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US presidential election

McCain surprises with running-mate choice

Article published on the 2008-08-29 Latest update 2008-08-30 08:33 TU

Sarah Palin.(Photo : AFP)

Sarah Palin.
(Photo : AFP)

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has chosen the female governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as his running-mate. The choice of the 44-year-old mother of five is a likely bid to win over supporters of failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The announcement came the morning of McCain's Democratic rival Barack Obama's acceptance of his party's presidential nomination.

"Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president," the McCain campaign said.

"She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington," it added.

Palin is likely to appeal to the Republican's conservative supporters, as she is staunchly pro-life and backs the gun lobby.

She is also substantially younger than McCain, who celebrated his 72nd birthday on Friday.

The McCain campaign has moved to counter claims that Palin has no experience in national politics, claiming that she has wide experience in energy issues as the governor of oil-rich Alaska.

McCain also said Palin was a crusader against corruption in her state, a tough fiscal conservative and an official who understands military matters. 

Palin is the first woman to lead Alaska and is best known for pushing for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a major part of McCain's energy policy.

If the Republican ticket wins, she will be the first-ever female vice-president of the US.