Sarah Louise Palin (pronounced /ˈpeɪlɨn/; née Heath; born February 11, 1964) is an American politician, author, speaker, and political news commentator who was the youngest person and the first woman ever elected Governor of Alaska. She served as governor from 2006 until she resigned in 2009. Chosen by Republican Party presidential candidate John McCain in August 2008 to be his running mate in that year's presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party, as well as the first female vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party.
On July 3, 2009, Palin announced she would not seek reelection as governor and that she was resigning effective July 26, 2009, eighteen months before the completion of her term. She cited ethics complaints that had been filed following her selection as running mate to John McCain as one of the reasons for her resignation, saying the resulting investigations had affected her ability to govern the state. Speculation that she will run for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2012 began prior to the defeat of the McCain–Palin ticket in 2008. In February 2010, she stated she would not close the door on the possibility.
Before she was elected governor, she was a member of the Wasilla, Alaska City Council from 1992 to 1996, and the city's mayor from 1996 to 2002. After an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor of Alaska in 2002, she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 until she resigned in 2004.
In November 2009, her autobiography Going Rogue: An American Life was released and it quickly became a best-seller, selling more than two million copies. In January 2010, Palin began providing political commentary to the Fox News Channel under a multi-year contract. It was announced in March 2010 that she was to host her own TV show, called Sarah Palin's Alaska. Palin is authoring a second book, America By Heart, which is expected to be on shelves by November 23, 2010.