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Palin dines with Billy Graham in N. Carolina

Monday, November 23, 2009

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Sarah Palin was having dinner Sunday with the Rev. Billy Graham a day before a planned book tour stop in eastern North Carolina.

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee flew into Asheville and then went to Billy Graham's mountaintop home in nearby Montreat for dinner, said Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for Graham's son, Franklin.

Franklin Graham invited Palin.

"He just saw that she was going to be in the area and he said to come by," Blume said.

The elder Graham has never met Palin, who is scheduled to stop at Fort Bragg today to promote her memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life."

Franklin Graham got to know Palin early this year in Alaska. She accompanied him as Samaritan's Purse, a Boone-based international relief agency he heads, delivered 44,000 pounds of groceries to Alaskan families who had been hit by a harsh winter in villages along the frozen Yukon River.

Samaritan's Purse has an office in Alaska, and Franklin Graham owns a cabin in the state. Graham also leads the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which his father founded decades ago.

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