Sunday, May 23, 2010
Decades before becoming a right-wing Republican superstar, Sarah Heath (she took husband Todd's surname after they eloped in 1988) attended Wasilla (Alaska) High School where she earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" for her aggressive moves as a point guard on the basketball court. She graduated high school in 1982 to stints at several different colleges, earning a bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Idaho in 1987. Palin also had a short-lived sideline as a beauty pageant contestant (she was Miss Wasilla, 1983).
At a rally in Dayton, Ohio on August 29, 2008 Palin was elevated to the world stage by a desperate John McCain who announced her as his running mate in his quest for the presidency. Some television and radio reporters were caught off-guard by the "mavericky" pick and mispronounced Palin's last name. That would never happen again.
Palin almost immediately distinguished herself as someone unfit for high office with interviews with Charles Gibson of ABC News and Katie Couric of CBS News. But the Republican base did not seem to mind her poor performance in these forums and chalked it up to "gotcha" journalism and the liberal bias of mainstream media.
Less than a year after losing to the Obama-Biden ticket, Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in a rambling, incoherent speech remembered primarily for the phrase "Only dead fish go with the flow." She is now a bestselling author and a regular commentator for the FOX News Channel.
Here is Palin's yearbook portrait from the University of Idaho:
And here is a more informal shot of Palin in her dorm room at Idaho: