Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down
In 2006, an angel-faced but tough forty-two-year-old former small-town mayor named Sarah Palin became a long-shop candidate for Alaska governor demanding a higher ethical standard in state government. The timing of her reform message and a widening scandal produced a tornado that reshaped the political landscape. Surprising everyone, Palin thumped by wide margins both a sitting governor in the Republican primary election and a former governor in the general election to become Alaska's first female chief executive and its youngest ever. Through the campaign, and early in Palin's first term, the energetic and attractive mother of five achieved near-heroine status in her state. At one point, the new governor's approval rating reached 90 percent, prompting the Fox News Network to describe her as "a politician with eye-popping integrity" and some national GOP leaders to tout her as a prototype of the "new Republican."