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Sarah Palin: 5 Facts About Alaska's Former Governor

Image: Sarah Palin: 5 Facts About Alaska's Former Governor

Friday, 03 May 2013 01:55 PM

By Alexandra Ward

Sarah Palin first made history in 2006 as the first woman governor of Alaska, and again in 2008 as the first Republican woman nominated for vice president, but her impressive résumé doesn’t end there.

Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Palin moved to Alaska with her family when she was 3. She graduated from Wasilla High School — where she led the 1982 women's basketball team to a state championship — and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho.

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Palin served two terms on the Wasilla city council and two terms as the mayor of Wasilla. In 2006, she became governor of Alaska and is credited with investing $5 billion in state savings, revamping the state's education system, and overhauling the state's ethics laws.

Sen. John McCain tapped her as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election. Palin now works as a contributor with FOX News, offering commentary across the network's multiple platforms.

Here are some other key things to know about Sarah Palin:

Palin's Very Vocal on Twitter

With more than 900,000 followers, Palin understands the power of social media. While other politicians' accounts are, in reality, updated by an assistant or an intern, Palin personally tweets every message on her feed, and she's more likeable for it.

Her blunt, opinionated tweets range from critiques of President Barack Obama's policies to musings about the weather and her five children. 

Palin's a Proponent of Saving Natural Resources

Palin is past chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multistate government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety, and the environment. She also served as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which was charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection, and natural resource management.

During her time as governor, Palin passed legislation to launch a competitive process to construct a natural gas pipeline and to restructure Alaska's oil valuation formula.

TLC Show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" Broke Records

The premiere of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," a mix between a reality show and a documentary travelogue, debuted to a whopping 5 million viewers in 2010, a record for TLC. According to Palin, the show aimed to "bring the wonder and majesty of Alaska to all Americans." The show featured Palin and her family exploring their home state's wilderness by going salmon fishing, white water rafting, and dog sledding, among other things.

Though the show premiered to record-breaking numbers, it was not renewed for a second season.

Pressure's Mounting for Palin To Run Again

Though there are whispers of Palin running for president in 2016, a national Tea Party group — the Tea Party Leadership Fund — is hoping to encourage the former governor of Alaska to make a bid for the state's Senate seat.

"You and I both know that Sarah Palin is a fighter who will stand up to Harry Reid and his pals in the Senate to protect our Constitution on issues like amnesty, gun control, and our nation's crushing debt," the group said in an email to Palin supporters asking for donations. 

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Where Palin Stands on Issues


Palin opposed the 2010 healthcare reforms, arguing that the proposed legislation would create a "death panel" of bureaucrats who would decide whether Americans — such as her elderly parents or children with Down syndrome — were worthy of medical care.

Social issues
Palin opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, and embryonic stem cell research. She supports the death penalty and has called marijuana use a "minimal issue."

Gun control
Palin is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and opposes any ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. After the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting in July 2012, Palin spoke out against stricter gun laws, saying "bad guys, the criminals, don't follow laws."

Palin supports sex education in public schools through encouraging abstinence along with teaching about contraception. Palin also believes creationism should be included in evolution lessons in schools.

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