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Palin Takes Message Discipline To A New Level

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

(FAIRFAX, VA.) - Almost every politician who runs for national office develops a well-heeled stump speech that forms the basis of his or her remarks to crowds along the trail. But over the past week, Sarah Palin has been particularly rigid in sticking to the script — even for a politician.

Every time she delivers the much-critiqued line about how she "said thanks, but no thanks to that bridge to nowhere," she does so with nearly the same exact cadence and intonation.

While the line still gets applause, it's likely that many people among the cheering throngs who have come out in the thousands to see her speak have already heard Palin on TV more than once talking about how she took the governor's private jet and "put it on eBay."

At a rally in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Palin seemed to recognize that at least one of her zingers—which went over so well the first time she used it at her acceptance speech in St. Paul — we beginning to lose some of its luster.

"We just don't know quite what to think of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they're listening and then will turn around and talk about how they cling to their religion and their guns when they're not," she said before rushing through the second part of the punch line, which she flavored with a local touch.

"We tend to like candidates who don't talk one way about us in Lancaster and another way in San Francisco," she said as quickly as she could before moving on.

Palin makes her return to Alaska tonight and will be grilled for the first time in this campaign by a member of the national media. It's this unscripted setting that may be the Alaska governor's first real test on the campaign trail.

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.