Profile of Sarah Palin
In 2006, Palin made history by becoming Alaska's
Hi there! I'm Jim Flink for About.com, and we're profiling American politician and former Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin. When John McCain chose her as his Republican Vice-Presidential running mate in 2008, she became the first Republican female and the second woman to run for Vice President on a major U.S. party ticket. Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, in 1964. Her family moved to Skagway, Alaska, three months later. In 1984, Palin was the runner-up in a "Miss Alaska" beauty contest, which helped her pay for college. In 1987, Palin graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Idaho. She was also a sports reporter for a small Anchorage TV station. In 1992, Palin dove into politics. She scored a seat on the Wasilla City Council by opposing tax hikes, and was elected mayor of Wasilla four years later. As mayor, Palin kept her promises by reducing her own salary and cutting property taxes. In 2003, she served as an ethics advisor for the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Palin resigned a year later over the board's "lack of ethics."In 2006, Palin made history by becoming Alaska's youngest and first female governor. As a conservative governor, she was an advocate for pro-life policies, disapproved of embryonic stem cell research, and backed up Alaska's decision to amend its constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Palin also questioned the validity that global warming is man-made. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, Palin reversed her stance on climate change less than a year later. As she participated in more interviews, the media—and the public—grew more doubtful about Palin's credentials. After her performance in an interview with Katie Couric, her poll numbers steeply declined. After losing the 2008 presidential election, Palin returned to Alaska and finished her term as governor. In 2009, Palin resigned as governor, citing ethics complaints and financially draining lawsuits, among other reasons. After leaving office, Palin published her autobiography, Going Rogue: An American Life. Her book sold more than two million copies. In the same year, Palin became a political commentator for the Fox News Channel and started her own show, Sarah Palin's Alaska, on the TLC network. The reality show drew 5 million viewers, a record number for the network, and chronicled Palin's travels through the Alaskan wilderness. Although the show was popular, TLC announced it wouldn't renew Palin's contract for a second season. In 1988, Palin married her high school sweetheart, Todd Palin, a commercial fisherman and former BP employee. The two have five children, sons Track and Trig, and daughters Bristol, Willow and Piper. And that's your look at former Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Thanks for watching!