Who is Sarah Palin?

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- In just two short years, Sarah Palin moved from suburban hockey mom and small-town mayor to vice presidential contender. The 44-year-old Republican, 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. On Friday she was ready to leap to the national stage as GOP presidential candidate John McCain's surprise choice for running mate, according to two senior campaign officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement was pending.

She already has a national reputation for bucking her party's establishment and Alaska's powerful oil industry back home.

With ethics the centerpiece of her campaign, Palin defeated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski, who served 22 years in the U.S. Senate before winning the governor's seat in 2002.

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

During her first year in office, Palin distanced herself from the powerful old guard of the state Republican Party, even calling on Sen. Ted Stevens to explain to Alaskans why federal authorities were investigating him.

Since then, their relationship has warmed, and they have appeared together at several events. Stevens even said lawmakers should follow Palin's lead in her efforts to get a natural gas pipeline built.

Stevens is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C., on charges he failed to disclose more than $250,000 in home renovations and gifts from executives at oil services contractor VECO Corp. He won the GOP primary on Tuesday with more than 60 percent of the vote. He's pleaded not guilty.

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.

She also successfully took on the oil industry, leading to a tax increase on oil company profits that now has the state's treasury swelling.

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 Vogue, the fashion magazine.

And she oversees a state that's hardly shy about admiring her swept-back hair and celebrated smile. Bumper stickers and blogs have proclaimed Alaska and Palin: "Coldest State, Hottest Governor."

Palin describes herself as a "hockey mom" and an occasional commercial fisherwoman. She 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.

Her previous political experience consisted of terms as Wasilla's mayor and councilwoman and a stint as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Palin's troubles with the 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 an AOGCC commissioner, 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 with Down syndrome.

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.

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  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Sep 1, 2008 at 04:26 PM
    obama 08 4 Prez, my how you "bots" get rattled when criticized. Do you need to check with the "ONE" or one of his acolytes for answers or for more talking points to use for distractions. You do post anonymously, your adopted moniker and lack of a location give you anonymity. Maybe you should check your own grammer, there are some problems. If I didn't spell something correctly, sorry, I'm rattling you on the fly, I'm a busy guy. I don't know Devil Dog but he makes alot more sense than you do. I'm not a republican, Bush/Cheney broke me of that. I'm an independent, but could never vote for a socialist/racist such as obama. Just read his books. I did not seek you out to criticize you, I merely responded to your sophomoric attempts to minimize the opinions of others. I need no roll model, I am a leader, I'm your new roll model. You're not back down yet are you?
  • by Obama 08 4 Prez! on Aug 31, 2008 at 10:56 PM
    To:Posted by: TO OBAMA084PREZ Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 07:53 PM..........LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL....assume all you like.
  • by Obama 08 4 Prez! on Aug 31, 2008 at 10:52 PM
    Tad you don't have to be a regular blogger to spell correctly. Just a decent education. Who doesn't have time for that? I am the one who says what others are afraid to say. And I don't have to post anonymous. Plus the way you make it sound, if McCain wins he will magically remove all of the welfare programs. LOL then you need to check your cup because its half empty. And you may not know who I am but if you keep post to me you will. I have a lot of respect for few people on these blogs. But you called me out. Which showed me you couldn't make a post that could stand on its own without it being an attack. Of course I would retaliate. The blog is big enough for every one's opinion yet you didn't like mine, to bad for you. You can't change that! Let Devil Dog be your roll model. He is a republican that sticks to the topic and never has to stray to ensue attack remarks. You have much to learn, or maybe you don't, some people are just born messed up.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Aug 31, 2008 at 07:17 PM
    Sorry Obama 08 4 Prez, I'm too busy working to be a regular blogger or do much proofing for typos. I have too be productive to insure that I pay enough taxes to take care of the democrat's government program recipients. I take no medication, expired or not. I also do not drink Obama's Kool-aid, I'd rather think for myself and stay firmly rooted in reality. Check your cup dude, there's something in there. Finally, no I don't know who you are and I don't care. There are alot of spaced out Utopian followers of the "ONE". Have fun coming down.
  • by TO OBAMA084PREZ Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 04:53 PM
    I assume you are demeaning her because you are a male oinker who believe women should stay in the kitchen or the bedroom. If you are a woman shame on you!
  • by Obama 08 4 Prez! on Aug 31, 2008 at 03:53 PM
    To: Tad, I would go ahead and finish you off with words but #1 your not a regular blogger #2 you have no idea what your saying #3 your taking expired medication.....and the biggest one....drums please.....#4....you have typo's. You must not know who I am, then you better ask someone, I'm not the blogger you want to get in your @ss!
  • by Devil Dog Location: New Bern on Aug 31, 2008 at 03:08 PM
    One thing McCain will do is tell it like it is, and embarass alot of legislators of both parties. No touchy feeely, handshaken, cheek kissing, phony talk. He already said he will brief people on a weekly basis. I think he will have alot of people diving under their seats. If you surround yourself with great people the rest should take care of itself. Palin can issue the kleenex for those pompus, chest thumping, no good legislators who have been frauding the taxpayers for decades.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Aug 31, 2008 at 01:03 PM
    For those of you who say Palin doesn't know what the VP does, other than voting to break ties in the senate and going to state funerals, who does? Fist of all, she was joking moron, second, the VP role will be determined by Pres McCain. Her role could be active like Bush, Gore or Cheney, or ceremonial like Quayle. My guess is that Pres McCain is smart enough to put Palin's intellect, new ideas and dynamic leadership skills and personality to good use. McCain supporters are far from the "bots" that obama 08 4 prez speaks of, we are independent thinkers who want the government out of our lives. We don't want obama, pelosi and the rest of those socialists telling us everything to do. We don't need to be coddled from cradle to grave. We can earn our own way in the world and still pay enough taxes to provide.

    Edited per Hey, Read The Rules.

  • by Obama 08 4 Prez! on Aug 31, 2008 at 09:24 AM
    Let me play devil's advocate for a moment. And say McCain wins, then he dies, Palin becomes president. We will still have the first woman president who doesn't know what a VP does, so I'm sure she won't know what a president does. But I'm sure she'll make holidays like...periods and tea day, or...you can't fire a person for leaving their job early to go see their child play soccer law. Now back to reality. Like I said, McCain hasn't thought enough of his republican cheerleaders in NC to show up because he knows his bots will vote for him. He thinks your stupid and not worth one visit. If and that's a big IF McCain/Palin win it won't be because I voted for them.
  • by Woman Trucker Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 07:31 AM
    I see McBush got a woman to do his dirty work for him and once more a woman is going to be used by a man, how can she be so dumb? At least Hillery was running for President not VP big difference there Miss Alaska.

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