Senator John McCain has tapped Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.
Palin, 44, has been governor for two years; the choice by McCain is seen as a bid to win over women disaffected by the defeat of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic Party primaries to Senator Barack Obama.
McCain made the announcement in Dayton, Ohio, saying Palin “has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of.”
Palin is a staunch opponent of abortion, a position not likely to play well among Clinton’s overwhelmingly pro-choice followers.
The selection likely will help McCain, who has a reputation as a moderate, win over the Republican Party’s conservative base.
Palin backs drilling for oil in her home state; her foreign policy views are virtually unknown. She has earned plaudits for cleaning out Alaska and its state Republican Party of corruption.
Palin is close to the state’s small Jewish community, and has as governor visited its synagogues. She was planning an Israel trip prior to her selection, but has no known record on policy towards the Jewish state.
Republican Jewish insiders acknowledge that Palin is a relatively unknown quantity but assure that she will be much better known in the coming days.