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Sarah Palin

Sarah PalinAKA Sarah Louise Heath

Born: 11-Feb-1964
Birthplace: Sandpoint, ID

Gender: Female
Religion: Protestant [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Governor of Alaska, 2006-09

Sarah Palin was the first woman Governor of Alaska, and as John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election, was the first woman Vice Presidential nomination on the Republican ticket. McCain's choice was sudden and surprising, as Palin had been an unknown figure on the national stage. Prior to being chosen, she had met McCain once, at a National Governors Association meeting, and conversed briefly with him over telephone calls. The lightest possible vetting occurred -- McCain's team landed in Alaska only one day prior to the announcement that she would be his running mate.

Palin's political views are highly conservative. A creationist, she believes dinosaurs and man walked together on an Earth created 6000 years ago.[2] Palin opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest, favors abstinence-only sex education, and does not believe humans are responsible for global warming. In 2006, she supported construction of the infamous Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere", withdrawing her support the following year after the position became politically untenable.[3]

As governor, Palin conducted state business from an unsecured Yahoo! email account, perhaps reasoning that such communication would be more difficult to subpoena or that it could withstand FOIA requests. In August 2008, that account was hacked and portions of its mailbox were posted to a public internet website.[4]

Alaska's Legislative Council conducted an ethics probe over the dismissal of the Alaska Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, who refused to fire Michael Wooten, a state trooper engaged in a bitter divorce with Governor Palin's sister. The council, consisting of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats, determined that Palin had personally tried to get Wooten fired, and had abused her power as Governor and violated the state's Executive Branch Ethics Act. Although Palin initially promised full cooperation with the probe, all seven subpoenaed members of Palin's staff refused to honor their subpoenas.[5]

Palin attracted large crowds and fervent support at campaign rallies during the 2008 election, but the McCain-Palin ticket was defeated by a wide margin. In late October, an NBC/Wall Street Journal public opinion poll found that 55% of the American public felt that Palin was unqualified. Toward the end of the campaign and after the election, dissent between the McCain and Palin camps reached public awareness, sometimes to embarrassment. Fox News reported that at the time of her selection Palin was unaware that Africa was a continent.[6]

On 3 July 2009, she announced her premature resignation as Governor of Alaska, effective 26 July 2009. Her autobiography Going Rogue was released about four months later, and from 2010-13 she was a commentator for Fox News.

[1] Baptized as a Roman Catholic, but rebaptized at age 12 into the Assemblies of God, Wasilla, Alaska, a Pentecostal denomination. She currently attends Juneau Christian Center. See Cathleen Decker and Michael Finnegan, "Palin Has Risen Quickly from PTA to VP Pick", The Los Angeles Times, 30 August 2008.

[2] Stephen Braun, "Palin Treads Carefully Between Fundamentalist Beliefs and Public Policy", The Los Angeles Times, 28 September 2008: "Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct." Also see the Associated Press story by Dan Joling, 3 September 2008, citing Palin's own words when asked if she believed in evolution, "I believe we have a creator", and a statement where she favors the teaching of creationism in public schools.

[3] Jay Bookman, "Bridge to Nowhere leads to White House?", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8 September 2008. The article cites her response to an Anchorage Daily News questionnaire (22 October 2006) asking, "Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?" was "Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now -- while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist." This answer was given after Congress had killed the bridge earmark. It is thus disingenuous that Palin's acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention contained the line, "I told the Congress thanks, but no thanks, for that Bridge to Nowhere."

[4] Michael D. Shear and Karl Vick, "Palin's Yahoo! Account Hacked", The Washington Post, 17 September 2008. See also Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman and Michael Powell, "Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes", The New York Times, 13 September 2008: "Dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether [using personal e-mail accounts] could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records."

[5] Serge F. Kovaleski, "Alaska Inquiry Concludes Palin Abused Powers", The New York Times, 10 October 2008. See also "Alaska lawmakers: McCain campaign interfering in Palin probe", CNN online, 25 September 2008: "In court filings, lawyers for Hollis French, the Democratic state senator overseeing the probe, and Stephen Branchflower, the attorney hired to conduct it, say Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign has moved "on many fronts" to kill the investigation since Palin became the Republican vice presidential nominee."

[6] Anne Barrowclough, "Sarah Palin Did Not Know Africa Was a Continent, Say Aides", Times of London, 6 November 2008, citing a Fox News broadcast report. Also referenced is a Newsweek report that Palin clothing expenditures were much higher than the $150,000 originally reported, due to the garment purchases being spread on the credit cards of numerous low-level campaign staffers.

Father: Charles R. Heath ("Chuck", teacher)
Mother: Sarah Sheeran ("Sally")
Sister: Molly McCann
Brother: Chuck Heath, Jr. (teacher)
Todd Palin (high school sweetheart, m. 29-Aug-1988, two sons, three daughters)
Son: Track Palin (b. 1989)
Daughter: Bristol Palin (abstinence advocate, b. 1990)
Daughter: Willow Palin (b. 1995)
Daughter: Piper Indy Palin (b. 2001)
Son: Trig Paxson Van Palin (b. 18-Apr-2008, Down syndrome)

    High School: Wasilla High School, Wasilla, AK (1982)
    University: Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu (transferred)
    University: North Idaho College (two semesters, transferred)
    University: University of Idaho (two semesters, transferred)
    University: Matanuska-Susitna Community College, Palmer, AK (one semester, transferred)
    University: BS Communications and Journalism, University of Idaho (1987)

    NewsMax Media Commentator (2010-)
    Governor of Alaska (2006-09, resigned)
    Mayor Wasilla, AK (1996-2002)
    City Council Wasilla, AK (1992-96)
    Feminists for Life
    National Rifle Association Lifetime Member
    Rotary International Honorary Member
    Salvation Army
    Sarah PAC
    Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society
    Beauty Contest Miss Wasilla (1984)
    Beauty Contest Miss Alaska, 2nd Runner-Up (1984)
    Secret Service Codename Denali
    Evolution Skeptics
    Canadian Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Marijuana

    Fox News Channel Commentator (2010-13)

    Citizen Koch (Jan-2013) · Herself
    Occupy Unmasked (21-Sep-2012) · Herself
    Big Miracle (2-Feb-2012) · Herself
    We're Not Broke (22-Jan-2012) · Herself
    By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (7-Aug-2009) · Herself

Author of books:
Going Rogue: An American Life (2009, with Lynn Vincent)
America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag (2010)

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