Palin’s competitor

Miss Wasilla, 1984

Miss Wasilla, 1984

Turns out Miss Alaska 1984 lives in Smyrna.  Maryline Blackburn beat another candidate named Sarah Heath.  The also-ran ended up as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, now running for VP with John McCain.

The AJC’s Dan Chapman produced a piece on it Monday.  He reported that Sarah Heath wrote Blackburn a congratulatory note:

“Instead, the flute player from small town Wasilla — also voted Miss Congeniality — wrote Blackburn a lovely note on the back of a group photo at pageant’s end: ‘I do love you. You’re more admired than even you know. And please keep God Number One. He’s got great things for you, baby. Love, Sarah Heath.'”

WAGA sent Denise Dillon to do the TV version of the same story, catching up with Blackburn in Smyrna Monday night.  Blackburn, now a recording artist, was working on a new CD.  Dillon’s piece was breezy and fun.  Blackburn spoke admiringly of Palin’s competitive fire.  And she capped it with a word of support for Palin’s current opponent:  “It’s all about Obama, baby.”

Inexlicably, WSB waited another day before copycatting the story, sending Diana Davis to Smyrna to chat with Blackburn.  Blackburn has a performer’s personality, but Davis’s treatment was very by-the-book. WSB buried the story deep in its 5pm news Tuesday.

Blackburn had no blockbuster insight.  But her firsthand impressions of the politician as beauty queen were revelatory, as Palin’s public persona continues to gel.

This corrects an earlier version wherein LAF failed to recognize that the AJC reported the story first.

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This entry was posted in AJC, WAGA, WSB on by .

About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

7 thoughts on “Palin’s competitor

  1. MSL

    The AJC had this story on Monday. It would appear that the TV stations are chasing the paper on this one. See text below:

    Smyrna woman beat Palin in pageant
    Blackburn won 1984 Miss Alaska contest, in which GOP VP nominee finished second
    By DAN CHAPMAN

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    Smyrna’s Maryline Blackburn won the 1984 Miss Alaska beauty pageant. The first runner-up? Sarah Palin, nee Heath – the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee.

    “My first impression was, ‘Oh my god, she’s gorgeous, she’ll probably be the one who wins,” Blackburn, a recording artist, recalled Monday afternoon.

    Second impression?

    “She had this look about her, this look in her eyes that tells you she’s calculating, figuring out ‘How am I going to win this competition,’ ” Blackburn said. “There was a determination there.”

    And that became evident when she tripped you during the evening gown competition?

    “No,” Blackburn laughed. “Sarah would never do anything like that. In pageants, there’s pettiness and the little claws come out. But if Sarah was anything like that, she hid it very well.”

    Instead, the flute player from small town Wasilla — also voted Miss Congeniality — wrote Blackburn a lovely note on the back of a group photo at pageant’s end: “I do love you. You’re more admired than even you know. And please keep God Number One. He’s got great things for you, baby. Love, Sarah Heath.”

    Blackburn, who grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and was Alaska’s first African American representative to the Miss America pageant, spoke in between sessions at a Midtown studio. She’s recording her fourth CD. Pop, rock, R&B and gospel are her genres. She has performed with Bob Hope and Peabo Bryson and tours Europe and South America.

    Blackburn grew up in Fairbanks but has called metro Atlanta home for 22 years. She had no idea her erstwhile competition had become governor, let alone the veep prospect until her younger brother called her with the news last week.

    “I’ve seen bits and pieces of her speech the other night and that look in her eyes is the look I saw 24 years ago – determined,” Blackburn said. “She’s a hellified speaker. She’s definitely polished.”

    But is she qualified to be vice president?

    “That remains to be seen,” Blackburn said. “There’s not a lot of substance there, from the speech I’ve seen and what I’ve heard and read about who she is and what she’s done. I just don’t know.”

    Surely you’ll vote for your ex-nemesis, though, right?

    “No,” Blackburn said, “I am in the Obama camp.”

    Reply
  2. Rodney Ho

    I’m not sure when we got to the story at the AJC per se, but we did run a story about her Tuesday afternoon online and it ran in the paper today.

    Reply
  3. chance

    I’m not sure Sarha’s a class act.

    Note this Facebook Group I just found:

    Sarah Palin Is A Dirty Pirate Hooker

    “For those of you who HATE (or strongly dislike) Sarah Palin and all of her mindless, animal murdering, environment damaging, bible banging ways.”

    Reply
  4. gooberpeas

    sounds like a basic left leaning webpage to me….makes me think even more that Sara is a class act.

    wonder how many of the folks that made that page stopped by McDonald’s for lunch?

    wonder why you never see that type of behaviour from those on the right?

    Reply
  5. Edward

    “wonder why you never see that type of behaviour from those on the right?”????????

    You’re kidding, right? You are either one of the most partisan-blinded individuals on the planet or simply following the conservative party-line tactic of “if I say it enough times it’ll be true”.

    Reply

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