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Sarah Palin returns to Alaska after defeat

Text by Catherine NORRIS TRENT , AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-06

Sarah Palin caused a sensation on the campaign trail, although not always in the way Republicans would have hoped. Now John McCain's running mate has packed her bags and headed home to Alaska. What's next for Governor Palin?

Alaska governor Sarah Palin refused to take the blame for Republican John McCain's defeat in the White House race and said it was time for Americans to come together, in a CNN interview broadcast Wednesday.
   
Palin dismissed reports that some people deliberately voted against the Republican ticket because she was McCain's running mate, despite recent polls which suggested she was dragging him down.
   
"I don't think anybody should give Sarah Palin that much credit that I would trump an economic time in this nation that occurred about two months ago," she told CNN late Tuesday.
   
"That my presence on the ticket would trump the economic crisis that America found itself in a couple of months ago and attribute John McCain's loss to me."
   
But she said if her presence had in any way damaged McCain's chances at the polls she would regret it.
   
"If I cost John McCain even one vote, I am sorry about that because John McCain, I believe, is the American hero.
   
"I had believed it was his time. He being so full of courage and wisdom and experience. That knowledge he embodies, I believe he would have been the best pick. But that is not the Americans' choice at this time."
   
The 44-year-old governor of the far northwest state of Alaska, the mother-of-five and a devout Christian, said it was time to turn to the future.     "This being a chapter now that is closed and realizing that it is a time to unite, and all Americans need to get together and help with this new administration being ushered in," she said.
   
She said the Republicans, who lost several traditional stronghold states to Democratic president-elect Barack Obama, as well as a chunk of seats in the Congress, now had to look ahead to the presidential elections in 2012.
   
After being picked by McCain as the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket, Palin downplayed speculation that she now might have in mind a White House bid herself in four years.
   
"Having said that, 2012 sounds so far off that can't even imagine what I'd be doing then," she said.
   
She also denied charges that she had behaved like a diva during the race -- charges that emerged from Republican aides as the wheels began to come off McCain's campaign in the final weeks before the election.
   
"It is absolutely false that there's been any tension, certainly from my part or my family's part. In fact, my family was surrounding me here," she told CNN.
 

Date created : 2008-11-06

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