(Sarah Palin has emerged as John McCain's vice-presidential running mate. Palin talked to Newsmax magazine for its upcoming September 2008 issue about Alaskan oil, global warming, and John McCain.)
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a God-fearing, gun-toting former beauty queen who could just become America’s next vice president.
In Alaska, the right to bear arms means staying on top of the food chain. Palin, a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, hunts, shoots, and fishes.
Husband Todd holds a commercial fishing license for salmon. In the mid-1990s, when Todd got a job working on Alaska’s North Slope, Palin decided to occupy herself by becoming mayor of Wasilla, the state's fastest-growing community.
As mayor, she gradually grew frustrated with Alaska’s “good ol’ boy” style of governance -- so she decided to do something about it. She ran for governor in 2006 and won, defeating popular former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles.
Palin’s victory made her Alaska's first female chief executive, and its youngest.
Now, many insiders believe this 44-year-old mother of five would add a strong conservative presence to the GOP ticket.
Palin tells Newsmax that it’s high time Congress allows the development of Alaska’s wealth of oil and gas. She doubts global warming stems from human activity, and she considers herself both a fiscal and social conservative.
What do you think of McCain’s chances, and what should he and the GOP do to win in November?
I believe John McCain will be our next president. To win, he needs to continue his message that America needs leadership devoted to the public interest — not the special interest. The GOP needs to live the planks of its platform, not just offer lip service.
How did you pull off your election victory as governor?
Alaska was ready for a positive change and tired of the good ol’ boy network. It caused many Alaskans to lose faith in their government. People want faith in their government. I have been able to pass a comprehensive reform law and place the state's checkbook online. You can be a reformer and also be a conservative.
And your stand on abortion?
I'm pro-life. I'll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.
Politically, how would you describe yourself?
Fiscally and socially, I am a conservative. My respect for the three different branches of government and the balance between them has been my guide.
If you were running for president, what causes would you champion?
I would push for a strong military and a sound energy policy. I believe that Alaska can help set an example on energy policy.
Speaking of energy, how much oil and gas does America really have?
We have billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas. We have so much potential from tapping our resources here in Alaska. And we can do this with minimum environmental impact. We have a very pro-development president in President Bush, and yet he failed to push for opening up parts of Alaska to drilling through Congress — and a Republican-controlled Congress, I might add.
I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn't. Now we are approaching $200 a barrel. It's nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one.
What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?
A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.
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