The governor has roots in local government, serving two terms on the Wasilla City Council and two terms as the mayor/manager of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 6,700 people whose average family income is $53,000.
RealClear Politics gives this background for the Alaska Governor:
When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her fierce competitiveness.
Sarah Heath Palin has just been named Sen. John McCain's running mate for the highest office in the country!
I know I'm strongly backing Barack Obama now that Hillary is out, but I just HAVE to note this. I mean, it isn't every day somebody you know from high school has a chance to be a heartbeat away from the presidency of the single remaining global super-power nation (as opposed to global super-power corporations, for instance, which are more powerful than many nations).
Oh Sarah, I wish I could vote for you, but I am SO pumped that you got named for this. Wow. What an amazing life and career you are having!
Palin, 44, is a first-term governor who unseated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary in 2006 and went on to defeat former Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, in the general election.
She will be the first woman to be nominated for vice president as a Republican and only the second to run for vice president on a major party ticket, after Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.
Palin also will be the first Alaskan to be on the ticket for either party.
Yeah, people in Alaska woke up to a pretty big surprise today. My mom called, cuz her sister called from Wisconsin to wake her up and tell her. I was on the road, and I stop to type this in a truck stop restroom, after listening to the announcement on the radio.
I'm just trying to imagine how she'll do in the debate with Sen. Joe Biden. It's hard for me to wrap my head around. I mean, this is somebody with the same college degree as I got (journalism), whom it was my duty to guard as a point guard for many years, as cross-town rivals. And yes, she generally fouled out more than I did. I attended a basketball camp where her dad coached one summer.
I'm also pretty sure I covered at least one beauty pageant she was in, when I was a photog for the local paper in the mid-80s. That was my beat the summer of '85, and it was thrilling, let me tell you.
My mom is just freaked out that their little Wasilla mayor is up for vice president!
McCain apparently is making a concerted effort to reach out to former supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton who may be unhappy with the choice of Sen. Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee. Reacting to the choice of Palin, Ferraro said, "I believe that people will look back and assess how Hillary was treated by the media during the campaign primaries. And it remains to be seen whether or not the ugly head of sexism -- in the media -- will raise its head again."
Sarah is an unorthodox political original, I'll give her that. If anybody tries that sexist crap with her, she'll find a way to knock them back on their asses. I've been knocked on my ass a few times by her, and I can vouch for that.
My friends have wondered how I reconcile my enthusiasm for Sarah's political fortunes with my own politics, which are quite different from hers. I really don't have a good answer, because, from growing up in Alaska, I was never that bothered around people with political views widely divergent from my own. That's just normal up there! Nobody in Alaska marches in lockstep. If you went around breaking with people you disagreed with on X or Y, you'd have no friends left. It is a state of extremes, and that's why people go there, live there, love it there.
I don't think McCain will be the best president, and I'm now completely on board with Obama/Biden.
When I was a kid, I dreamed about going to law school, or going into politics. In high school I applied for and desperately coveted the internship with the now-notorious Sen. Ted Stevens. Then along the way, I sort of lost my dream. It didn't come for kids like me, I was told. My dad was a construction worker, my mom an elementary teacher. I didn't get into the elite schools. I have student loans up the ass. I took classes that talked about how hard it was to break into those rare air spaces. I just figured, for me, it wasn't in the cards. I wrote it off as a door that only opens to people of great privilege.
I never dreamed I'd end up working in Arkansas as a journalist, where I met this guy, the governor, and his wife, and later taught at their school for high school gifted kids. And NEVER in a MILLION YEARS would I have guessed that I'd been running up and down the basketball court in high school with a future vice presidential candidate.
(Nor would I have guessed I'd be typing out this blog post on free wifi inside a stinky truck stop rest room in PA, the laptop balanced on top of an overflowing wastebasket! LOL!)
But Sarah, you GO GIRL! I know what theme song they'll play for you! Heart: Barracuda!