Palin is in Her Element in TV's 'Sarah Palin's Alaska'

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Palin also is in demand on the lecture circuit, where she draws up to $100,000 an appearance. She's also being paid for Alaska but says it's nothing close to the widely reported $2 million. "As it pencils out, it's not even half of that," she says.

"All these things are lucrative, but for Todd and me, money is the last thing that drives us," Palin says. "Being raised by a schoolteacher in a big household, we had to work hard for everything we had. Todd's never stopped working. We were fulfilled when we were living paycheck to paycheck."

Palin says she will continue to speak her mind, "callin' it like I see it — and bringing to life issues that should be part of the national debate." This week she blasted Ben Bernanke, urging the Federal Reserve chairman to "cease and desist" a $600 billion economic stimulus plan.

"I haven't played it safe," Palin says before a short SUV hop to Finger Lake Elementary School, where she catches Piper's basketball game before retrieving Trig from a dental procedure. "I don't play that game. I'm not wired that way."

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