Archive for Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin’s rise to VP candidate caps meteoric rise

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and his Vice Presidential running mate, Alaska Gov Sarah Palin, appear together onstage during his 'Road to the Convention Rally' at the Erwin J. Nutter Center Friday in Dayton, Ohio. McCain introduced her as his running mate at the event.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and his Vice Presidential running mate, Alaska Gov Sarah Palin, appear together onstage during his 'Road to the Convention Rally' at the Erwin J. Nutter Center Friday in Dayton, Ohio. McCain introduced her as his running mate at the event.

August 29, 2008, 10:01 a.m. Updated August 29, 2008, 11:42 a.m.


McCain taps Alaska governor as VP running mate

Just hours after the Democratic National Convention wrapped up, Republican candidate John McCain his pick for Vice President... Enlarge video

Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

On the street

What do you think about McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate?

She sounds good to me. I think he’s doing something smart by picking someone who is really pretty different from him politically and also by picking a woman. I think it will be good for his campaign.

More responses

— In two short years, Sarah Palin moved from small-town mayor with a taste for mooseburgers to the governor's office and now - making history - to John McCain's side as the first female running mate on a Republican presidential ticket.

She has more experience catching fish as a former commercial fisherwoman than dealing with foreign policy or national affairs.

Talk about a rocketing ascent.

In turning to her, McCain picked an independent figure in his own mold, one who has taken on Alaska's powerful oil industry and, at age 44, is three years younger than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and a generation younger than McCain, 71.

Palin's selection was a jaw-dropper, as McCain passed over many other better known prospects, some of whom had been the subject of intense speculation for weeks or months. She was on the radar but as a distinct long shot.

She brings a strong anti-abortion stance to the ticket and opposes gay marriage - constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time - but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners.

Palin lives in Wasilla, a town of 6,500 about 30 miles north of Anchorage, with her husband, Todd, a blue-collar North Slope oil worker who competes in the Iron Dog, a 1,900-mile snowmobile race. He is part Yup'ik Eskimo.

Typically seen walking the Capitol halls in black or red power suits while reading text messages on Blackberry screens in each hand, Palin made a recent appearance in fashion magazine Vogue.

"At first they had me in a bunch of furs," she said of the photo shoot. "Yeah, I have furs on my wall, but I don't wear furs. I had to show them my bunny boots and my North Face clothing."

Palin's clean-hands reputation has come into question with an investigation recently launched by a legislative panel into whether she dismissed Alaska's public safety commissioner because he would not fire her former brother-in-law as a state trooper. Trooper Mike Wooten went through a messy divorce from Palin's sister.

The governor denied orchestrating the dozens of telephone calls made by her husband and members of her administration to Wooten's bosses. She says she welcomes the investigation: "Hold me accountable."

Palin, who led the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at her high school, could help McCain's standing with social conservatives who have been skeptical of him.

"It's an absolutely brilliant choice," said Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law and founder of the legal group Liberty Counsel, who has sought to coalesce evangelicals around McCain. "This will absolutely energize McCain's campaign and energize conservatives."

Palin is "a woman of faith who has a strong position on life, a consistent opinion on judges," Staver said. "She's the complete package."

But Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said McCain was taking a "roll of the dice" and declared that Palin's "lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling."

Four months into her most recent pregnancy, Palin learned that the child would have Down syndrome, and she said she never had any doubts about whether she would have the baby.

"We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential," Palin told AP earlier this year in describing what she and her husband had confronted.

Alaska's first female governor arrived at the Capitol in 2006 on an ethics reform platform after defeating two former governors in the primary and general elections.

In the primary, Palin defeated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski, who also had 22 years of experience in the U.S. Senate.

Her task didn't seem any easier in the general election, but she handily beat Tony Knowles, a popular Democrat who had served two earlier terms as governor.

During her first year in office, Palin moved away from the powerful old guard of the state Republican Party and has refused to kowtow to the powerful oil industry, instead presiding over a tax increase on oil company profits that now has the state's treasury swelling.

Palin also asked Alaska's congressional delegation to be more selective in seeking earmarks after what came to be known as the "Bridge to Nowhere" turned into a national embarrassment and a symbol of piggish pork-barrel spending - thanks to McCain's relentless criticism of the now-abandoned project.

Before becoming governor, her political experience consisted of terms as Wasilla's mayor and councilwoman and a stint as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

"Sarah Palin for her entire political career has been underestimated," said Paulette Simpson of the Alaska Federation of Republican Women. "She's tough, she's tenacious. I believe that she does have what it takes to get out there. Again, her ability to connect with voters and make a case is very, very, very strong."

Palin's confrontations with the state GOP began when Murkowski named her chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. There, Palin exposed current Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich, who was also on the commission, for ethical violations.

In 2005, Palin co-filed an ethics complaint against Murkowski's longtime aide and then attorney general, Gregg Renkes, for having a financial interest in a company that stood to gain from an international trade deal he was helping craft.

The Palins have five children: Track, 19; Bristol 17; Willow 14; Piper, 7, and Trig, who was born in April.

Track enlisted in the Army in 2007 on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and has been assigned to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.

Palin was born Feb. 11, 1964, in Idaho, but her parents moved to Alaska shortly after her birth to teach. She received a bachelor of science degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987.


blindrabbit 9 years, 9 months ago

Republicans don't drink too much of the Palin/Republican koolaid until you fully understand her. Alaska, in recent years has risen to be regarded as one of the most corrupt states in the union. Lots of oil dollars and lobbies and special legislation mark-ups. I.e., "the bridge to nowhere" the federally funded, foreign owned Aleska resort in Girdwood. U.S, Republican Senator Ted Stevens under investigation, also his son in State government. Sarah herself is also under investigation for inappropriate firing of a State Official and she was widely chastised for misuse of government transportation for shuttling her across Alaska during her run for Governor.This gal has a lot of baggage for her short political life; let the digging begin.

jmadison 9 years, 9 months ago

In reply to blindrabbit, she beat Republican Gov Murkowski in the gubernatorial primary because she was a reformer and he was part of the corrupt Republican old boys network. Recreational marijuana usage (less than 4 ounces) is legal in Alaska.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

What a narrow minded woman without a clue. How can a be person be pro life and support the war mongering killers of the Facist PNAC neoconservative republican party. All they do is kill innocent men,women and children. Hmmmmm do we have a female Dan Quale?

tunahelper 9 years, 9 months ago

she is a million times better looking than the old gray mare kathy selebius!

tunahelper 9 years, 9 months ago

omaba is going down!nobama, keep the change.

ndmoderate 9 years, 9 months ago

Sarah Palin. Who?Haven't the SuperRepublicans been slamming the Obama campaign for months about inexperience and "we don't know him, he's an unknown..."

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 9 months ago

So what is wrong with saying milf? Or hence; gilf, or vpilf? (I had a post which got zapped for use of this acronym) This is so way way way low level, longstanding, and unknown, pop reference here. I challenge any moderators analysis of this non-offensive term relative to the Terms of Service, period.

james bush 9 years, 9 months ago

I actually was considering voting libertarian because McCain seems too willing to compromise with the really liberal old-boys-club dems in the senate, and like Biden, "only has experience as a senator"....which I think most ordinary U S citzens finds to be mainly experience at being self-serving or aimed at re-election.Palen appears to believe in the same things that I believe in and more importantly, I believe her..........more than I can say for Obama or Biden.Now I will vote for McCain!......unless.................!?

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Satirical 9 years, 9 months ago

autie...."and as the meteor is destined to fall and burn up in the atmosphere"No, that would be a meteorite, not a meteor. And meteors don't really rise since there is no 'up' in space.

LiberalDude 9 years, 9 months ago

"She seems to be something the republican party sorely needs after 8 years of Bush: someone who makes one proud to be republican."Are you proud of ethics violations- getting your brother-in-law fired because he divorced your sister???

Bone777 9 years, 9 months ago

The wealth of foreign policy knowledge we have in the White House now has done us a ton of good. It couldn't be worse. Give the 'hockey mom' a shot if McCain dies trying...

LJD230 9 years, 9 months ago

And the fall of Sarah Palin in November will also be meteroic!!! And that is a good thing because no one wants to see a dead moose hanging from the yardarm at the Naval Observatory(the Washington DC residence of the Vice President)John McCain lost my vote.

jayhawkjg 9 years, 9 months ago

Obama speaks about Change, how can there be any change when Biden has been in the goverment for 30 years. At Least Palin brings some new blood, new ideas and a great speaker. I appreciate some spice in a talk, better than Hilary talking down to everyone. Palin should make ALL women proud. I am very encouraged at this point.

bombshell 9 years, 9 months ago

As much as the GOP has been fuming about Obama's lack of experience, McCain's choice for VP really surprised me. I'm going to go ahead and repeat what we've all already heard, but I think it's pretty frightening to think Palin would take over as President of the United States if McCain should (God forbid it happens) pass on. With our international reputation in shambles as it is, at least if something happened to Obama (another God forbid) we'd have the foreign policy knowledge and political experience of Biden to back up the Presidency.

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 9 months ago

tunahelper, What a ageist and sexist remark about Palin being better looking than "the old gray mare kathy selebius"!

james bush 9 years, 9 months ago

She seems to be something the republican party sorely needs after 8 years of Bush: someone who makes one proud to be republican.

Satirical 9 years, 9 months ago

Bombshell:"I think it's pretty frightening to think Palin would take over as President of the United States if McCain should (God forbid it happens) pass on."So you would rather have a President with lack of experience in areas such as foreign policy than a VP with the same? That is illogical.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 9 months ago

She sounds awesome to me, brilliant choice! Thank you, Lynn

yankeelady 9 years, 9 months ago

Let's see anti-choice, creationist, pro big oil, and drilling the ANWAR, anti environment, NRA life member. This is going to draw Hillary's supporters???? Time for change

james bush 9 years, 9 months ago

Only problem will be her ability to enthrall the crowd..............something McCain doesn't do............and it may outshine him in the campaigning appearances. Still, she's the best pick for a run to beat messiah but Romney would have been the better VP, should republicans pull thru Bush's legacy/debacle. But you do have to admire this woman and hope Clinton women come over to her. Can't plan on hardcore abortion-rights females though.

Satirical 9 years, 9 months ago

I have now change my methodology for choosing whom I will vote for. I will vote for the ticket with the most attractive person on it. Palin gets my vote!

janeyb 9 years, 9 months ago

She wanted her brother-in-law fired because he beat her sister and taserd his 11-year-old stepson. The Democrats have made enough mistakes this past month. I don't think this is an issue to build a campaign on.Love Palin! Loved the venue. Dayton, OH. Boy Scouts doing the flag ceremony. Cheerleader throwing t-shirts to the crowd. The crowd did a wave. It was so much better than last night. How much money was spent in Denver last night that could have been spent on the Obama's social programs? But all the world couldn't wait to hear the Messiah's acceptance speech--his words of wisdom that didn't materialize. What a waste. I bet the Clinton's are laughing their a$$es off today. MSNBC kept carrying on last night that poor John McCain wasn't even going to get 10000 people to hear his VP announcement---after Palin's speech they were speechless. John McCain "gets it", Barry. Don't worry about John McCain.

beatrice 9 years, 9 months ago

Darn, and I was hoping he would pick the local dog catcher.

Jim Phillips 9 years, 9 months ago

Palin is the antithesis of Biden. That already puts her far ahead in my book. And to all those Libs who are crying lack of experience on her part, two years as governor trumps three active months in Congress anytime. Y'all were screaming for change-you got it.

Kookamooka 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm almost speechless. Is he crazy? Is the member in his trousers making his decisions? The fact that she was active in the PTA makes her a really qualified candidate in my opinion. (and that isn't sarcasm!) At least she speaks English and can utter a coherent sentence. What I've come to realize about the Republican's doesn't really matter who they run for office, the spinmasters and "handlers" are really the people running the show. And oh...what an entertaining and tragic show it is!

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