Sarah Palin
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Sarah Palin, north star

Jim Palin, father-in-law of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, shows family photos of the newly selected GOP running mate: the former Sarah Heath as beauty contestant; Sarah with her high school prom date, Todd; and Sarah and Todd again in 1991, after their marriage. (Al Grillo / Associated Press)
A young Sarah Heath -- long before she would become Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- stands in front of awards she won in Wasilla, Alaska, in an undated photo. (Family photo)
In 1982, Palin (No. 22) led her high school basketball team to the state championship. Some Alaska officials use her nickname from those days: “Sarah Barracuda.” (Anchorage Daily News)
The former Sarah Heath, standing at left in an undated photo, is seen with her Wasilla High School cross-country team. (Family photo)
The former Sarah Heath is Miss Wasilla in 1984. (Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman)
Palin is sworn in as mayor of Wasilla after her 1996 election. (Family photo)
Sarah Palin, seen in an undated photo, was a member of the Wasilla City Council. She served two terms on the council and two terms as the mayor of Wasilla, according to the biography on the state of Alaska’s website. (Family photo)
Sarah Palin, seen in an undated photo with one of her daughters, near the caribou she shot in Alaska. (Family photo)
In an undated photo, Sarah Palin crosses a steam in a vehicle with her daughter Piper in Alaska. (Family photo)
Sarah Palin as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, in October 1996. (Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman)
Sarah Palin, with daughter Piper, campaigns for governor of Alaska in November 2006. (Al Grillo / Associated Press)
Todd Palin holds the Bible for his wife, Sarah, as she is sworn in as Alaska’s governor during an inauguration ceremony in Fairbanks in December 2006. (Al Grillo / Associated Press)
Sarah Palin congratulates her husband, Todd, after he and teammate Scott Davis crossed the finish line in first place at the 2007 Tesoro Iron Dog snowmobile race in Fairbanks. (Eric Engman / The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Gov. Sarah Palin in her downtown Anchorage office. The decor includes the hide of a grizzly bear, shot by her father. (Stephen Nowers / Anchorage Daily News)
Lt. Col. David Cogdell helps Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin test out the Engagement Skills Trainer at Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, in July 2007. (Pvt. Christopher T. Grammer / Department of Defense)
Gov. Sarah Palin with her husband, Todd (known in the state as “First Dude”); their son Track, 19; and their daughters, Willow, 14, Bristol, 17, and Piper, 7. Not pictured is their infant son, 4-month-old Trig. (Alaska Governors Office)
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, left, and her husband, Todd, hold their baby boy Trig in Anchorage. Trig, the Palins’ fifth child, was born with Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that impedes physical, intellectual and language development. (Al Grillo / Associated Press)
As governor, Palin addresses a news conference in early August. (Chris Miller / Associated Press)
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin talks to her daughter Piper, 8, in her office in Anchorage earlier this month. (Al Grillo / Associated Press)
Gov. Palin and Atty. Gen. Talis Colberg, at left, answer questions at an Aug. 13 news conference about issues surrounding the firing of public safety commissioner Walt Monegan. (Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News)
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband Todd and daughter Piper arrive at a campaign rally for presumptive Republican presidential nominee john McCain today in Dayton, Ohio. McCain announced Gov. Palin as his vice presidential running mate at the rally. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Cindy McCain, left, with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her daughter Piper at the Dayton, Ohio, rally where Republican presidential candidate John McCain, center, introduced her as his vice presidential running mate. (Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)
Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin acknowledges supporters at the rally where Republican presidential candidate John McCain introduced her as his running mate. “I have found the right partner to help me stand up to those who value their privileges over their responsibilities,” McCain said at the rally in Dayton, Ohio. (Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press)
The crowd in Dayton, Ohio, cheers for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who introduced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, who will debate Palin during the campaign, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting her.” (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Sarah Palin greets the crowd in Dayton, Ohio, where she was introduced as John McCain’s running mate. In her high school years on a championship basketball team she was known as “Sarah Barracuda” -- a nickname that resurfaced when she became a mayor at age 32 and revamped city departments. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin pumps her fist as she is introduced to supporters at the campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio. During her gubernatorial race, the Anchorage Press described Palin as “a small-town, angel-faced mother of four, an avid hunter and a fisher with a killer smile who wears designer glasses and heels, and hair like modern sculpture, who’s taking it to the boys ever so softly.” (Stephan Savoia / Associated Press)
Sarah Palin gets a hug from Sen. John McCain. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said of Palin: “From every indication I’ve seen she has a good conservative record and checks the boxes on the real important issues that conservatives care about.” (Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press)
Sally and Chuck Heath, in their home in Wasilla, Alaska, watch Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain announce that he has selected their daughter, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to be his vice presidential running mate. (Al Grillo / Associated Press)