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JanaknJanet

McCain picks Palin as running mate

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25970882/

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, campaign officials told NBC News on Friday.

She would be the first woman to serve on a Republican presidential ticket. The anti-abortion Palin would also be the first Alaskan ever to appear on a national ticket.

Palin, 44, was elected Alaska's first woman governor in 2006. The state’s voters had grown weary of career politician Gov. Frank Murkowski, whom she defeated in the GOP primary.

“I've been blessed with the right timing here,” Palin said before the election. “There's no doubt that Alaskans right now are dealing in an atmosphere of distrust of government and industry.”

Palin's selection was a stunning surprise, as McCain passed over many other better-known prospects, some of whom had been the subject of intense speculation for weeks or months.

She is a generation younger than Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, who is Barack Obama's running mate on the Democratic ticket.

She is three years Obama's junior, as well, and McCain has made much in recent weeks of Obama's relative lack of experience in foreign policy and defense matters.

On Aug. 1, Palin scored a major victory when the Alaska legislature passed a bill that authorizes her administration to award a license to TransCanada Alaska to build a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope to a hub in Canada.

The pipeline would be the largest construction project in the history of North America. If completed as hoped within ten years, it would ship 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The United States imported about 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2007.

Under investigation for firing

But Palin’s seemingly bright future was clouded in late July when the state legislature voted to hire an independent investigator to find out whether she tried to have a state official fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper.

The allegation was made by former Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, whom Palin fired in mid-July.

“It is a governor’s prerogative, a right, to fill that cabinet with members whom she or he believes will do best for the people whom we are serving,” Palin told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow in an interview on Aug. 1. “So I look forward to any kind of investigation or questions being asked because I’ve got nothing to hide.”

Palin also reacted to the indictment of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens by calling it “very dismaying.” She added, “Hopefully though, this won’t be a distraction and get people’s minds off what has to be done in the grand scheme of things.”

As for the prospect of her being vice president, Palin told Kudlow that she could not answer the question of whether she wanted the job “until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day. I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here….”

Palin is married to Todd Palin, a lifelong Alaskan who is a production operator on the North Slope and a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, which is described as “the world's longest snow-machine race.”

Mother of five

They have five children. Their son, Track, enlisted in the U.S. Army on Sept. 11, 2007.

Palin gave birth to their fifth child, Trig, last April. The baby boy has Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that impedes a child's intellectual and physical development.

"When we first heard, it was kind of confusing," Palin said, according to an account in the Anchorage Daily News. She called the news "very, very challenging

But she added in a note, imagining what God would say to her family, "Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome."

Palin made a name for herself in Alaska politics by serving as mayor of Wasilla City for six years and going on to run unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2002.

After her unsuccessful run, Palin received an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, where she ended up serving a role in an ethics probe into Republican Party Chairman Randy Reudrich, who was questioned about conflicts of interest with the oil industry.

The investigation ultimately forced Ruedrich to resign from the commission.

Palin's role in the investigation left her a party outsider, but she was able to win the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary against Murkowski, going on to win the 2006 general election by seven points over her Democratic opponent.

During one debate before the primary, Palin said she was in favor of capital punishment in especially heinous cases such as the murder of a child. "My goodness, hang 'em up, yeah,” she said.

Born in Idaho, Palin moved to Alaska with her parents in 1964, when they went there to teach school.

She received a degree in communications and journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987.

** edited for remainder of article

Edited by JanaknJanet

Love isn't love unless it is expressed;

caring isn't caring unless the other person knows;

sharing isn't sharing unless the other person is included

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