McCain Taps Alaska Governor Palin as Vice Presidential Running Mate

She later joined with a Democratic state representative to file an ethics complaint against the state attorney general Gregg Renkes, also a Republican who had close ties to Gov. Murkowski. The attorney general eventually resigned.

Palin herself has come under scrutiny recently.

An inquiry has begun into whether Palin fired the state's public safety director because he blocked Palin for dismissing a state trooper who was once married to Palin's sister.

The governor has denied that she tried to have the trooper dismissed, and said the pubic safety director was fired because he wasn't aggressive enough in fighting crime. She also dismissed suggestions that it should affect her chances to be McCain's running mate.

"It shouldn't disqualify me from anything," she told CNBC's "Kudlow and Co." last month.

Palin has accused the energy industry of corrupting Alaskan politics, but she has also fought to open up Alaska to additional drilling, a move that McCain has opposed.

Palin's blunt style was display in the "Kudlow and Co." interview as she voiced her support for McCain by saying, "I think we need McCain in the White House despite still the close-mindedness on ANWR. I think he's going to get there, though."

She also suggested that someone would have to convince her to take VP slot.

"As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell ya, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me, what is it exactly that the VP does every day. I'm used to being very productive and working real hard and in administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position," she told the show.

Alaska's Female Governor Joins McCain as Vice Presidential Contender

Palin is the model of a self-sufficient Alaskan.

Besides being a two-term mayor of Wasilla, she was also crowned Miss Wasilla in 1984 and later competed to be Miss Alaska. After her son Trig was born in April, she skipped a maternity leave and went right back to work.

She eloped to marry Todd Palin, 42, so they wouldn't have the expense of a lavish wedding. As spouse to the governor, Todd Palin refers to himself as Alaska's "First Dude," but is better known as the winner of this year's Tesoro Iron Dog, billed as the longest, toughest snowmobile race in the world.

Todd Palin, who is part Yu'pik Eskimo, spent his career working in Alaska's oil fields and fisheries.

He's taken some college courses, but does not have a degree.

Since his wife has been governor, Mr. Palin has spent his time doing the cooking and chauffeuring their four older children which include a son, Track, 18, and three daughters, Bristol, 16, Willow, 12, and Piper, 6.

Surprise Vice Presidential Pick from McCain

Despite her strong conservative credentials, Palin is certainly a surprise pick.

Not well known outside of Alaska, McCain picked Palin above several more prominent choices including former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and former Gov. Tom Ridge, R-Pa.

Also lesser known but considered a strong contender on McCain's shortlist, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who like Palin, would have appealed to working class voters but would have brought little in the way of national name recognition.

Lieberman and Ridge were considered strong possibilities as well but may have fell out of favor due to their support for abortion rights.

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