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Ever since Senator John McCain announced that his vice presidential running mate would be Sarah Palin, the town of Wasilla, Alaska has been the destination of choice for newspaper reporters and television news correspondents.
It’s not just the American media flocking to the small town (population: around 7,000) where Palin was once mayor. Journalists from other countries are also flocking to Wasilla to learn something about the woman who may stand a heartbeat away from the presidency.
“We went to Wasilla to see the environment in which Sarah Palin was raised and became a political player,” says Regis LeSommier, the U.S. correspondent of Paris Match, who just returned to New York after spending a few days in Alaska with photographer Sebastien Micke. “We wanted to find out what the people were like there, because that can help shed a light on who this largely unknown person is.”
The two Frenchmen admit that they traveled north to Alaska not only with curiosity but some trepidation. “We had been told stories about how remote it was, how cold it was, and we came with the idea that it would be filled with fairly strange people,” says LeSommier. “But we were a bit surprised by what we found there.”