Palin has risen quickly from PTA to VP pick





The country, most of it anyway, got its first glimpse Friday of Sarah Heath Palin, John McCain's selection as his running mate, and the reaction was nearly universal:

Who?

Palin is breathtakingly unlike any other vice presidential pick in American history -- a gun-toting, mooseburger-eating former Miss Wasilla, an Alaska governor whose parents nearly missed her national unveiling because they were out hunting caribou.

The first woman to grace a Republican ticket stepped onto the stage with McCain in Dayton, Ohio, surrounded by her husband and four of their five children, including a baby born in April. The tableau of everyday mom-ness, however, may have masked the ambition and grit that have marked Palin's meteoric rise in Alaska.

Two years ago, she knocked off the sitting Republican governor in the primary and a former Democratic governor in the general. Her relations with Alaska officialdom have not always been sunny, resuscitating a nickname given when, as a high schooler, she led her basketball team to the state championship: "Sarah Barracuda."

By her own telling, Palin's political rise has been improbable.



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