John McCain has made his vice presidential pick: the Republican contender will tap first-term Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
The 44-year-old Palin brings working class roots and appeal to female voters, becoming only the second female vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket and a first for the GOP.
Being first is nothing to new to Palin (pronounced PALE-IN). She is the first female governor of the Last Frontier, the 49th state to join the Union in 1959 and the 48th most populous state.
Palin is also the youngest governor in Alaska’s short statehood history, taking office in 2006 amidst attempts by Democrats to turn the reliably Republican state to their column.
Gov. Palin is married with five children, a staunch opponent of abortion rights, and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
Despite her strong conservative credentials, Palin is certainly a surprise pick. Not well known outside of Alaska, McCain picked Palin above several more prominent choices including former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and former Gov. Tom Ridge, R-Pa.
Palin’s name had fallen by the wayside over the past several weeks, so her pick is certainly a surprise. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the race.