McCain Chooses Female Governor as Running Mate

By Melanie Hunter-Omar | August 29, 2008 | 3:01 PM EDT

( – Describing her as someone who has “fought oil companies and party bosses and do-nothing bureaucrats,” Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on Friday announced his pick for vice presidential running mate - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Palin has “an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests,” McCain said before a crowd in Dayton, Ohio.
She is “someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past, someone who stopped government from wasting taxpayers’ money on things they don’t want or need and put it back to the people,” he said.
The Alaska governor “was a union member and is married to a union member,” McCain said, and she “understands” the needs and problems of the working class.
Palin “knows what it’s like to worry about mortgage payments and health care, the cost of gasoline and groceries,” McCain said.
Palin went from PTA member to city councilmember, to mayor and then governor, beating “the long odds to win a tough election on a message of reform and public integrity,” McCain said.
“She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am. She’s got the grit, integrity, good sense and fierce devotion to the common good and is exactly what we need in Washington today,” McCain said.
Palin’s selection comes during the week of the anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement, McCain noted.
“To serve as vice president beside such a man would be the privilege of a lifetime, and it’s fitting that this trust has been given to me 88 years almost to the day after the women of America first gained the right to vote,” said Palin.
She invited women, and specifically Sen. Hillary Clinton supporters, to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket, noting the achievements of two women who came before her in national elections and praising Clinton’s efforts in the Democratic presidential race.
“I can’t begin this great effort without honoring the achievements of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and of course Sen. Hillary Clinton, who showed such determination and grace in her presidential campaign,” Palin said.
“It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America, but it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all,” Palin said to thunderous applause.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign, meanwhile, criticized McCain’s pick, saying she has no foreign policy experience, among other things.
“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” spokesman Bill Burton said.
“Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same,” Burton added.