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Her career rising, Palin now gives McCain a boost

For the first time since losing the presidential race in 2008, John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign together in Tuscon and Phoenix as Palin helps McCain tout his conservative credentials.

Sen. John McCain and then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin greet supporters during the 2008 presidential campaign in Virginia Beach, Va., on Oct. 13. The two will reunite again on Friday as Palin helps McCain with his reelection in Arizona.

Carlos Barria/Reuters/FILE

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John McCain helped Sarah Palin launch her national political career two years ago. Now, she's trying to help McCain save his.

The former Republican presidential candidate and his vice president pick will campaign together Friday for the first time since losing the presidential race in 2008.

Palin was a first-term governor of Alaska when McCain plucked her from relative obscurity to be his running mate. She went on to become a conservative star and a key Republican critic of President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

IN PICTURES: Sarah Palin and John McCain

McCain is fighting for his political life. Fending off a primary challenge from the right, the four-term Arizona senator is facing the toughest re-election campaign of his Senate career.

Former congressman and conservative talk-radio host JD Hayworth says McCain is too moderate for Arizona Republicans. He points to McCain's reputation for working with Democrats on key issues such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and restricting campaign donations.

Palin will help McCain tout his conservative credentials at rallies in Tucson on Friday and the Phoenix suburb of Mesa on Saturday. They'll hold a fundraiser on Friday at the same Phoenix hotel where they conceded the presidential election on Nov. 4, 2008.

Hayworth has tried to define himself as "the consistent conservative" in contrast to the "maverick" McCain.

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