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Sarah's Surprise: Palin to meet world leaders at U.N. next week

September 20, 2008 |  7:23 pm

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will meet in New York next week with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, among other world leaders scheduled to visit the United Nations annual autumn General Assembly Session.

She'll also meet with the president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

A spokesman for the McCain campaign confirmed the surprise visits tonight as well as hinted at as yet unannounced sessions between the Republican Party's surprise vice presidential pick and other foreign leaders.

Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on a visit last year to U.S. troops in Kuwait

The pick of Palin, a 44-year-old mother of five and popular head of the nation's largest state, and her well-received speech to a St. Paul audience and another 37+ million Americans watching on TV gave the GOP campaign a much-needed autumn boost.

The past week, however, much media attention shifted from the Palin hockey mom phenomenon to focus on the nation's troubled financial institutions.

Introductions by the well-traveled McCain of his running mate to numerous world leaders, they hope, are clearly designed to help draw voters' attention back to her, as well as to establish some photographic foreign policy creds, much the way their Democratic opponent Barack Obama traveled all the way to Paris to be photographed patting the French president on the back.

Palin's previous foreign trip was last year to visit Alaska National Guard soldiers in Kuwait and Germany.

Still, an Obama spokesman dismissed the Palin sessions as "a few meetings" and repeated the familiar campaign line that a McCain-Palin presidency would be a continuation of President Bush's "cowboy diplomacy."

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Associated Press