August 29, 2008
At noon Friday, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain announced his much-anticipated pick of a running mate – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
McCain introduced Palin as someone with “grit and integrity and devotion to the common good that is exactly what we need in Washington today,” according to Fox News.
In response, Palin said, “This is a moment when principles … matter a lot more than the party line. And this is a man who has been there always to serve the country and not just the party. And this is a moment that requires resolve and toughness and strength of heart in the American president.”
Palin has been called a “rising star” of the Republican Party, though she was almost unknown two years ago. Elected in 2006 as the youngest and first female chief executive of Alaska, she is staunchly pro-life and a professed Christian, as she made clear in her acceptance speech.
In May, Crosswalk.com commentator Albert Mohler pointed out the Palins have lived out their pro-life convictions with their youngest son, Trig, who has Down syndrome.
“The Palins would not even consider aborting their baby. That means that Trig Palin is now is a very rare group of very special children, because it is now believed that the vast majority of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth are being aborted,” Mohler wrote.
Palin brings more to the ticket than her conservative values. According to TIME, she’s also pushing the “glass ceiling” for women voters. Her willingness to battle the established Republican party may also be a perk.
Townhall.com noted Palin’s “maverick conservative” record in Alaska, working for ethics reform, reduced government spending and increased accountability.
She also pushed forward with plans for a giant natural gas pipeline for the state, after refusing what she called Congress’ “bridge to nowhere.”
Christian blogger John Mark Reynolds of scriptoriumdaily.com applauded McCain’s decision, calling politicians such as Jindal and Palin “the future of the party… If you are pro-life, as I am, this is one of the happiest days you have had politically.
Palin is only the second female vice presidential candidate. New York Rep. Geraldine Ferrarro was the first as Democrat Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984.
Palin’s obvious weakness is her lack of experience, a point the McCain campaign has continually raised about Sen. Barack Obama. The Obama campaign was quick to note this.
“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.
Even so, Palin rose above high-profile candidates such as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge to the vice-presidency.
She and her husband, Tom, have five children. The oldest, Track, is enlisted in the Army and deploying to Iraq.