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Does Palin Know How To Run A Campaign?

With the on-going Palin-mania, it seems that the American public has gotten to see many sides of the Alaskan governor. We know she can ask for earmarks, hire high school friends, shoot a moose, and raise a family. But can she campaign?

TNR's Seyward Darby turned to Palin's previous rivals to find out, getting in touch with former foes ranging from Maryline Blackburn, who beat Palin for the "Miss Alaska" title in 1984, to Alaska state senator Loren Leman, who beat Palin in the 2002 Republican primary for lieutenant governor. While they each share their unique--and often humurous--experiences, all attest to Palin's cutthroat-competitive nature and warn her current opponents "not to underestimate her ferocity."

R'Nita Rogers, who lost to Palin in a 1995 contest for the city council of Wasilla, explained to TNR, "Palin's key tactic was, and still is, manufacturing drama."  Rogers recalls how "she felt she had lost [Miss Alaska] because she, unlike the other candidate, hadn't created the drama to center the attention on [herself] at the right time. She felt that that was the best way to win."

Leman also noticed this center-of-attention strategy in their race for lieutenant governor:

Whereas three of us in the race had a far better command of the issues and, technically speaking, could debate and dissect issues the state was involved with far more than she could, she had the capacity to, what I call, 'speak at the heart level,' and come up with a quip that would catch the attention of the audience.

Read the full article to find out more about Palin the Competitor, and the tactics she has used to win--and lose--her previous campaigns.

--Amanda Silverman