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Barbara Bush talks down Palin nomination

Alex Spillius in Washington

Published 22/11/2010 | 05:00

Barbara Bush, the former US first lady, has poured cold water on Sarah Palin's presidential aspirations in a demonstration of the Republican establishment's view that the former governor of Alaska is a dangerous upstart unworthy of national office.

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Asked during an interview to share her thoughts about Mrs Palin, Mrs Bush replied: "I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful." With pursed lips, she added: "And I think she's very happy in Alaska. And I hope she'll stay there."

Mrs Palin, John McCain's vice-presidential running mate in the 2008 election, has admitted that she is seriously considering a bid for the 2012 Republican nomination at a time when her national exposure has never been higher.



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Her second book, 'America by Heart', is published tomorrow, the second episode of her TV show, 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' aired last night, while tonight her 20-year-old daughter Bristol will compete in the final of 'Dancing with the Stars'.

The book is billed as a tribute to conservative American values. It includes attacks on President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the first lady, as unpatriotic and criticises John F Kennedy for shunning his Catholic faith.

According to an early copy, Mrs Palin discusses at length Kennedy's noted speech on religion during the 1960 campaign, when he said: "I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic."

Mrs Palin said that Kennedy -- the first Catholic elected president -- "essentially declared religion to be such a private matter that it was irrelevant to the kind of country we are".

Ted Widmer, a historian and former speech writer for Bill Clinton, said: "It's putting a negative spin on what was interpreted at the time as a sensible and uplifting message. JFK was trying to protect his own right to be a Catholic and to run for president." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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