The following are excerpts from an interview with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Aug. 14 in her Anchorage office. About two weeks later, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) picked Palin to be his vice presidential running mate.
Roll Call: What role did you play in encouraging your lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell (R), to challenge longtime Rep. Don Young (R) in the GOP primary?
Gov. Sarah Palin: I told him right off the bat, Oh my goodness, the nation needs you. You would be a perfect fit in Congress and you would be great for Alaska, and great for his administration for him to be more fully utilized as a partner on the federal level for the state of Alaska.
RC: How would you describe your relationship with the Congressional delegation? For example, when did you last speak with Sen. Ted Stevens (R)?
Palin: Just the other day. ... We have a respectful relationship. Were from different generations of course, obviously different levels of experience, but I have respect for his contributions to this state.
Congressman Young, who I find quite abrasive, [is] someone who exercises a different manner of conducting himself and his politics.
I dont remember the last time [I talked to Young]. It was a restaurant in Fairbanks a couple weeks ago with seven members of Congress, including [House Minority Leader John] Boehner [R-Ohio] and others who were up visiting the ANWR plain. So they stopped in Fairbanks and I had dinner with them. Don Young walked into the restaurant ... and walked right past us and didnt say hello. His wife did come over and speak with us, which was very nice and cordial, but he did not. It kind of took me aback because these are his colleagues in Congress and theyre all the way up here in Alaska.
RC: Do you think Rep. Young does a poor job as a Member of Congress?
Palin: I think that he has served the state for many years and I do respect his years of service, but I do believe its time for a new ideas and new energy to be representing Alaska.
I believe that in our Congressional seat, also, its time for a very diplomatic, progressive approach to dealing with the challenges here in Alaska on a federal level. And also for Alaska to really start growing up and growing together and this is a good time for Sean Parnell to be running also. This is the 50th anniversary of statehood. And for me and for Sean, its time for our state to be allowed to produce more and contribute to the rest of the U.S. instead of being seen as takers from the federal government, because for so long we have been reliant on the federal government to pay our bills.
RC: Have you ever met John McCain?
Palin: I have. At a Republican Governors Association meeting, I dont know how long ago, while I was a candidate [in 2006]. Sen. McCain had two different meetings and I met his wife.
RC: What do you think the possibility is of you being picked for the vice presidential ticket?
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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