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Meet the running mates: another first in a remarkable campaign season.

As Labor Day approached, the presidential race took one more unexpected turn. On August 29, Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for President, introduced his running mate: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (PAY-lin). It was the first time a woman had been chosen as a vice-presidential candidate on the Republican ticket (see chronology below).

"She's exactly who I need," McCain said of Palin. "She's exactly who this country needs to help us fight the same old Washington politics of me first and country second."

A mother of five, Palin, 44, served as the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, her hometown, before becoming the state's Governor in 2006. Palin enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding snowmachines through the Alaska wilderness.

In late summer, Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for President, announced that he had chosen Senator Joseph R. "Joe" Biden, 66, of Delaware as his running mate. "I know my father will be a great Vice President," Biden's son Beau said at the Democratic National Convention in August. "[He] has always been there for me, my brother, my sister every day."

Joe Biden became a U.S. Senator in 1973, at the minimum age of 30. This made him the fifth-youngest Senator in U.S. history. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he is a past chairman of the Judiciary Committee and has twice run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for President.

Biden, who enjoys jogging in his spare time, says that pizza is his favorite food. He and Palin will debate the issues on October 2 in St. Louis, Missouri.
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Publication:Junior Scholastic
Date:Sep 29, 2008
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