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3,000 chant "Sar-RAH!" as Alaska's Gov. Palin goes home -- briefly

September 11, 2008 |  1:28 am

Well, Gov. Sarah Palin is back home in Alaska tonight for the first time since officially becoming a candidate for vice president. Some 3,000 supporters showed up to welcome her in Fairbanks despite sub-zero temperatures and a wind-driven blizzard of snow.

Just kidding about the temperature and snow. But what do the Lower 48 know anyway?Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, now back in Alaska briefly, shakes hands with supporters

A mixture of Republicans, Palin supporters and curious residents and tourists watched as confetti flew and a college band played, according to The Times' Stephen Braun, who was on hand as Palin's newly chartered campaign jet landed after a long flight from Washington with a refueling stop in Montana.

The crowd crammed into a cavernous, flag-festooned hangar chanting the now familiar "Sar-RAH! Sar-RAH!" (See video below.)

"I will do my best to do Alaska proud," the 44-year-old governor vowed as she stood with her husband, Todd, whom she calls "the first dude," and three of their five children -- Piper, Willow and infant Trig.

It was Palin's first solo campaign foray and she stuck pretty much to her standard stump speech, built around the biography and maverickness of the top of the ticket, Sen. John McCain.

"This is our girl," Dory Powell, a 67-year-old retiree, told Braun, whose complete arrival story is available here. "She's brought the Republican Party to life." Numerous mothers brought daughters wearing T-shirts proclaiming: "When I grow up I want to be just like Sarah Palin."

"It's going to be awesome to spend a couple of days back here," Palin told the crowd, "getting in touch with all my friends." She'll also participate in a troop departure ceremony for soldiers, including her 19-year-old son Track, headed for deployment in Iraq.

And she is scheduled to sit for several exclusive coming-out interviews with Charles Gibson of ABC News.

Saturday, rumor has it, Palin will appear at a rally in Nevada.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Reuters

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