Republican Senator John McCain has chosen a first-term governor from the state of Alaska to run as his vice presidential candidate in the November elections. VOA's Brian Wagner reports, Governor Sarah Palin bolsters McCain's message of reform.
Senator McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate only hours after the close of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The announcement during a rally in Ohio was aimed at grabbing the attention away from Democrats and building momentum for the Republican Party convention, which opens next week.
Senator McCain said he chose the Alaska governor after a long search for someone he said could bring change to Washington, and help put the nation back on the road to prosperity and peace.
"I have found the right partner to help me stand up to those who value their privileges over their responsibilities, who put power over principle, and put their interests before your needs," he said.
McCain noted Palin is a relative newcomer to politics and someone who has never served in Washington. He praised Palin for her record in Alaska, where she has served as mayor and state commissioner, and was elected governor in 2006.
Palin said she was proud to accept the invitation to run alongside John McCain in the general election in November. She said her record in Alaska shows she is committed to reform, such as cutting taxes and fighting corruption.
"Politics is not just a game of competing interests and clashing parties," said Palin. "The people of America expect us to seek public office and serve for the right reasons."
Palin is the first female and the youngest person to be elected governor in Alaska, a huge and remote state that is home to key oil and gas reserves. As governor, the 44-year-old said she has taken advantage of high oil prices to fund new energy projects. "We are now embarking on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence," said Palin.
Senator McCain has focused his campaign on finding new energy solutions, as well as maintaining strong military support for the war in Iraq. Palin said her son has enlisted in the Army, and will be deploying soon to the region.
"On September 11, Track will deploy to Iraq in the service of his country, and Todd and I are so proud of him and all the fine men and women serving the country," she said.
Palin traveled from Alaska to Ohio Friday along with her husband Todd and four of their five children.