returned home after spending Tuesday night in Phoenix, where
she watched election returns with McCain.


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