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Sarah the Diva, Looking Past John the Runner-Up

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank sketches Sarah Palin's rally in Leesburg, Va. Video by Akira Hakuta/

Palin made an attempt to limit her rogueishness. Ten times she used the phrase "John and I," and she mentioned her running mate by name 18 more times. But the adoration of the diva in Leesburg is the sort of reception the man who picked her rarely gets from a Republican crowd.

They turned Palin's speech to an extended call-and-response routine. When Palin praised Virginians' patriotism, they chanted "USA!" When she mentioned Joe the Plumber, they chanted "I am Joe!" When she spoke of energy policy, they chanted "Drill, baby, drill!" When she singled out a member of the audience, they chanted "Bless your heart!" When she invoked Obama, they chanted "No-bama!" and then "Use your brain! Vote McCain."

"You betcha," Palin agreed.

The diva made sure to spend some time on her "own track record" in Alaska, particularly all the taxes she cut. "Sarah! Sarah!" the crowd chanted.

"So, Virginia, will you hire us?" she asked. "Will you send us to Washington?"

"Yes, we will! Yes, we will!"

In 2012, that is.

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