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McCain's veep choice is historic and hardly known
She has more experience catching fish than dealing with foreign policy or national affairs.
Talk about a rocketing ascent.
In turning to her, McCain picked an independent figure in his own mold, one who has taken on Alaska's powerful oil industry and, at age 44, is three years younger than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and a generation younger than McCain, 72.
Palin's selection was a jaw-dropper, as McCain passed over many other better known prospects, some of whom had been the subject of intense speculation for weeks or months. "Holy cow," said her father, Chuck Heath, who got word something was up while driving to his remote hunting camp.
Palin had been in the running-mate field but as a distinct long shot.
She brings a strong anti-abortion stance to the ticket and opposes gay marriage - constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time - but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners.
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