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'Obama regrets bypassing Clinton'

world Updated: Sep 13, 2008 12:58 IST

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says she thinks Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama regrets not making Hillary Rodham Clinton his running mate.

Palin praised Clinton's "determination, and grit and even grace" during the Democratic primaries, sounding an altogether different note than when she suggested earlier this year that the New York senator was whining about negative press coverage and campaigning in a way that was not advancing the cause of women in politics.

"I think he's regretting not picking her now," Palin told ABC News on Saturday, referring to Obama.

Palin's highly anticipated first televised interview since joining the race was airing this week as Americans seek to learn more about her since Republican presidential candidate John McCain chose her two weeks ago. She has been Alaska's governor for less than two years and before that was a small-town mayor.

Although she was not widely known in the US before getting the nod, Palin has energised the Republican party's conservative base, pulling many of them closer to a presidential candidate they had initially eyed with wariness.

Palin's entry in the race has also drawn support from many white women, and the McCain campaign hopes in particular that she can pull Clinton's supporters away from Obama. It was in that spirit that she heaped praise on Obama's defeated rival.

"What determination, and grit, and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way - she handled those well," Palin said.