Palins journey from wallflower type to feisty politician surprises old mates

October 24th, 2008 - 1:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Sarah Palin

New York, Oct 24 (ANI): Sarah Heath - now Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee surprised Diane Osborne, a hair dresser who waited nervously backstage in an Anchorage auditorium, by confidently answering questions from judges, circling in a red bathing suit, and capturing second runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant in 1984.

For five years, Osborne helped young women in Alaska as they vied for crowns in pageants, but the one she was sponsoring this time, in 1984, struck her as unlikely. The New York Times reported.

Sarah Heath, at 20, was so soft-spoken, so unobtrusive, so agreeable as to seem void of the urgent quest for attention that Osborne had recognized in others.

Many who knew Palin in her formative years have been likewise confounded by her journey from this isolated city, fewer than 10,000 people nestled in an Alaskan valley, to a national political stage.

To them, the Sarah Palin who, at 44, bursts onto the stage at rallies - confident, feisty, piercing in her attacks - sounds nothing like the younger woman they recall.

I dont think Sarah ever wanted to lead. She wanted to be a good girl and play by the rules, but she wasn”t someone who was trying to break new ground or argue about things or voice an opinion. In a way she was almost a wallflower type. Im not sure what happened between then and now, but something must have, said Lori Ann Perrin, a friend from college.

Her route to prominence was anything but mapped. She was never president of the college class, the social butterfly who collected everyone in the room, the academic scholar who others thought stood far above the rest.

But buried beneath her cheery exterior, Palin also had a potent streak of competition and grit that would emerge as she pursued modest goals - the pageant, basketball, a television job and, finally, at 28, a campaign for the Wasilla City Council - that seemed to widen her sense of possibility.

She didnt talk about politics or getting into politics, said her mother, Sally Heath, adding that her daughter back then was never one to be in the limelight.

Heather Bruce, Palins older sister, said they never really talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Basketball would help shape Palins future. Wasillas girls and boys teams traveled together, and on some trips Palin found herself with a new boy - Todd Palin, the man she would later marry - who had transferred to Wasilla as a senior, a rare newcomer. (ANI)

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