September 5, 2008

Sarah Palin Appearances Cancelled; Meets With AIPAC

Except for a meeting with the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, Sarah Palin appearances have been canceled, according to WSJ. "She has to familiarize herself with every position John McCain has held over a number of years. That takes work and briefing," one McCain aide said. She has been kept from contact with the media and others by Republican operatives. Palin spent Tuesday in her hotel suite meeting with campaign aides and working on her speech.

She had private sessions with Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and members of the pro-Israel group AIPAC. An AIPAC spokesman said Gov. Palin told its members she would "work to expand and deepen the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Israel."

Gov. Palin met with the campaign's top political advisers, including McCain campaign manager Rick Davis, senior strategist Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, Sen. McCain's closest aide. The campaign released a photo of her sitting with Laura Bush and Cindy McCain, the wife of her running mate, but didn't provide any other details.

She also met with Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who handles domestic policy for the McCain campaign, and Randy Scheunemann, who directs foreign policy.

According to WSJ, beginning next week, Gov. Palin will travel to battleground states, starting with Florida, a McCain aide said, and including a heavy dose of visits to rural areas. She has 16 fund-raisers scheduled for this month in swing states.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. | Sarah Palin displays an Israeli flag in her governor's office in Juneau, even though she has never been to the country, and attends Protestant evangelical churches that consider the preservation of the state of Israel a biblical imperative.

Her faith makes her a favorite with the staunchly pro-Israel neoconservative elements in the Republican Party.

But other Republicans may be concerned that a John McCain-Sarah Palin administration will disregard the caution of former President George H.W. Bush and some of his top advisers and continue the tilt toward Israel.

Most Republicans and conservatives outside Alaska know little about Mrs. Palin's foreign policy views - on Israel or anything else.

But Tucker Eskew, who holds the title of counselor to Mrs. Palin in the McCain-Palin campaign, left no doubt where she stands.

"She would describe herself as a strong supporter of Israel's, with an understanding of Israel's fear of an Iran in possession of nuclear weapons," Mr. Eskew told The Washington Times.

In June, Mrs. Palin told ministry students at her former church that in going to war with Iraq, the United States is "on a task that is from God," the Associated Press reported.