Sen. Ted Stevens and Sarah Palin (Credit: Clark James Mishler/Getty Images)As reporters continue to raise questions about Gov. Sarah Palin's "reform" mantle, the McCain campaign continues to tout her reformer credentials.

Here's another area where the reality is more complicated than the official storyline. The supposed bad blood between Palin and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the state's most eminent Republican, is part of her appeal. As David Brooks wrote in the New York Times, Palin "risked her career taking on the corrupt Republican establishment in her own state" and "made mortal enemies of the two people McCain has always held up as the carriers of the pork-barrel disease: [Rep. Don Young] and Stevens."

But it turns out Palin's campaign touted Stevens' endorsement in her 2006 run for governor. (The ad was quickly taken down from the Web site after Palin was named as the pick.) And the two appeared almost chummy sitting together in a press conference two months ago.

The Anchorage Daily News has some video of the joint appearance. (Stevens was indicted later that month.)

Palin joined Stevens in rolling out his energy plan for Alaska, but the paper's reporters repeatedly questioned the two about their relationship.

Didn't Stevens mind that Palin had publicly called on Stevens to explain himself after FBI agents raided his Alaska home last September? No, Stevens said, he hadn't taken "umbrage."

What about her criticism of some of his earmarks? Stevens didn't "really object" to that, he said; the state has required earmarks in its "period of need," but greater oil revenue should put an end to that.

As for Palin, she sidestepped questions about whether she would endorse Stevens, but made clear there was no bad blood between them:

"I have great respect for the senator and he needs to be heard across America -- his voice, his experience, his passion, needs to be heard across America so that Alaska can contribute more, so that we can be producers, so that we can help lead the rest of the U.S. I have great respect for him. There's a big difference between reality and perception regarding our relationship."