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Palin flies home to vote, heads to Phoenix

Julia O'Malley
Barack Obama supporters on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters decorate a lower level room in the Egan Center to prepare for the election night party on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters decorate a lower level room in the Egan Center to prepare for the election night party on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters decorate a lower level room in the Egan Center to prepare for the election night party on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
The Anchor Pub is crowded as Mark Begich supporters await results at his campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters react with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Obama supporter Lisa McGuire modified her Yes We Can T-shirt with duct tape at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters react with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich and his wife Deborah Bonito at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters decorate a lower level room in the Egan Center to prepare for the election night party on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich and his wife Deborah Bonito at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Don Young at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008. 081104D
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Hellen Fleming at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich and his wife Deborah Bonito at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Donald Millions and Coyote Renner at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Deborah Williams, president of Alaska Conservation Solutions, greets Mark Begich at his campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Obama supporter Megan Rodgers at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich and his wife Deborah Bonito at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barrack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters react with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Lu Young listens as husband Rep. Don Young makes a radio appearance at election central Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama's victory speech appears onscreen at the Mark Begich campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
UAA students and Mark Begich supporters Ashley Bucholz, Ashley Hennessy and Sara Haley at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Deborah Favorite, left, and daughter-in-law Kate Schacher savor Barack Obama' s victory speech at the Mark Begich campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich's mother Pegge Begich catches up with friends while visiting from Nevada at the Mark Begich campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
John Binkley, center, a former gubernatorial candidate in 2006, congratulates Don Young at election central Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Deborah Bonito flashes a thumbs up from the KTUU set as husband Mark Begich, center, visits with Steve MacDonald, left, and Mike Ross at election central Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters of Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz and Don Young wave signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson Blvd. on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Lu Young wraps up Congressman Don Young while he is interviewed at election central on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Don Young at Election Central on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Rep. Don Young and wife Lu prepare to leave election central Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ethan Berkowitz and his wife Mara Kimmel and his daughter Hannah Berkowitz Kimmel and his son Noah Berkowitz Kimmel walk from an election evening party at Snow City Cafe to Election Central at the Egan Center on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Doug Young of California, right, hugs brother Don Young at election central Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich supporters ponder initial returns showing their candidate trailing Sen. Ted Stevens by four percentage points at the Mark Begich campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich's mother Pegge Begich celebrates as numbers from the presidential race are shown onscreen at the Mark Begich campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ethan Berkowitz and his wife Mara Kimmel and his daughter Hannah Berkowitz Kimmel and his son Noah Berkowitz Kimmel walk from an election evening party at Snow City Cafe to Election Central at the Egan Center on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Congressman Don Young arrives at election central at the Egan Center in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich and wife Deborah Bonito arrive at their campaign party Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Congressman Don Young arrives at election central at the Egan Center in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Barack Obama supporters are excited as they listen to Barack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ethan Berkowitz and his wife Mara Kimmel and his daughter Hannah Berkowitz Kimmel and his son Noah Berkowitz Kimmel walk from an election evening party at Snow City Cafe to Election Central at the Egan Center on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ethan Berkowitz and his wife Mara Kimmel and his daughter Hannah Berkowitz Kimmel and his son Noah Berkowitz Kimmel walk from an election evening party at Snow City Cafe to Election Central at the Egan Center on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Congressman Don Young arrives at election central at the Egan Center in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Sheridan William remembers working for 80 cents an hour in Dayton Beach Florida and could not sit down in the restaurant she worked in. William gets a hug after listening to Barack Obama give is acceptance speech for President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Begich thanks supporters in his race against Sen. Ted Stevens Tuesday evening November 4, 2008 at the Anchor Pub downtown. His wife Deborah Bonito is at his side.
Photo by ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ethan Berkowitz and his son Noah Berkowitz Kimmel watch voting results at an election evening party at Snow City Cafe on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ethan Berkowitz talks to supporters at an election evening party at Snow City Cafe on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Supporters cheer as Ethan Berkowitz speaks at an election evening party at Snow City Cafe on Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA student Markita Gibbons reacts with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens speaks to an audience of supporters with Sen. Lisa Murkowski at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens watches results come in with songwriter Hobo Jim and other supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens watches a satirical commercial made by supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens watches results come in with supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Melinda Freemon, Gwen McAlpin and Doris Gergeron react with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens watches a satirical commercial made by supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
UAA student Markita Gibbons reacts with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
U.S. Senator Ted Stevens at the Snow Goose in Anchorage on election night, November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
U.S. Senator Ted Stevens at the Snow Goose in Anchorage on election night, November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens watches results come in with supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens watches results come in with supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
U.S. Senator Ted Stevens at the Snow Goose in Anchorage on election night, November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Ted Stevens watches results come in with supporters at the Snow Goose Restaurant in Anchorage on November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Lila Hobbs and Jilia DeGange support Obama for President and local Democratic candidates while waving signs on the corner of The Seward Highway and Benson on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
U.S. Senator Ted Stevens at the Snow Goose in Anchorage on election night, November 4, 2008.
Photo by MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News
Obama volunteers Elizabeth Outten and James Ferguson react with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Obama volunteers Elizabeth Outten and James Ferguson react with joy as it is announced that Barack Obama as the enough electoral votes to clinch the election as President of the United States on Election evening Tuesday November 4, 2008 at the Egan Center.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, left, gets a hug inside the Chevron in Muldoon on Election Day, November 4, 2008.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd Palin order coffee in Wasilla before the polls opened on Election Day, November 4, 2008.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin talks to friends and supporters waiting in line to vote on Election Day, November 4, 2008, at the Wasilla City Hall.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Palin supporters outside Wasilla City Hall where Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd Palin voted on Election Day, November 4, 2008.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Bristol Palin, center, waits inside the Chevron gas station in Muldoon as her mother Republican Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin talks to customers on Election Day, November 4, 2008.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd Palin talk to the media after voting in Wasilla on Tuesday morning, November 4, 2008.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made a trip to Alaska on Election Day, November 4, 2008, to vote in her hometown of Wasilla.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin talks to friends and supporters waiting in line to vote on Election Day, November 4, 2008, at the Wasilla City Hall.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Lt. Governor Sean Parnell met with Republican Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, right, and her husband Todd Palin, left, before they boarded a plane in Anchorage on Election Day, November 4, 2008.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, candidate for the U. S. Senate, spent the early morning hours of Election Day waving signs with supporters on a corner of Benson and Minnesota.
FRAN DURNER / Anchorage Daily News
Ethan Berkowitz, candidate for U. S. Congress, spent the early morning hours of Election Day waving signs with supporters on a corner of Benson and Minnesota.
FRAN DURNER / Anchorage Daily News

Gov. Sarah Palin made a fleeting visit to Alaska this morning to vote at her home polling place in Wasilla.

Her private McCain-Palin campaign jet rolled into a private hangar at Stevens International Airport just before 5 a.m. She and husband Todd got out and hugged a few waiting supporters before getting into a dark Ford Excursion, Secret Service staff buzzing around them.

In a drama rarely seen here, the Palins led a motorcade of a dozen vans and SUVs full of press and staff out the Glenn Highway, Alaska State Troopers flanking them, sirens blaring.

First stop in Wasilla was Kaladi Bros. Coffee. A swarm of press people followed her inside, where she bantered with the manager while waiting for her white chocolate skinny mocha. A copy of the Anchorage Daily News caught her eye.

The headline: "Board exonerates Palin."

It was a story about a state Personnel Board investigator clearing her of ethics violations in the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

"Nice headline!" the governor said as she held it up for the cameras.

Asked how she felt about her chances in the election, she said, "Very confident."

Everyone piled back into cars and vans and headed to the Palin home at Lake Lucille. Fans bundled against temperatures in the low teens lined the highway, waving signs and chanting her name.

People sang "God Bless America" and hollered "I love you!" as she headed into the polling place at Wasilla City Hall.

Wearing jeans and a hooded Carhartt jacket with her name and the state seal sewn on it, she headed into a voting booth. Other voters tried to dodge the cameras that lined the walls.

On her way out, Palin stopped to greet people and trade hugs.

She and Todd briefly took questions from the media.

"I hope, I pray, I believe I'll be able to wake up as vice president-elect," she said.

A reporter asked how she felt about the Personnel Board report. She said she was pleased.

"We told ya we'd done nothing wrong," she said.

Palin called for the resignation of Sen. Ted Stevens after his conviction last week on federal fraud charges. So did she vote for Mark Begich?

"I am also exercising my right to privacy and I don't have to tell anybody who I voted for," she said.

Then it was back to the motorcade for a quick stop at her other favorite coffee stand, Mocha Moose. The barista asked the governor if she was excited.

"I'm so excited, yes!" she said.

Someone asked if Palin had any regrets.

"I just wish there was more hours in the day so we could've gotten around to more areas of our country," she said.

She said that she'd become disappointed with the media, present company excluded.

"Too much is reported based on gossip and innuendo and things taken out of context," she said.

Palin said she had a hard time correcting things that were misrepresented about her record. She hoped press coverage would be more accurate in the future.

"I'd like to help in that effort also because I have great respect for the world of journalism," she said.

Then it was back to the SUV. The motorcade snaked back to Anchorage, making a quick pit stop at a Chevron on Muldoon owned by a Palin family member who wasn't there. Palin, Todd and daughter Bristol, who had joined the parade, got out.

Bristol, her advancing pregnancy very obvious, and other members of the entourage loaded up on snacks while the Palins left a note.

After some snags in morning rush hour traffic, it was back to the tarmac. Sean Parnell and his wife, Sandy, stood in a bitter wind near the plane to see the Palins off. The traveling press corps, dragging gear, hustled to follow.

Palin and family were headed to Arizona to await election results with John and Cindy McCain.

The doors closed and, minutes later, the jet screamed into the sky.

Find Julia O'Malley online at adn.com/contact/jomalley or call 257-4591.

Photos: Palin's return to Alaska
Video: Palin votes in Wasilla
By JULIA O'MALLEY
Contact Julia O'Malley at or on