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Sarah Palin, McCain's 2008 running mate, is the second woman and first Republican female to run for vice president on a U.S. major party's ticket.
Sarah Palin - Early Life (2:30)
In 2008, then Presidential hopeful John McCain nominated Sarah Palin to be his running mate in his Presidential campaign.
In 2006 Sarah Palin took on the incumbent Republican Governor of Alaska and eventually went on to defeat the Democratic challenger to become Governor.
Sarah Palin's first foray into politics was in 1994 as part of the city council in Wasilla, Alaska. And in 1996 she decided to run for Mayor of Wasilla
Sarah Palin's early life in Alaska was shaped by family, faith and the community around her.
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She went on to win the general election in November 2006 by defeating former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles, 49 percent to 41 percent. With her election, Palin made history as the first female governor, as well as the youngest governor, of Alaska. She was also the state's first governor to be born after Alaska achieved statehood in 1959.
While running for governor, Palin supported the so-called "bridge to nowhere," a $400 million plan to build a bridge in a remote Alaskan community. Palin said the bridge was essential for local prosperity, but once she became governor she turned against it, citing rising costs and other priorities. "I told Congress thanks but no thanks for that bridge to nowhere up in Alaska," Palin said. "If we wanted a bridge we'll build it ourselves."
With an emphasis on ethics and openness in government, Palin's administration focused on education, public safety and transportation. As a conservative Protestant, she also served as an advocate for pro-life policies; expressed her disapproval of embryonic stem cell research; pushed the belief that creationism, the idea that life was created by a deity, should be taught in public schools alongside the evolution curriculum; and supported Alaska's decision to amend its constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
On the energy front, Palin questioned the validity behind the idea that global warming is man-made. She intensely pursued a pipeline to deliver natural gas from the North Slope of Alaska to market. In the summer of 2008, the state legislature approved her plan to give a $500 million subsidy to TransCanada, a Canadian company, to help build the project. She also passed a major tax increase on state oil production, promising to give some of that money back to Alaskans in the form of a $1,200 check.
While very popular—The Anchorage Daily News has called her "the Joan of Arc of Alaska politics" and " one of the most popular local politicians in America"—Palin did not serve without controversy. The Alaska Legislature hired independent investigator Stephen Branchflower to examine the actions of Governor Palin in August 2008 after the dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. While Palin had the authority to fire Monegan, the former commissioner claimed that Palin let him go because she was angry that he did not fire Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, Palin's former brother-in-law. Palin denied any wrongdoing, saying Monegan was "insubordinate" in disputes over budget issues, and that he engaged in "egregious rogue behavior." The Branchflower Report, which was released in October 2008, stated that Palin did not break the law, but did abuse her power as governor and violated the state's ethics act. In November of that same year, after Palin gave her deposition, the State of Alaska Personnel Board reported that there was no cause to believe Palin had violated ethics standards.
While embroiled in political scandal back home, Palin emerged as a national person of interest when John McCain picked the governor to be his Vice Presidential running mate on August 29, 2008. He formally introduced her during a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio, and was nominated on September 4 at the Republican National Convention.
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When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
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When it comes to the campaign trail, these politicians aren't just hungry for votes, they're also hungry for the regional grub... (although, considering they are indeed politicians, they probably know that being seen gorging at a local eatery doesn't hurt in the PR factor). Explore our photographic homage on the art of political eating and realize that at least in this arena, all parties can come to an agreement that it does their image good. Click here for photo gallery: http://ow.ly/dsxzd
Candidates Eating 12 people in this group