Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Source: Sarah Palin is John McCain's VP pick

From our highly respected sister blog, The Swamp, by Jill Zuckman:

A Republican source confirms that John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Campaign officials, however, remain mum this morning.

McCain is expected to announce his choice at a rally in Dayton later.

Palin is the first woman governor of Alaska, elected in 2006. She was also the youngest ever elected at the age of 42. She is the mother of five children, the youngest of whom was born in April and has Down's Syndrome. She ran on a clean government platform in '06 to defeat the incumbent Republican Governor Frank Murkowski.

McCain reportedly considered Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, among others.

Palin is a social conservative who is strongly opposed to abortion and same sex marriage. In addition, she is pro-gun and wildly popular in Alaska.

Wow. Analysts and political insiders are in shock over this decision.

The kind of thing a maverick would do. ... or the kind of thing someone who's desperate would do. ...

UPDATE, 10:38 a.m.: AP has just moved this: "McCain source: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is his pick for VP."

There are few things that totally catch journalists and Washington insiders by surprise; this one has people reeling.

It's an unorthodox pick to say the least, if nothing else because the central attack of the McCain camp has been their claim that Sen. Barack Obama is "dangerously unprepared."

Especially given that McCain turns 72 today, this VP pick was going to undergo more scrutiny than usual no matter who he picked.

McCain's decision to run with the little-known Palin, though, is going to bring a level of attention to the VP pick we haven't seen in 20 years.

Since George H.W. Bush chose Dan Quayle.

* Click here to see photos of Sarah Palin

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