By Kathleen Gilbert

DAYTON, OH, August 29, 2008 ( – Republican John McCain has picked first-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his surprise choice for a running mate, in a move hailed by conservative leaders as “absolutely brilliant” and “electrifying” conservative voters, especially women.

Gov. Sarah Palin, known for her traditional and unabashedly pro-life and pro-family views, is the mother of five children, including her youngest boy, Trig, who has Down Syndrome.  She is now only the second female vice-presidential candidate in history and the first for the Republican Party.

Gov. Palin had been considered a wild-card for a running mate, and the choice further solidifies the appeal of the Republican presidential contender to values voters.  The news comes only days after the Republican platform became what has been called the most pro-life and pro-family in Republican party history.

Representatives for the National Right to Life said they were “thrilled” to hear of the selection.  President Wanda Franz, Ph.D said, “Governor Palin brings another strong pro-life voice to the Republican ticket, in sharp contrast to the pro-abortion ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

“The country now has a clear choice,” added Darla St. Martin, Co-Executive Director of the National Right to Life Committee, “between an avowed pro-abortion ticket that would continue to push for unrestricted abortion on demand, and a strongly pro-life ticket that will bring us closer to a society that embraces the value and dignity of human life.”

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America (CWA), welcomed the fresh perspective that Palin will bring to the presidential race.

“Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race,” she said. “Her admirable record of confronting corruption and living her pro-life convictions shows she is a doer, not just a talker. Sarah Palin will make history as a vice presidential candidate – and not simply because she’s a woman, but because she’s a woman of substance and character.”

Janice Shaw Crouse, director and senior fellow of CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, proclaimed the choice of Palin a victory for a true feminism. 

“It is particularly significant that a conservative woman was nominated for the nation’s second highest office,” she said. “For years the feminist movement has acknowledged for leadership only those women who embrace a radical agenda. How refreshing that now we have a woman who reflects the values of mainstream American women. Sarah Palin is pro-life, pro- marriage and pro-family. She is a woman who is balancing the personal and professional in admirable ways. She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation’s young people. Sarah Palin is chief among equals with American professional women; she brings the kind of balance that characterizes the high-achieving women of today. She will bring to the forefront of our cultural conversations an intelligent, realistic, well-grounded woman’s perspective.”

“Absolutely brilliant,” said Matthew Staver, Chairman of Liberty Alliance Action, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, on the choice of the attractive young governor.  He continued, “Personnel is policy. With the selection of Gov. Palin, Sen. John McCain has proven that he can exercise sound judgment.” 

“The selection of Gov. Palin means that this upcoming election will be historic. But beyond making history, Palin brings substance and excitement. She is intelligent, young, attractive and articulate. As a woman and a mother, she can attract women voters, particularly those who feel disenfranchised,” said Staver.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser agrees. “Sarah Palin is the whole package. Women voters are electrified, and Sarah is someone who is truly in sync with the way real American women think,” she said.

Almost without exception, social conservatives are hailing McCain’s new running mate as a brilliant choice that will appeal to a broad swathe of voters and inject a freshness into McCain’s run for the presidency.


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