Senator John McCain (R-AZ), presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, announced today that he has selected Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) as his Vice Presidential running mate.

This selection lays the groundwork for an historic election. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), the Democratic Presidential nominee who is mixed African- and European-American, would be the first non-white President. Governor Palin would be the first female Vice president and is only the second female VP nominee by a major party (following Representative Geraldine Ferraro [D-NY 9th] in 1984) .

Palin, a gun-owning, ‘hockey-mom’ mother of five (including one newborn with Down syndrome and an oldest son being deployed to Iraq in the United States Army), is known as a reformer who rose to the office of Governor in Alaska following a series of political scandals in that state. She quickly ‘cleaned house’ and initiated a series of major political and ethical reforms. Palin has maintained consistently high approval ratings in Alaska, and is considered a social conservative (more in-line with the Republican base than McCain, who is considered a moderate).