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John McCain picks Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP

The Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, has pulled a fast one on his Democratic opponents, who spent much of the last 19 months arguing over whether they'd be the party to have a female on their 2008 presidential ticket.

The rumor is true. As The Ticket reported just before dawn this morning, minutes ago, McCain confirmed that his vice presidential running mate is Sarah Alaska Governor Sarah Palin mother of five and lifetime National Rifle Association member and Republican presidential nominee senator John mcCain's pick as his vice presidential running matePalin, the first female governor of Alaska and the first woman on a national GOP ticket.

And hear this: The 44-year-old Palin, a former city councilwoman, Alaskan mayor, star high school basketball player and beauty queen, is a Republican political maverick (does this sound familiar on a McCain ticket?).

She overthrew her own state party's corrupt establishment in 2005-06 to run without its support and win on a reform ticket against a Democratic former governor, Tony Knowles. See video below.

She's been enjoying statewide popularity ratings of 70% to 80%, not least for her down-to-earth touches, like selling the previous governor's jet plane to fly commercially and driving herself to work in the family Jetta. She's worked against government pork barrel projects; again, a familiar phrase.

Palin, the first Alaskan governor born after statehood, was actually born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho. She is the mother of five (see family photo below) and is married to a native Alaskan, Todd Palin, who is a seasonal fisherman and an oil field worker offseason. He races snowmobiles on vacation.

The governor is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., an ardent hunter and outdoorswoman (her family has its own float plane) and is a sure bet to please the antiabortion wing of the Republican Party.

When prenatal genetic testing of their fifth child showed he had Down syndrome last spring, the couple went ahead with the birth in May and now talk of him as the joy of their life. (See photo below.) One of ...

... their other four children entered the Army and deploys to Iraq next month.

Palin is also an ardent advocate of developing Alaskan natural oil resources, having recently signed a bill to establish Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her family in 2007 before the birth of their fifth childa new trans-Alaska gas pipeline to deliver energy to the lower 48 states.

In the face of opposition from large domestic oil companies, which have ruled Alaska state politics for many years, Palin supported the 1,700-mile gas line proposed by a Canadian firm.

She also likes to point out that Alaska was admitted to the Union 50 years ago in large part for its trove of natural resources, much of them now locked up, while the country sends billions to other oil-rich nations.

She notes that while the controversial Arctic Natural Wildlife Preserve is roughly 19 million acres of protected federal land, the area actually proposed for oil development with directional drilling is smaller than LAX.

When The Ticket first mentioned Palin as a McCain VP prospect back in June, Palin pooh-poohed the idea as "not this time around." But, obviously, the Arizona senator saw an opportunity in partnering with a fresh, non-Washington face, a conservative chief executive who enacted property tax cuts as a mayor and who addresses the lingering doubts some conservatives have about McCain.

Alaskan Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, her husband Todd and their baby Trig

She also happens to be female and might well attract some of those disappointed women among the 18 million voters who chose Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries and caucuses.

With women making up about 52% of the electorate, she could also appeal to them.

There was some concern in recent weeks that an investigation into an attempt by the governor's office to have an individual state trooper fired could derail Palin's VP chances. The trooper in question had been involved in a contentious divorce with Palin's younger sister and reportedly threatened others. So far, independent investigators have found it was Palin staffers who made the contacts and Palin knew nothing of their efforts.

Though new to national politics, Palin has proven a quick learner and is not shy using her elbows under the basket. While leading her high school girls team to a championship as a point guard, the future governor earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda."

— Andrew Malcolm

Photo credits: Top and middle, Office of the Alaska Governor; bottom, Al Grillo / Associated Press

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This is great! McCain/Palin 2008

Thanks John. You just handed the election to Obama. So much for your argument that experience matters.

A fast one on the Democrats? Better do a fact check on that, Palin is being investigated by the inspector general in Alaska... Dan Qualye anyone? This is more of the same Republican hypocrisy: after months of criticizing Obama, McCain goes out of his way to pick a person with virtually no career in government and zero international experience. Way to go, "reform" Republicans: we are witnessesing the self-destruction of the Republican party. Too bad lousy journalists are too busy trying to "even" the race i.e. make it "interesting" to really take a hard look at this.

Wow, with McCains' running mate female, this was all the incentive I needed to switch parties after 30 years and vote for someone other than another loud-mouthed male(Obama) establishment. A foot in the door is all women need! Good going McCain! Good choice!

Does this suggest that McCain knows he is disliked by the Republican base and her pick would help shore that up. But in the process, he completely undercuts the ready on day one commander-in-chief arguement against Obama. Palin has even less national security experience then Obama. And as an added bonus you get an ethics investigation.

It looks alot like the Dan Quayle pick. Done for pure political reasons. So much for the good of the country, miore like the good McCain's election bid.

This choice seems desperate. Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. I can't imagine Clinton supporters choosing her just because she is a woman. She will not protect a woman's right to choose and she has no foreign policy experience. The state she governs has an economy of oil. This is just more of the same. People will not be duped by this obvious attempt to overcome Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Wow ! Atta-Boy Johnny Boy !
Sarah Palin is a "Trophy" Vice-Presidental Pick ! !

McCain is doomed. It just couldn't be Romney, huh? Wow another Republican maverick, whoopee.

This was agreat choice! I have been undecided in this election until now, but there is no doubt I am supporting McCain from here on out...
I can't wait to see the debates between Biden and Palin -
It will be very interesting to see him try to paint her as inexperienced without diminshing the top of his own ticket.

What fast one? Geraldine Ferraro was the Democratic VP pick in 1984. This is an obvious attempt to cement the convictions and grab the votes of the Hillary die-hards who say they'd vote for McCain if they couldn't vote for Clinton - despite her call for them to support the party the other night. Sure, it might be a bit of a surprise to some, but let's face it, the other choices weren't exactly admired or supported by the base that McCain needs to carry him to victory. And you can probably bet a sure thing that all those wonderful natural resources so glowingly described are going to be part of the promotion package during the campaign - heck, Alaska is so far away and there's practically no one living there, so why shouldn't we exploit the hell out of it all? Fast one, indeed.

Kinda has BrackO & Biden PALIN in comparison.

This is an interesting pick, I didnt think he would pick her becauseo of the scandal surrounding her in Alaska.? You can see old pictures of her and read her full bio at

I know Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine. And you, Governor Palin are no Hillary Clinton.

I don't like this move. It actually ridicules Hillary Clinton's campaign jthat much more.

Ralph Nader should Invite Hillary Clinton onto his ticket, and let her be the presidential candidate and he take the V.P. spot.

What a combo that would be.

Excellent choose. Picking a person which lacks experience and is under investigation. Experience should now be off the table for McBush when talking about Obama experience.

WOW! McCain picks a woman! This will be an interesting fall no matter who wins! I wonder how the Daily Gallup will take this one? Will Obama's convention bounce carry into the Republican convention?
I hope this will get people to register to vote! Here is a site you can do just that if you click on the register to vote bar at the bottom of the page. What a historic election. Go democracy!!!!!!

Obama is now in command.
McCain is reaching...

Sarah Palin’s Qualifications/preparedness?

Examine her personal website:

She has no offical “stand” on the following issues:

Principles & Values
Government Reform
Foreign Policy
Families & Children

Unbelievably unprepared for this high office!

Sarah is being investigated in alaska for corruption right now! Why would McCain chose her? The democrats will have the time of their life with her.

Is this the joke of the day? Is McCain serious? This woman was the mayor of a small village in Alaska just two years ago and John McCain wants me to trust him with this choice to be the most powerful person in the world just in case his 72 year ols ticker stops ticking? I'm scrathing my head. Plain, commander in Chief? Now I truly see what Obama meant last night when he questioned McCain's judgment. Maybe the rumors of him slowly slipping into senility are true. NO WAY! NO HOW! NO McCAIN!


Palin is a great pick for the McBush ticket. I can't wait to see her at the debate.

FYI: It's Down syndrome. Not Downs.

State will sue over polar bear listing, Palin says: Polar Bear ... The State of Alaska will sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species, Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday. ... - 54k

Palin just outsourced a $27billion dollar pipeline deal
to Canada

If their fifth child, the one with down's syndrome, is really the "joy of their life," then why isn't he included in the family picture with all the other kids? Could it be that they're worried about cracking their picture perfect image?

Now the Veep debate would be interesting...and slightly tricky for Biden. He wouldn't want to be seen as a bully.

If it was Romney or someone else, it'd be very good for Biden. Not so now.

Still, its a pretty strange pick- if a bit underwhelming. I don't think the announcement would be as big as Biden's. Its only my personal opinion however.

John McCain has just sealed the deal and chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his VP. This just sickens me.

This is his best decision? Politically, he has chosen to turn the race into an ideological campaign. He is going to run right wind against liberal. To do this his has pacified the far right base by picking the most socially conservative person he could pick.

He has picked someone with so little experience that it nullifies any argument against against Obama. He has picked a woman who just cannot compete as a comparable for Hillary Clinton. This is the worst kind of "Hail Mary" pass and it won't work.

For my part, McCain has completely let me down. He has sold out to the right wing and secured my complete disillusionment with The Republican party. There is no openness. There is no diversity. There is no respect. It is just God, Guns, Gays and terrorism. I am holding my nose and voting for Obama.

i'm confused. wasn't mccain's biggest knock on obama his experience? now he feels the person most capable of joining him in hte white house is someone who three years ago was the mayor of nowhere, alaska. huh?

Sounds like someone without a lot of experience. McCain is a very old man, and if elected, she would become President.

So...why has he been hitting Obama over the head with this "he doesn't have the experience to become president?"

Good choice John!! Not a Washington puppet! Having a son with Downs-syndrome shows she practices what she believes in, pro-life. I like it alot!!!

Wow. Both Senators Snow and Hutchinson left behind to pick this 1st year govenor and former small-town mayor.

There's goes any attack on Sen. Obama's inexperience because how can that can't matter? Sen. McCain has chosen someone to put one, very fragile, heartbeat away from hold the office.

She seems to have one qualification, she has resisted the corruption of Alaska.

Apparently, John McCain relishes the role of outsider so much he's willing to sabatoge his chance to become the ultimate insider.

By focusing Palin's wafer thin political experience on her recent record as a fellow maverick, you're assuming that McCain is a maverick, which he is not. Just repeating McCain and maverick over and over does not make it true. Also, it's pretty cynical to assume that disenchanted Hillary supporters who claim they will vote for McCain out of their immature narcisstic idol-worship of a female candidate, will automatically convert to the McCain ticket. Palin is a extreme, right-wing former beauty pagent queen. And we know how much McCain can't deal with unattractive women, that's why he dumped his first wife for a rich woman 20 years his junior. So, this is all quite telling. Pick up the female vote?, I don't think so.

Nice to see a woman on the ticket!

Yet I wonder how a mother can leave a five-month-old baby, let alone one with Down's Syndrome, to accept this nomination? Having handicapped relatives in our family, I know firsthand they require more love and attention than non-disabled children. I am puzzled by Gov. Palin's priorities. A vice president may become president at a moment's notice. Most of us aren't accustomed to applauding a mother choosing to be unavailable to a disabled baby as expressing the kind of judgment needed potentially as president.

Does he really think women are THAT dumb? Well, I guess some are, but how can you vote against your own interests? She is clearly against a woman's right to choose and where does she stand on universal health care, Hillary' biggest issue? She doesn't bring any new ideas to his ticket. If you're a far right-leaning Republican or independent, its a great choice.

Also, McCain can't challenge Obama's experience or Rezco for that matter because it appears she's being investigated in her home state for unethical activity. It may not actually be anything, but neither is the Rezco issue.

I learned my lesson with the Clarence Thomas fiasco. Just because you're black doesn't mean you're my brother; likewise, just because you have ovaries, doesn't mean we're on the same side.

You have got to be kidding - she has a BS in journalism and no Washington (or law, or constitutional) experience of any kind. She will be one heart beat away from President. How irresponsible can McCain get?

sure Sara Barracuda.... All I have to say is McCain just jumped the shark..


GREAT CHOICE!!!! Always want to see a woman on high position. Hope they will win in Nov.

I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!
Pick of the new century!
McCain, you rock! and you truly understand
what it means to stand for change.

this election has been nothing if not entertaining. Very interesting...

John McCain love beauty queens.. Sarah was Miss Alaska runner-up in 1984.. I wonder how Cindy feels about Sarah since John McCain is known for chasing beauty queens and even abandoning his wife to marry one. I wonder how Todd feels about having his wife around a man with McCain reputation.

What a gift to Democrats. Last night Obama inspires the nation and now McCain picks a Creationist who is under investigation!!!
I can't wait for the debates.
Biden vs Palin. Can't wait to hear what she has to say about geo-political strategies.

what the heck? McLame just handed the election to Obama. I have lost faith in the republican party. This woman is a nobody with no experience and no vision for this country. He expects us to get to know her with 68 days left? Who cares. There's no way I want her to be Pres when he kicks the bucket.

This guy says, "Barack Who?"

Nails it, unfortunately... very crafty pick and timing on McCain's part. Yikes.

They're even rockin' the cheerleaders at the announcement event in Ohio today-- look at those wild & crazy Republicans!

"Sarah Barracuda." Hmm... I can't help but think Barackcuda. A fast one indeed.

So much for McCain's claim that the commander-in-chief must be well-experienced. If he dies, we get *her*?

I'm still going to vote for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, but she sounds intriguing. Should make for an interesting race. If McCain/Palin wins you can expect that every ticket from now on will be male/female.

She's been governor for less than two years and her only previous political experience is as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town with a population of 5,470 as of the 2000 census.

She's not nearly experienced enough to be a heartbeat away from the presidency -- especially when McCain would be 77 at the end of his first term.

I wonder when her videos will come out.

VP Palin has more experience than Barak Hussien Obama.

Can't wait for the first debate between Palin and Biden the Blow Hard.

Palin is ready to be President with two years as a govenor but Obama is too inexperienced? What the?????

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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