The Lane Train

News and Pop Culture for the Blog Generation

So….Who is Sarah Palin?

Posted by thelanetrain on August 29, 2008


As I reported earlier today, Republican hopeful John McCain picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.  But aside from being female (read: the GOP is more than just a bunch of stodgy old conservative white guys) and a representative of one of America’s least populous states, who is this woman on the verge of becoming America’s second most powerful politician?  The Lane Train investigates the trials and tribulations of the Lady of the Last Frontier.

After The Jump:  Deconstructing Sarah Palin

Naturally, the first thing I did after finding out the news (and blogging about it, of course), was scour her Wikipedia page (sorry guys, she is taken).  According to the article, Palin is the youngest person to ever be elected Governor of Alaska by defeating the incumbent Frank Murkowski (who wanted to drill up the arctic) in the primaries by a landslide.  A native of Idaho, Palin moved to Alaska as an infant and was raised in Wasilla (just outside of Anchorage).  As a young woman, Palin competed in beauty pageants and eventually attended the University of Idaho getting a degree in Journalism.  After college, she returned to Alaska to marry her longtime boyfriend Todd Palin and worked a series of jobs in the Anchorage area (as a sports reporter SLASH commercial fisherwoman).  

In 1992, Palin was elected to Wasilla City Council and in 1996, she ran for mayor by doing something very Republican: criticizing wasteful spending and promising to reduce taxes.  However, she also did something very un-Republican:  After winning the election, she lowered her own salary and reduced property taxes by 60 PERCENT.  Then she did something downright scandalous:  she publicized ethical violations committed by state Republican leaders.  Palin helped expose the wasteful spending habits of fellow Republican and Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens (famous for his “Bridge to Nowhere” project) AND is helping to get rid of corrupt Representative Don Young.  Neither Dubya nor Rove could even go that far.  McCain?  Maybe…  And she did all this with approval ratings that are unheard of in the GOP these days: between 80-90%.

Palin’s governorship was well-earned:  After failed attempts at becoming lieutenant governor and senator (lost to Lisa Murkowski, Frank’s daughter), Palin was elected Governor in 2006, becoming the first woman to be elected to the state’s highest office and the first person elected who was born after Alaska gained statehood.  Politically, Palin has pushed for Alaska to become less dependent on federal subsidies and more reliant on state funds.  On oil, she supports state oil exploration, but has proposed and passed higher taxes on oil comapny profits.  Socially, she is the very model conservative, supporting creationsim and opposing same-sex marriage and abortion, but it’s ok, because she’s totally open to letting other people have their own beliefs (she claims to have gay friends, define that as you like).  Fun fact: she also hates polar bears.

If there was one admirable thing I could say about Palin, it’s her ability to spot excess spending where it exists and to get rid of it.  After taking over as Governor, Palin cut state pork-barrel spending (a highlight of the Murkowski administration) by canceling a series of upcoming projects spearheaded by the former governor and selling the state private jet.

So, after all this, it looks like Sarah Palin was a good choice for McCain, even though he is clearly playing the diversity card.  This blogpost gives a reasonable summary as to why else Palin would be good for the GOP ticket, but in my opinion, McCain clearly knew what he was doing when it came time to pick his mate.  Yes, it puts my man Barack Obama right back on the defensive, and the timing couldn’t have been better with the DNC wrapping up in Denver.  The next few days in Minneapolis are now going to be as heated as ever, and this appointment will no doubt lead to a very challenging, historic, and memorable election run.

UPDATE 4:43 PM:  I mentioned that Gov. Palin is anti-abortion, and usually, I disagree with those folks, but here is something courageous.  She found out that her fifth child would be born with Down’s Syndrome, but she had it anyway.  Awesome.


19 Responses to “So….Who is Sarah Palin?”

  1. Well, as a woman, I am excited. But I wonder if anyone is questioning Obama’s Friend’s of Obama money, seeing that has talked so smuggly?

    Sarah and John may be the cleanest two people to enter Washington as a team in a long time. That is refreshing.

  2. Obama has not said much that is so new and fresh. And with Biden
    at his side it will be more taxes, more government, and more pork barrel, I fear. Typical Democratic- goverment fix all crap.

    How about we turn Sarah loose on Obama’s campaign irregularities?

  3. EMpower said

    I like her. But she will be used, like so many others in government…actually, all of them.

    Have you noticed anything strange about the White House?

    Check it out, because it’s baffling.

    Keep up the great blog! 😀

  4. Brenda Hand said

    I am thrilled that Sarah Palin has been chosen. She is a breath of fresh air.
    History will be made this year. What a way to break the mold.
    If elected, Washington will definitely be changed. No one will know how to act.
    I can’t wait to see her as she presides over the senate. I can’t wait to see the facial expressions
    of all those who are working so hard to destroy her.

    You go girl!!!!!

  5. gene said

    I am an artista and I would love to paint your gorgeous face and e mail it to you.

    You can find me on under “fragmentier”

    I have a a limited education , in collages,in acrylics, oils and what I call

    pie plate arts on styro foams.

    I painted three collage that won me awards on various,you tube ,meta calf, and my space.

    Iwould love to publiush you on these sites .Even though you are a”public domain” I would like your permission. I am 74 years old on 9/10/08.

    Our US of A desperately needs you Miss Palin and I want you to just keep doing what you are good at, honesty, public speaker, and guts.

    You are my hero Sara Palin. I just printed your face from, and woould so much like you to see it.

    I painted princess Diana and it was sold at the Pima County Fair before it was posted.

    I want no monies .just an oppurtuniy to send to you your portrait.

    I once chopped a tail off a dead STING RAY and inverted it,collaged it and turned the STING RAY into Yoda Star Wars.I sold it before I finished it.

    God Bless,Sarah Palin, and may you be just you, You are Great.You tell like it is!!!

    Ther is no one like you,absoulutely,no one like you. 3396 west Majestic rrive, Tucsin..Az. 85746

  6. Christina Bearland said

    Being the mother of 2 children and having worked for many years with Down’s sundrome babies I am wondering what she could be thinking of.
    This little baby needs both parents full time.
    Perhaps more of the usual Republican lying and double standards?

  7. james said

    i think that everybody should just vote for who ever they feel like it

  8. D.B.M said

    You are so beautiful! I’ve no doubt your interior matches your exterior. What got you where you are is the kind of character that is lacking in Washington. Please do not let anything undermine your integrity, values, and judgement. I know your human and not at all perfect, but you’re close enough to perfect for me. Cheezy line but it’s fitting…God bless you, Governor Palin!!!

  9. Katfish said

    Why is it that since this woman has been in the spotlight haven’t we talked about the vast number of people in the crowd that are only white. What about the other various colors in the United States? We seem to forget that in this day in time, no matter whom you want in the White House, you still need the votes of ethnic groups that make up the country and mostly are in the backgrounds (cooking,cleaning,raising the children)of the republican party and I am not talking about the couple of token blacks that we all have seen in the rallys for show. On the child that is at question, if this is a special needs child, why are they dragging it around on stage like a sweater, doesn’t the baby ever need changing,and why don’t we ever see the baby feed by the mom if in fact she is the mom? Be careful for what you ask for, you just might get it.DON’T SETTLE FOR JUST ANY WOMAN, HILLARY IS NOT GENERIC AND ANYONE THAT WANTED HER WILL VOTE FOR OBAMA, BECAUSE THAT IS WHOM SHE REPRESENTS AND HE IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.IF YOU WANT TO STAY BROKE,VOTE MCCAIN

  10. ella Kuppai said

    John McCain and Sarah Palin is what is needed for America during this trying times . I love their honesty and experiance, Obama has no record and has being riding the celebrity wave and I believe it is over now

  11. Pam said

    Just because she has a down syndrome child shouldn’t eliminate her option to be the VP of the United States? Bill Clinton was the President and instead of spending family time he was skirting around with office help. I don’t think she’s down playing her role as a mother at all.

  12. Lely said

    I think she is great. A breath of fresh air as someone said. She is down to earth and when I see her I see “one of us”. And I don’t think she should be chastised for wanting to do something good while having a Down’s Syndrome child. I know people who have children who have Down’s Syndrome and Autism, and the autistic child takes a lot more work. And, both mothers are divorced and work so they they are not with their children at all and still manage. We never know what will happen. She has a stable home and a husband to help out. In her position she would have access to many things most of us wouldn’t so I don’t see a problem. People are just looking for negative things about her. Maybe it’s double standard for those who say women can have it all and then when one does they don’t like it. Could be jealously.

  13. Debbie said

    First off MaCain is 72 which means she is probably going to be president …shouldnt we consider her experience …for one she just got a passport last year..i have traveled more than this woman… i want a president that has traveled more than myself. She tried to ban books from a library..but was not successful so she tried to fire people. She tried to fire her sisters show off her power.she thinks we should not teach evolution which she might as well be anti-science…I mean it is like we are going back to GWBush all over again…our country just can not take more of this ….THINK PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

  14. Erin said

    the funniest thing is the repubican party is for the rich and i am talkin rich!!!! milllions and millions!!! that is why it is so funny when they people are driven around in there little beater car broke as hell with 5 kids a big jesus fish on the car next to their i love GWbush sticker…it is like they might as well say i am soooo dumb i love making these rich people richer…and i want to be the poorest person on the planet…if they got a brain they might figure out the way they vote is what is making them broke …

    McCAin / Palin = GWBUSH and DICK

  15. Ash said

    This Message is for Katfish….If you want to be broke you would vote for Obamah The Man Spends 36 MILLION on his campaign A MONTH John McCain spends 1 MILLION a MONTH They are neck to neck in the race and the man spends more money… I do not want him to be my President.Besides you want him because he is a SUPER STAR… He is not ready to be PRESIDENT.The man has only been in the Senate for 136 DAYS John McCain on the other hand has been senator for 20 years.. Also Just b/c you do not see her changing her child back stage does not mean that its not hers…

  16. Concerned said

    Sarah Palin is not qualified to lead the state of Alaska. I was disheartened as a Republican to see John McCain choose someone so poorly qualified. I believe he did it in desperation and fear because of Obama’s fame. It makes me worried if he gets elected that he will make other senstational choices like Palin.

  17. LordAlex said

    katfish…it;s the Dem party that is full of token minorities. Has any black held an office as high as Sec of State in a Dem administration? There have been 2 in the past 8 years. The Dems are a party that uses the race card and bribes minorities with freebies and a nanny state…wake up.

  18. Richard said

    Who cares who wins?

    As a brit – all we want to see is someone with the ability to think, and isn’t trigger happy and utterly corrupt. Either of the choices is better than listening to that idiot, George Dubya!

  19. RA said

    I think Palin is just what America needs. I’m voting for her and McCain because they stand for what I believe in. The fact that she WILL be the first female VP is just an extra bonus. I think she’s an amazing role model for all women and moms on top of everything and I’m proud to give her my support.

    She has the experience of running an entire state as governor but what has Barack done that is so impressive? The whole time he’s been in the Senate he’s been running for the presidential office. He claims that he never supported the war in Iraq but he wasn’t even in the Senate when 9/11 happened so who knows how he would have voted then. Noone can point out what positive “change” he is going to bring to the nation. And if he brings government-run socialized medicine to this country… good luck to all of you who will have cancer, heart disease, and renal failure. You will probably succumb to your diseases before receiving delayed poor quality health care. Just look at the rest of the world people…

    To all the haters of Palin… quit hatin’.

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