(DOVER, N.H.) Her native Alaska may be half a world away from New Hampshire, but at a high school gymnasium rally here, Sarah Palin portrayed herself as a kindred spirit to the crowd of a little more than 1,000 people—the smallest that has greeted her on the campaign trail yet.
"I know that we can count on the good people of New Hampshire because you're a lot like the people of Alaska," Palin said. "We all love good moose hunting, I know that, and we both so enjoy our great lands: the clean water, and the fresh air, and the abundant wildlife and good fishing. We love being outdoors. I know that that is New Hampshire also, and we both, too, take seriously your state's motto—I think it should be ours also—'Live Free Or Die.'"
Palin continued to embrace her role as the underdog, claiming that her running mate was also counted out before the New Hampshire primary 9 months ago.
"You know, just last January, the critics had counted John McCain out and they said there is no way that he would win the primary up here," Palin said. "He was down in the polls, but the people of New Hampshire went to the voting booth and they turned the underdog into the victor."
Though McCain did trail Mitt Romney in New Hampshire throughout the fall of 2007, McCain consistently led the Republican field after Dec. 27 and was ahead in 16 of the last 20 state polls taken before Primary Day on Jan. 8.