John McCain selected Governor Sarah Palin (pronounced pale-in) of Alaska to be his running mate, and a lot of folk are asking "Sarah who?" In an attempt to answer that question I have compiled the following bio.
Sarah Palin was born in Idaho and moved to Alaska as a child.
Known as "Sarah Barracuda" on the basketball court she helped her High School team win the state championship. She also led the team in prayers before each game and is an evangelical Christian.
She married her high school sweetheart Todd Palin. They have 5 children. A strong Pro-Lifer, she refused to abort her youngest Trig, born while she was governor, when tests showed he had Downs Syndrome. Her oldest Track, was named after the sport. He has joined the Army and is about to be deployed to Iraq.
She was a "hockey Mom" who started in politics in the PTA then became mayor of Wasilla (her hometown near Anchorage). She was Chair of the Alaska Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004, and the Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, but quit in 2004 in protest against ethical violations by the Alaska Republican Chairman, a member of the Commission. She went on to defeat the Republican Governor of Alaska in the primary on an anti-corruption platform, and then won the general election.
As governor she cut state spending in Alaska, killed the "bridge to nowhere", and is a big proponent of developing Alaska's oil and gas resources to help the USA become energy independent. She is not, however, willing to give the big oil companies what they want when she sees that as going against the interests of her state and nation. Her husband Todd quit his 17 year position with BP to avoid even an appearance of conflict of interest, when that company became involved in negotiations with his wife's administration over a gas pipeline.
She is opposed to same sex marriage, but vetoed a bill blocking health benefits for the partners of gay public employees.
When she needed money to go to college she entered beauty contests. She won Miss Wasilla and was runner up in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest.
She hunts, ice-fishes, and is a crack shot. She is a Life Member of the NRA.
She has sued the Federal government to stop the listing of polar bears as an endangered species, and has a grizzly bear her father shot covering the sofa in her office.
Back when pot was legal in Alaska, she tried it. "I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say I never inhaled."
Todd Palin is a Union Steelworker who worked part of the year in the oil fields of Alaska for BP. The rest of the year he runs a small commercial fishing operation. He is part Yupik Eskimo and a 4 time winner of the 2000 mile Iron Dog snowmobile race. Last year he earned $93,000 total.
We know this because as governor Sarah Palin pushed through a strong financial disclosure law. There is far more detail in the Palin's disclosure forms posted on the Internet, than there are in the Federal forms of our Senators and Representatives.
Ed Morrissey gives the background on how McCain came to select Sarah Palin.
Professor John Mark Reynolds writes about how Sarah Palin's experience is being undervalued.
Here is a side by side comparison of Sarah Palin and Barak Obama.
Here is the comparison in pdf form for easy printing.