By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Republican presidential candidate John McCain shocked the political world today by choosing the staunchly pro-life Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. The 44 year old first-term governor is a known reformer who believes marriage should be between a man and woman, supports drilling in ANWR and is a lifetime member of the NRA.
“This position demands the best I have to give,” she said minutes after being introduced by Senator McCain at a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio, “and I promise nothing less.”
The mother of five who refers to herself as a “soccer mom,” Sarah Heath Palin arrived in Alaska with her family in 1964 when her parents came to teach school in Skagway. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987.
She 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, the world’s longest snowmachine race.
The couple has five children, Track, 18; Bristol, 17; Willow, 13; Piper, 7; and the newest addition to the family, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who arrived on April 18, 2008.
The circumstances surrounding Trig’s birth brought national attention to the Alaskan Governor last spring after it was revealed that the child was born with Down Syndrome. Apparently, the couple had learned early in the pregnancy that he had the condition and although most babies diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome are aborted, the Palins refused to end his life.
“We feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives,” the couple said on the day of his birth. “We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place.”
Three days later, Sarah was back in the Governor’s office. A member of Feminists for Life, she was once known to quip: “To any critics who say a woman can’t think and work and carry a baby at the same time, I’d just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave.”
She worked her way into the governorship of Alaska after serving two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska and serving as chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission which regulates Alaska’s most valuable resources. She was elected by her peers to serve as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.
She became the first female governor of Alaska in 2006. Under her leadership, Alaska invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding, and implemented the Senior Benefits Program to provide support for low-income older Alaskans. She created Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to oversee maintenance of oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure, and a Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.
Palin’s administration passed major legislation that began a competitive process to construct a gas pipeline and overhauled state ethics laws.
“Sarah Palin is the whole package. There couldn’t be a better vice presidential pick,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Women voters are electrified, and Sarah is someone who is truly in sync with the way real American women think. She is a reform-minded woman who will give all Americans, born and unborn, the authentic leadership they deserve.”
“The majority of American women support commonsense restrictions on abortion. Adding Palin to the GOP ticket will resonate with independent women voters nationwide. By choosing the boldly pro- life Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has taken his stand as the one true, authentic pro-life ticket.”
Brian Burch, President of Fidelis Political Action, said McCain’s decision to pick a pro-family and pro-life running mate will make the McCain-Palin ticket a ‘natural’ for Catholic voters.
“A presidential candidate’s first major executive decision is selecting a running mate and John McCain’s unexpected choice of Sarah Palin inspires real confidence that a McCain Administration will be a strong ally in the pro-life and pro-family cause,” said Burch.
“Governor Palin is the most pro-life vice presidential candidate ever to run. We are thrilled with this choice. John McCain and Sarah Palin have matched their public defense of life with their own personal commitment to life,” said Burch.
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