Alaska News Nightly: August 29, 2008

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is Republican Presidential candidate John McCain’s choice for Vice President

Alaska’s back in the national spotlight and will now be a big presence at next week’s Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. We’ve got wall-to-wall coverage of the announcement, including stunned reactions from across the state. Stay with the stations of the Alaska Public Radio Network for in-depth coverage.

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John McCain taps Alaska’s governor as his Presidential running mate
Duncan Moon, APRN – Anchorage
John McCain strode onto the stage in Dayton, Ohio this morning with his choice for vice president in tow. For most Americans it was an unfamiliar face, but for Alaskans, the surprise was that it was someone they knew so well: Governor Sarah Palin.

What does a Palin VP run do to Alaskan politics, including embattled Republicans?
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Larry Persily is the former editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News and also worked for a short time for the Palin Administration in Washington DC. He’s still living in DC and says, like everyone else, he was shocked by the decision.

Alaska Republicans pleased with Palin choice, despite past disagreements
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The state Republican party welcomes the selection of Sarah Palin to run for vice president — although the governor has been at odds with party leaders in recent years. Palin unsuccessfully attempted to remove Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich from office during this year’s convention, yet party leaders and members are excited about Palin’s new role in the national Republican party.

Alaska’s Congressional delegation reacts, predicts big things
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Senator Lisa Murkowski says you can’t underestimate the importance of John McCain’s choice for Alaska. And she says if Palin does become Vice President, it would be enormously beneficial for Alaska’s Congressional delegation and for all Alaskans.

Palin administration in Juneau surprised, looking at succession complications
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Surprise was the word of the day for Alaskans, including Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, who said he found out this morning at 6:40 a.m., when staff asked him to fill in on a scheduled commencement speech this morning that Palin was slated to give. Palin’s spokesman Bill McAllister says he also was taken by surprise when national reporters started calling him at home soon after 5:00 a.m.

Attorney General Talis Colberg says Palin designated him as successor to the Lieutenant Governor should Palin go to the White House and Parnell move into the Governor’s position. Because Parnell is also running for national office, going up against Don Young in a still undecided primary campaign for Congress, Colberg would become Governor if both Parnell and Palin ended up in DC.

Alaskans offer their thoughts on the McCain-Palin announcement
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
APRN’s reporters fanned out across Alaska today and collected a few reactions to the big news. Surprised? Oh, yeah. But is a good thing? Does it change your vote?

National media reacts to Palin’s rising star
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The choice of Sarah Palin to be John McCain’s running mate had reporters all across the country scrambling to find out more about her. But that didn’t stop opinion columnists and bloggers from quickly weighing in.

Obama supporters not phased by selection of Palin as Republican VP
Eli Menaker, APRN – Anchorage
The Obama campaign in Alaska says today’s announcement won’t change their plans for Alaska. Jeff Geirtz, communications director for the Obama campaign in Alaska says the news does not affect the possibility of Obama visiting the state. Geirtz also says support for Palin in Alaska does not necessarily translate into support for McCain.

Wasilla reacts to former mayor’s selection as Republican VP candidate
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Wasilla
Sara Palin’s hometown of Wasilla was buzzing with the big news today. Down at the U.S. Post Office on Main Street, just around the corner from Wasilla’s City Hall, local residents in a hurry to pick up their mail stopped long enough to offer overwhelmingly positive comments.

Blogger that pushed for Palin as VP 16 months ago celebrating today
Jessica Cochran, APRN – Anchorage
A young man who only recently graduated from college is getting considerable credit for sparking interest in Governor Palin as potential vice presidential material. Adam Brickley first started pushing for Palin back in February 2007 with a blog called Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President. He told APRN this February that he stumbled across Palin’s name researching potential candidates. Today, Brickley’s blog reads an enthusiastic “WE DID IT!