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First On the Whistle-Stop Tour: Massachusetts

Greetings from aboard the "Good Morning America" "Whistle-Stop Tour '08," a splendid 11-car train specially designed to broadcast live television starting Monday.

gma whistle
ABC News and USA Today join forces to report from every state in the union during the 50 days leading up to the historic 2008 Presidential Election. GOOD MORNING AMERICA will start off the initiative with a train trip during the week of SEPT. 15th
(ABC/ Ida Mae Astute)

(We're technically not moving yet -- rehearsals and other preparations are in order to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.)

ABC is starting its "50 States in 50 Days" tour leading up to the 2008 election in the state where, in a sense, the last election ended: Massachusetts, Sen. John Kerry's home state, where he delivered his (slightly delayed) concession speech the morning after Election Day 2004.

But for those who would mock Massachusetts as outside of "real America" (as the Republicans sought to argue four years ago), know that we're far from Boston -- in the beautiful Berkshires, on the other side of the state.

We are, at this moment, perched beside lake at the foot for a mountain, next to the historic train station in Lenox.

In short, the landscape is more Anchorage than Cambridge -- more Palin Nation than Obama Country.

Massachusetts is and will remain in the Democratic column at the presidential level -- a sure 12 electoral votes for the Obama-Biden ticket. But I'm interested in the extent to which Sarah Palin has registered with voters here -- not for what it says about Massachusetts necessarily, but for what it says about the broad appeal of our latest political phenom.

If the Palin effect has spread to this corner of the bluest of blue states -- perhaps this reordering of the political deck we're talking about is for real.

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