"She's not from these parts and she's not from Washington," McCain said in Dayton, Ohio, in a speech to announce his pick. "She's exactly what this country needs to help me fight the same old Washington politics of 'me first' and the country second."
McCain picked Palin over higher-profile options like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. She entered the stage to the soundtrack of "Rudy," a movie about an underdog football player who overcame high odds to play for the University of Notre Dame.
"I know that when Sen. McCain gave me this opportunity he had a list of highly qualified men and women, and to have made that list at all, it was a privilege. And to have been chosen brings a great challenge," Palin said. "I know that it will demand the best that I have to give, and I promise nothing less."
This marks the first time since 1972, when Spiro Agnew ran with Richard Nixon, that someone with governor's credentials appeared in the No. 2 slot. The pick also makes Palin only the second woman to serve on a major-party ticket; in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale's VP choice.
Palin was elected governor in 2006. Before that she served as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.