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Tnr Exclusive: Palin's Ex-campaign Manager Weighs In

A few minutes ago I spoke to Laura Chase, who served on the Wasilla, Alaska, city council with Sarah Palin during the mid-1990s and managed her first campaign for mayor in 1996. (The two women subsequently had a falling out.) I asked Chase to react to the big resignation news:

I kind of expected it. How is she going to run for president if people keep nagging at her in Alaska? ... Republicans probably had a hand in it. [Democratic State Senator] Hollis French--her nemesis on most of these issues, Troopergate--he announced an interest in running for governor yesterday or the day before. They probably want to get [Lieutenant Governor and fellow Republican] Sean Parnell set up to run for governor with a little recognition under his belt, and she runs for president anyway.

So you don't think she's done with politics--that she's just throwing in the towel?  

Absolutely no way in hell. Hell will freeze over before that happens. She’s like a bloodhound. Once she gets the scent, she's never going to let it go. She gets what she wants or dies trying. She wants to be president now that she has a following. ... The thing is with Sarah, she craves adoration. And the people that were sitting there at those rallies adored her. They would walk across coals for that woman. ... Once you have a taste of that--it's like a wild dog getting a taste of rabbit. You never ever go back. Nothing is ever the same, tastes as good …

So do you think it's a case of--whenever she travels outside of Alaska, she's beloved; but whenever she's back in Alaska, she's mired in various ethics scandals and political stalemates? Maybe she just decided, I don't need this abuse...

I think it's more than that. When she comes to Alaska, everyone calls her "Sarah." Out there she’s governor--almost president-elect. She’s not Sarah. They introduce her with pomp and circumstance. Build her ego up, do that whole thing. Here, she comes back, she runs into a buch of Alaskans. It's humbling. It's nothing big to us. They don’t mind calling you on the carpet. It's nothing special. She's just one of us. But she decided she wasn’t going to be one of us…

Do you think she would have resigned if some major scandal were about to break? Would that be her likely response to something like that?

She's too stubborn to allow that. She would have just said, 'Bring it on.'

--Noam Scheiber