Palin the rock star heads home to Alaska

Jake Turcotte

Just over two weeks ago Alaska Governor Sarah Palin jetted away from her home to meet with John McCain and his senior honchos in Arizona before being named his running mate. Last night she came home to a thunderous reception.

At a jammed aircraft hangar in Fairbanks, packed full of people waving signs reading "Drill Baby Drill" and "Read my lipstick, Sarah," Palin didn't exactly give a policy speech, but it's doubtful the crowd was expecting one.

Wango Zee Tango

Instead it was more like a rock concert. Like Ted Nugent circa 1978 (minus the music and the hair) where the fans couldn't necessarily hear what Nugent was saying, but one mention of the arena or the city where he was playing would spark a frenzy.

Same thing last night. And Palin, like Nugent, knows her audience and played to that crowd.

"We've been taking our campaign on the road, of course, across the nation and we've been carrying our message to the American people," she said, setting up the applause line.

Pointing her finger for emphasis, Palin roared,"And we've been talking about Alaska! And people are ....." We'll never know that last line as the crowd cut her off.

Listing off the states where she and McCain have traveled since the convention, Palin said the response has been "overwhelming" before pausing once again for the hometown.

"I kept telling people if you think it's exciting along those stops just wait til we get to Alaska," she said before the crowd exploded again.

Palin plain-speak

Palin, as Dr. Phil would say, "kept it real" calling the crowd "you guys," talking about how "awesome" it was, and introducing her husband as the "First Dude."

This marks her first solo appearance since being named the vice presidential nominee.  But it may not be something to get used to.  Reports are the McCain campaign believes the duo has such strong "chemistry" that they may continue to campaign together rather than fanning out.

"It is under serious consideration that they will spend more time together than not and more time than is traditional," a campaign aide said. "There's just a huge amount of enthusiasm."

Palin will also have her first serious one-on-one interview since being named McCain's running mate.  ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson and she are scheduled to meet multiple times during the trip. And ABC has planned a prime-time special to air Friday night at 10pm (ET).

She is also scheduled to speak today at her son's deployment ceremony at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.

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