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White House

Palin falls for 'Sarkozy' prank call

Sarah Palin unwittingly took a prank call from a Canadian comedian who posed as French president Nicolas Sarkozy and told her she would make a good US leader one day.

In the six-minute call, which will air on a Quebec radio station on the eve of the US presidential election, the governor of Alaska misses several hints that the conversation, in which the comedian uses an exaggerated French accent, is a joke.

The McCain-Palin campaign later issued a statement which said Mrs Palin was "mildly amused" and added: "C'est la vie."

During the call with Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel, a Montreal comedy duo known as the Masked Avengers, the moose-hunting Republican running mate talked about how she was a "careful shot", praised Mr Sarkozy, and asked him to give his wife, model-turned-singer Carla Bruni, "a big hug for me".

"I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife," she told the fake Mr Sarkozy.

"Oh my goodness, you've added a lot of energy to your country with that beautiful family of yours."

When the comedian told her he could see her as a president one day, Mrs Palin laughed and replied: "Maybe in eight years."

She also discussed the perils of hunting with vice president Dick Cheney, who shot and injured a friend while hunting quail in 2006.

"I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that is so fun," the fake Mr Sarkozy said.

After he suggested they should go hunting together by helicopter, she replied: "Well, I think we could have a lot of fun together while we're getting work done.

"We can kill two birds with one stone that way."

The comedian joked that they should not go with Mr Cheney before Mrs Palin added: "I'll be a careful shot."

Playing off Mrs Palin's much-mocked comment in an early television interview that she had insights into foreign policy because "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska", the comedian told her: "You know we have a lot in common also, because from my house I can see Belgium."

"Well, see, we're right next door to different countries that we all need to be working with, yes," Mrs Palin replied.

Tracey Schmitt, Mrs Palin's campaign spokeswoman, said: "Governor Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy and other celebrities, in being targeted by these pranksters. C'est la vie."