- Sarah Louis Palin (née Heath) was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, on February
11, 1964. She was the third of four children. Her family moved to Alaska
when she was two months old.a
- Todd and Sarah Palin met at a high school basketball game. When she first
saw him, she whispered to herself, “Thank you, God.”m
- In her book Going Rogue, Palin insists that she was manipulated
into doing the famous Katie Couric interviews by Nicole Wallace, a communications
aide for the campaign, and that Couric was just interested in catching Palin
in a “gotcha” moment.m
|Palin earned the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” in high school for her competitiveness on the basketball court
- Palin was known as “Sarah Barracuda” on her high school basketball
team because of her ferociousness on the court. She was also the co-caption
of the 1982 State Championship basketball team and a member of the Fellowship
of Christian Athletes.h
- Palin’s parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, were a high school science
teacher and school secretary, respectively. Her father also worked as a hunting
and fishing guide and a bartender as well as for the Alaskan Railroad to
make ends meet.f
- While attending the University of Hawaii-Hilo, Sarah tried marijuana and
didn’t like it. “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say I
- When Sarah and Todd eloped on August 20th, 1988, they forgot to bring witnesses,
so they went next door to a nursing home and brought back two people, one
in a wheelchair and one using a walker. Eight months later on April 20, 1989,
their first son, Track, was born.f
- Track was named after Palin’s favorite spring activity, running track.
Sarah joked that if he had born during basketball season, she would have
named him “Hoops.”f
- Palin and five of her friends formed an exercise group called the “Elite
Six.” During the 1990s, they would perform aerobics as a group at the
Alaska State Fair in exchange for free parking and food.h
- When Sarah was helping with Todd’s commercial fishing business in
1993, she failed to register as a gillnet permit holder and pleaded “no
contest.” The violation was inadvertently registered as a felony.h
- During the 2008 presidential campaign, Palin was the second female vice
presidential candidate (after Geraldine Ferraro in 1984) and the first Alaskan
on a national ticket. She was also the first female vice presidential nominee
of the Republican Party.h
- Palin attended five colleges in six years before graduating from the University
of Idaho-Moscow in 1987 with a Bachelors degree in communications-journalism.
She began her college education at Hawaii Pacific University and subsequently
transferred to North Idaho College, the University of Idaho, and Matanuska-Susitna
|Palin won the Miss Wasilla pageant and finished third in the Miss Alaska pageant in 1984
- Palin won the Miss Wasilla pageant in 1984 and placed second in the Miss
Alaska pageant, where she won the “Miss Congeniality” award and
a college scholarship.f
- During her first term as mayor, Palin would keep a jar with all the names
of the citizens of Wasilla on papers. Each week, she would pick a name and call
the person and ask, “How is the city doing?”f
- Palin was Alaska’s first female governor and the youngest (age 42)
governor in Alaskan history.h
- In 2007, polls indicated a 93% and 89% approval rating for Palin as governor.
In 2009, her approval rating was at 54%.b
- In 2007, Palin supported a policy that would allow wolves to be hunted
from the air and that a bounty of $150 per wolf would be paid. The bounty
was later declared illegal.f
- Publisher HarperCollins said that Going Rogue sold 300,000 copies
its first day, making it one of the best openings ever for a nonfiction book.
In 2004, Bill Clinton’s book, My Life, debuted at 400,000
copies. The year before, Hillary Clinton's Living History started
at 200,000. Going Rogue is poised to make Palin millions.e
- While mayor in 1996, Palin asked Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Emmons if
she would approve of censoring books if she were asked to do so. A few weeks
after Emmons replied with “Definitely not,” she received a termination
letter from Palin.h
- One of Palin’s most significant contributions as mayor was an indoor
sports complex. However, Palin authorized the complex before she had the
title to the land, leading to at least $1.3 million in legal fees.o
- In an 2008 interview with the conservative newspaper Newsmax,
Palin disputes the notion that humans are completely responsible for the
- Oprah Winfrey’s TV show with Palin was her most watched show since
2007 when 100 members of the Osmond family appeared.s
|MSN.com named Palin as one of the sexiest women over 40 (#8)
- MSN.com named Sarah Palin as one of the “Sexiest Women over 40.”p
- In response to Palin’s critique on Obama’s work as a community
organizer, the Community Organizers of America created a Web site titled “Organizers
Fight Back” in which donations were accepted for their new tongue-in-cheek “Sarah
Palin Action Fund.” Every dollar donated to the fund was devoted to
train new community organizers.c
- While she was mayor, the town of Wasilla charged rape victims and/or their
insurance companies for rape kits. Former State Rep. Eric Croft reports that
the only ongoing resistance to a bill that provided free rape kits was from
Wasilla while Palin was mayor from 1996-2002.v
- While she was pregnant with daughter Willow, Palin dressed as a pregnant
Jane Fonda for Halloween.h
- Palin is a member of Feminists For Life (FFL) an anti-abortion, pro-contraception
- During the governor’s race, Palin was the only candidate who said
that creationism should be discussed in school alongside evolution.i
- Palin is a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).m
- Palin supports capital punishment.r
- A legislative panel launched a $100,000 investigation into “Trooper-gate” to
determine if Palin abused her power by trying to fire her former brother-in-law
who was a state trooper.h
- In Going Rouge, Palin talks about her two miscarriages, her Creationist
beliefs, her wedding dinner at Wendy’s, and the letter she wrote her
children about their brother Trig from the point of view of God.m
- Palin’s daughter Bristol (1990) is named after the ocean bay where
the Palin family likes to fish. Willow (1994) was named after the willow
ptarmigan, Alaska’s state bird. Piper Indy (2001) was named after the
Piper cub that Todd flies and the Polaris Indy Snowmobile Todd drove on his
first Iron Dog Race.f
- The Anchorage Daily News has called Palin “the Joan of Arc
of Alaska Politics.”j
- Palin says her favorite author is C.S. Lewis.g
- Palin opposes same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research, and abortion,
even in the case of rape or incest—though she opposes sanctions against
women who obtain an abortion.m
|Todd once told his high school friends that Palin did not know how to kiss
- In Going Rouge, Palin reveals that Todd told his locker room friends
that Sarah didn’t know how to kiss.m
- In August 2008, Palin tried to sue the U.S. Department of the Interior
in an attempt to remove polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered
Species Act because it would hinder Alaska’s gas industry and drilling
- Though Palin often said during her campaign speeches that she had said “Thanks,
but no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Ketchikan,
Alaska, she actually initially supported the bridge. It was only when the
idea to build the bridge became unpopular that she reversed her position.d
- Though Palin claimed she sold the former governor of Alaska’s (Frank
Murkowski) jet on eBay, and McCain even said she made a profit, it was actually
sold offline to a Palin contributor at a $600,000 loss.d
- Palin’s widely criticized interview with Katie Couric on CBS News
caused her poll numbers to decline and prompted several high-ranking Republicans
to request her resignation from the campaign ticket. For example, conservative writer Kathleen
Parker asked Palin to step aside to save “McCain, her party, and the
country she loves.”a
- When ABC News' Charles Gibson asked Palin if she had ever met a foreign
head of state, Palin said no and argued that many vice presidents before
her hadn’t met a head of state before taking office. However, every
vice president over the past 30 years actually had met foreign heads of state
before taking office. Spiro Agnew was the last VP who had no contact with
foreign heads of state before becoming vice president.d
- Palin worked briefly as a sportscaster intern in Anchorage from March until May in 1988.d
- Palin’s book Going Rogue is 432 pages long and retails at
$28.99 with a huge (1.5 million) first printing. The two primary Palin antagonists,
McCain campaign senior strategists Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, have
made it clear that the accounts of their actions in Palin’s book are
|Palin’s initial campaign fear was that the press would expose a "D" she
once received in a college course
- When Palin was first selected to be McCain’s running mate, she thought
the biggest secret would be that she once got a D in college.t
- Palin said she resigned as Alaska’s governor 18 months before her
term would end because she knew she wasn’t going to run for a second
term and that she would be going to work each day just to defend herself.q
- Levi Johnson, Palin’s almost son-in-law and recent Playboy model,
is suing for joint custody of his son because the Palin family is allegedly
making it difficult for him to see him.n
- After becoming Wasilla’s mayor in 1996, Palin asked for resignation
letters from city heads who had been loyal to the former Mayor Stein. She
also told department heads that they needed her permission to talk to reporters.
The resulting animosity led to talk of a recall vote, which never materialized.h
- Bill McAllister, who works for Palin’s press staff, calls Palin’s
uncanny gift of knowing what voters are looking for at a particular moment of
- Though McCain’s aides had said during the 2008 presidential campaign
that Palin had traveled to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait, and an Iraq battle zone
in 2007, they later admitted that Palin merely stopped in Ireland to “refuel” and
did not venture beyond a military outpost on the other side of the Kuwait-Iraq
border (the Khabari Alawazem Crossing, or K-Crossing).d
-- Posted December 3, 2009
a Benet, Lorenzo. 2009. Trail Blazer: An Intimate Biography
of Sarah Palin. New York, NY: Threshold Editions.
Poll Shows Slump in Palin’s Popularity among Alaskans.” MiamiHerald.com.
May 7, 2009. Accessed: November 24, 2009.
Organizers Fight Back.com. Accessed: November 25, 2009.
Accessed: November 25, 2009.
Rogue is Going Big.” Associated Press. November 20, 2009. Accessed:
November 25, 2009.
f Hilley, Joe. 2008. Sarah
Palin: A New Kind of Leader. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Jason and Michael D. Sheer. “The
Book of Sarah Embraces God and Todd.” WashingtonPost.com. November 17, 2009.
Accessed: November 25, 2009.
Kaylene. 2008. Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political
Establishement Upside Down. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale
House Publishers, Inc.
i Kizzia, Tom. “Creation
Science Enters the Race.” AnchorageDaileNews.com.
September 5, 2008. Accessed: November 20, 2009.
j ----. “The
Joan of Arc of Alaska Politics.” AnchorageDaileNews.com.
January 19, 2009. Accessed: November 19, 2009.
Global Warming Not Man-Made.” ABCNews.com.
August 29, 2008. Accessed: November 24, 2009.
Palin’s Publishing and
Political Worlds in Collision.” November
Sarah. 2009. Going Rogue: An American Life.
New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Johnston to Sue for Joint Custody of Son.” People.com. November
9, 2009. Accessed: November 24, 2009.
Michael. “Palin’s Hockey Rink
Leads to Legal Trouble in Town She Led.” September
6, 2008. Accessed: November 25, 2009.
Sexiest Women over 40.” MSNLifestyle.com. Accessed:
November 24, 2009.
Philip and Eli Saslow. “Gov.
Palin Says She Will Quit, Citing Probes,
July 4, 2009. Accessed: November 23,
Palin on Crime.” OnTheIssues.org. Accessed: November
s Shea, Danny. “Sarah
Palin Gives Oprah Highest Ratings in Two Years.” HuffingtonPost.com.
November 18, 2009. Accessed: November 24, 2009.
Palin’s First Campaign
Fear: Exposure of D Grade in College.” People.com.
November 16, 2009. Accessed: November 24, 2009.
Palin: A Tough Record.” Time.com.
September 2, 2008. Accessed: November 20, 2009.
Jessica. “Palin’s Town Charged
Women for Rape Exams.” CNNPolitics.com.
September 22, 2008. Accessed: November 23,