Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator, and author who served as the ninth Governor of Alaska from 2006 to her resignation in 2009. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 Presidential election running with Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major political party and the first Republican woman nominated for the vice presidency. Her book Going Rogue has sold more than two million copies.
She was elected to the Wasilla City Council in 1992 and became Mayor of Wasilla in 1996. In 2003, after an unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governor, she was appointed Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, responsible for overseeing the state’s oil and gas fields for safety and efficiency. The youngest person and first woman to be elected Governor of Alaska, Palin held the office from December 2006 until her resignation in July 2009.
Since leaving office, she has endorsed and campaigned for the Tea Party movement as well as several candidates in multiple election cycles. From 2010 to 2015, she provided political commentary for Fox News. On April 3, 2014, Palin premiered her latest TV show, Amazing America with Sarah Palin on the Sportsman Channel. On July 27, 2014, Palin launched an online news network, the Sarah Palin Channel. On January 19, 2016, Palin endorsed Donald Trump for president at a rally at Iowa State University.
Early life and family
Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, the third of four children (three daughters, one son) of Sarah “Sally” Heath (née Sheeran), a school secretary, and Charles R. “Chuck” Heath, a science teacher and track-and-field coach. Palin’s siblings are Chuck Jr., Heather, and Molly. Palin is of English, Irish, and German ancestry. When Palin was a few months old, the family moved to Skagway, Alaska, where her father received his teaching job. They relocated to Eagle River in 1969 and finally settled in Wasilla in 1972.
Palin played flute in the junior high band and then attended Wasilla High School, where she was the head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a member of the girls’ basketball and cross-country running teams. During her senior year, she was co-captain and point guard of the basketball team that won the 1982 Alaska state championship, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” for her competitive streak. In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, then finished third in the Miss Alaska pageant. She played the flute in the talent portion of the contest. One author reports that she received the Miss Congeniality award in the Miss Wasilla contest (but this is disputed by another contestant and classmate of Palin’s) and a college scholarship.
Tea Party movement
On February 6, 2010, Palin was the keynote speaker at the first Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Palin said the Tea Party movement is “the future of politics in America.” She criticized Obama for rising deficits, and for “apologizing for America” in speeches in other countries. Palin said Obama was weak on the War on Terror for allowing the so-called Christmas bomber to board a plane headed for the United States.
Palin addressing a Labor Day rally sponsored by the Tea Party Express (Manchester, NH), 2011
On April 16, 2011, Palin was the keynote speaker at an annual tax day tea party rally at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
On Labor Day, September 5, 2011, Palin was the featured speaker at a Tea Party Express rally in Manchester, New Hampshire’s Victory Park. She addressed a large enthusiastic crowd. Palin told the attendees that it was time to grow the Tea Party movement and it was important for them to avoid internal bickering with Establishment Republicans. She told the crowd, “The Tea Party movement is bigger than any one person and is not about any one candidate.”