John McCain has made his vice presidential pick: the Republican contender will tap first-term Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
The 44-year-old Palin brings working class roots and appeal to female voters, becoming only the second female vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket and a first for the GOP.
Being first is nothing to new to Palin (pronounced PALE-IN). She is the first female governor of the Last Frontier, the 49th state to join the Union in 1959 and the 48th most populous state.
Palin is also the youngest governor in Alaska's short statehood history, taking office in 2006 amidst attempts by Democrats to turn the reliably Republican state to their column.
Gov. Palin is married with five children, a staunch opponent of abortion rights, and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
Despite her strong conservative credentials, Palin is certainly a surprise pick.
Her latest accomplishment
Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- TransCanada Corp., the nation's largest pipeline company, won approval from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to build a $27 billion pipeline to carry natural gas from the Arctic to U.S. markets.
Palin on Aug. 27 signed a bill authorizing the state to award Calgary-based TransCanada a license to build the 1,715- mile (2,744-kilometer) link from Prudhoe Bay to the Alberta Hub in Canada, according to a statement. The license will be granted in 90 days.
``Our company has started field work on the project in order to meet our target date for completing the initial open season within two years,'' TransCanada Vice President Tony Palmer said in the statement.
Alaskan authorities plan to develop gas deposits on Alaska's North Slope that were discovered decades ago and left untouched by the inability to get the fuel to users. Palin solicited pipeline proposals last year and chose TransCanada's proposal after rival plans by BP Plc and ConocoPhillips didn't meet the state's requirements.
Tapping the North Slope fields, which Alaska estimates to hold 35 trillion cubic feet of gas, would help make up for lower state revenue arising from declining oil production. Alaskan crude output has dropped by more than half since 1998.
Alaska owns the gas; BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. hold most of the leases to develop it. The two partners have invited Exxon to join their pipeline venture known as Denali to compete with TransCanada.
Does this help McCain?