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When Palin Thought Wasilla Wasn't Cosmopolitan Enough

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When is being cosmopolitan a bad thing? When you're in the bowels for the Republican convention.

One of the many memorable lines from Rudy Giuliani's convention speech Wednesday was the dig he took at Obama for an alleged condescension towards small town America.

Said Hizonner:

"Gov. Palin represents a new generation. She's already one of the most successful governors in America and the most popular. And she's already had more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined. She's been a mayor. I love that. I'm sorry -- I'm sorry that Barack Obama feels that her hometown isn't cosmopolitan enough. I'm sorry, Barack, that it's not flashy enough. Maybe they cling to religion there."

Some Democrats I talked with after the speech drew racist undertones from the remark - the idea being that Obama, as Rudy was hoping to paint him, was the product of the inner city. Others simply noted the irony that the former mayor of New York was ripping the city life. But the most potent rebuttal offered was this email from another source.

Back in April 1996, it seems, Palin (not Obama) was the one bemoaning her hometown's lack of cosmopolitan glitz. From the Anchorage Daily News archives.

"Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney's cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. 'We want to see Ivana,' said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, 'because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.' Ivana Trump, the former Czechoslovakian Olympic skier who found fame and wealth as the wife of the New York tycoon, came to Anchorage Tuesday to push her line of perfume."

Then there is this from New York Magazine:

After Rudy Giuliani cartoonishly suggested that Wasilla, Alaska, wasn't "cosmopolitan" enough for Barack Obama, we did some digging into his archives. Despite the air quotes and funny voice he used when saying the word, there was a time when a city's "cosmopolitan" nature inspired him. From a 1995 address to the U.N.: "After several days of being confronted with New York City's diversity, any resident or visitor will conclude that our many differences are vastly outweighed by our similarities. That's why New York is not only the world's most diverse city, but also the world's most cosmopolitan and tolerant city."

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