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BANGOR, Maine (CNN) – Sarah Palin strolled into a chilly open-air hangar at the Bangor airport on Thursday and was reminded of far-flung Alaska, or so she told the enthusiastic crowd of Mainers who arrived early this morning to see the vice presidential candidate.
“I feel like I am at home because I see the Carhartts and the steel-toed boots,” she said, standing next to Maine’s senior senator Olympia Snowe. “And I see mixed in there with the suits and the ties, the NRA hats and all those good things that remind me of home.”
Palin sounded a note of triumph about Wednesday’s presidential debate on behalf of John McCain, who told his rival Barack Obama last night that he is not George Bush redux, despite Democratic efforts to paint him as such.
“They look to the past because they’d rather run against the current administration, it sounds like, and that strategy though, thankfully, it’s really starting to wear very very thin,” Palin said of the Democratic ticket. “As John McCain reminded Barack Obama last night, if he wanted to run against George Bush he had his chance four years ago. This year, the name on the ballot is John McCain - and America knows that John McCain is his own man, he is the maverick.”
Though Maine has trended Democratic for nearly two decades, the McCain campaign is making a push in the state’s rural 2nd Congressional District, which is allotted one electoral vote independent of how the state votes at large. Despite the McCain camp’s efforts, the Republican National Committee has stopped running advertisements in the state.
“Maine, soon the choice will be yours to make, and I’m sure that you all remember the saying that as Maine goes, so goes the nation,” she said, ignoring the fact that the state in fact voted for Al Gore and John Kerry in the last two presidential elections. “So I am here to ask you, are you ready to help us carry the state of Maine to victory?” The crowd roared.
The first woman ever to run for vice president on the GOP ticket was sure to pay homage to Maine’s tradition of electing female Republicans.
“It’s so great to be here in the state that has elected Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, has elected Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins,” she said. “Maine, you all know something about those cracks in the glass ceiling, but the women of America aren’t finished yet. Maine, with your help this November we are going to shatter once and for all that final glass ceiling.”