Veepstakes: Speculation Focuses on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

By Susan Jones | August 29, 2008 | 8:48 AM EDT

We'll know for sure at noon.

( - Reports that a private plane from Alaska landed near Dayton, Ohio, last night has fueled media speculation that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be his running mate.
McCain will announce his choice for vice president at noon today in Dayton.
A few top prospects have basically ruled themselves out:
“I'm not going to be there. I plan to be at the state fair. You can draw your conclusion from that," one top prospect, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said early Friday on his weekly call-in radio show on WCCO-AM in Minneapolis.

Press reports say that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will not be in Ohio either.
That leaves Palin -- a mother of five who’s been considered a longshot until now; former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge; Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut -- or one of several other “wild card” candidates.
Palin, 44, is two years into her first term as Alaska governor. She is pro-life and recently gave birth to a mentally retarded child. She is reputed to be a reformer and ran on an anti-corruption ticket.
However, the Alaska Legislature last month voted to hire an independent investigator to look into allegations that Palin abused her office by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper.
Palin has said she welcomes the investigation: "Hold me accountable," she said. She denies the allegations that she pulled strings in an attempt to get her sister's ex-husband fired.
Last year, the former beauty queen posed for a photo shoot in Vogue, the Associated Press reported.

McCain's campaign has been "leak-proof" as far as his running mate goes, and even as rumors about Palin swirled on the air waves Friday morning, there were questions about whether this was a giant fake-out to keep the public wondering.