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Meet Sarah Palin

2008 Republican Vice Presidential Candidate

By Karen Fanning | September 5 , 2008
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo: ©Ron Edmonds/AP Images)
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo: ©Ron Edmonds/AP Images)

When Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, many Americans were disappointed that a woman wouldn't be on the ticket in November. That all changed when Republican nominee John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

"Certainly in this election cycle, women aren't finished yet," says the 44-year-old Republican vice-presidential nominee. "And women can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."

One woman who is thrilled with Senator McCain's choice is his 23-year-old daughter, Meghan.

"It's girl power, and you know I'm all about that," she says. "She's very smart. This is my dream choice. I couldn't be more proud. She's such a cool role model."

If Senator McCain is elected President in November, Governor Palin will become the nation's first woman Vice President. Making history, however, is nothing new for Palin. In 2006, she defeated her Democratic opponent, Tony Knowles, to become Alaska's first female Governor. She was 42 when she was sworn into office—making her also the state's youngest Governor.

Palin's other job is being mom to her five children: 19-year-old Track, 17-year-old Bristol, 14-year-old Willow, 7-year-old Piper, and 4-month old Trig. Track enlisted in the U.S. Army one year ago and is preparing to be deployed to Iraq this fall. While Governor Palin is concerned for her son's safety, she supports his mission.

"I'm anxious but very confident," she says. "He's ready. I'm proud of him."

She hasn't raised her kids alone. She has her husband, Todd, to help around the Governor's Mansion. He's a champion snowmobile driver, and around Alaska he's known as the "first dude."

Governor Palin will have a busy schedule of her own this fall, as she crisscrosses the country, campaigning with Senator McCain. That will leave little time to keep up with her favorite hobbies, which include hunting, ice fishing, and snowmobiling.

Palin also runs marathons, which could come in handy as her endurance will surely be tested in the coming weeks before the election. Despite being a political newcomer, she doesn't hesitate when asked if she is prepared to be second in command. After all, this is the same woman who earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" as captain of her high school basketball team. Palin led Wasilla to the 1982 state championship during her senior year.

Now, the fierce competitor is looking for another big-time win—this time in the 2008 presidential election. So how will she celebrate if she and McCain are victorious on election night? Perhaps with a couple of moose hot dogs—the franks are a Palin family favorite!

Learn more about Senator John McCain, the man at the top of the Republican ticket, here.

ELECTION 2008

Scholastic Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail. Keep up with the latest election news in this special report.

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About the Author

Karen Fanning is a contributing writer for Scholastic News Online.

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