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Both the Democratic and Republican parties made history. U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) became the first African-American to be nominated by a major political party to run for the presidency. And Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, selected by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) to be his running mate, was the second woman in history to be selected as a vice-presidential candidate.
Before a record television audience of over 38 million, Mr. Obama accepted the nomination with a speech that set himself apart from his opponent and spelled out his plans for economically revitalizing the nation. He stated that by encouraging energy independence from the Middle East and aggressively seeking tax reforms that would help the lower economic classes, the U.S. could begin to prosper again—a change he promised to deliver if elected.
He went on to address more divisive issues, such as homosexual marriage and illegal immigration, focusing on a shared “common purpose” that he said should unite all Americans.
The day after Mr. Obama’s speech, Mr. McCain introduced Governor Palin as his running mate. Mrs. Palin has earned a reputation for being a staunch conservative, motivated and willing to walk her own road for what she believes is right, regardless of her party’s line.
Nicknamed the “Frank Serpico” of Alaskan politics (Time), Sarah Palin has taken on corruption in the state’s government, putting aside her own personal politics to focus on matters taking greater precedent. Prior to her tenure as governor, Mrs. Palin rooted out corruption by blowing the whistle on a fellow ethics committee member who had been inappropriately raising money for the state’s Republican Party from energy companies he was assigned to regulate.
As governor, Mrs. Palin is said to strongly support traditional Christian values, at times holding a 90% approval rating.
Gov. Palin is respected as a savvy judge of the political climate, ready to take on the challenges of her state. She is known for her willingness to cross party lines to accomplish goals, which mirrors the reputation of her presidential running mate.