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Governor of Alaska
There are a zillion reasons to write off the Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee as not ready for prime time: her GOP convention shopping spree, her daughter's teen motherhood and subsequent feud with the teen father. But don't fall for the conventional wisdom. She has a large and dedicated network of conservative and female activists. Most say the McCain campaign abused her by keeping her from the media, then not defending her when her comments were distorted. She can take control of the energy debate and has already jumped aboard the global warming express in a bid to push her state's natural gas. Allies say it's just a matter of time before this lifelong hunter draws a bead on Obama and his policies.