WASHINGTON, Pa. - Republican John McCain showed off his vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania yesterday as Democratic rival Barack Obama's campaign aired a new TV ad urging voters not to be distracted by McCain's putting a woman on the GOP ticket.
About 10,000 people filled Southwestern Pennsylvania's 3,200-seat Consol Energy Park - home of independent baseball's Washington Wild Things - to see McCain introduce his running mate. Palin is only the second woman in American history to be a vice presidential candidate from a major party.
"I had a lot of good people to choose from," McCain told the enthusiastic crowd. "I have found the right partner. ... I found someone who has accomplished reform, who has accomplished and managed a multibillion-dollar budget and fought against corruption and the failed politics of the past."
Palin told the crowd she's not interested in being vice president to maintain the status quo:
"I didn't get into government to do the safe and easy thing. It's like the that old adage, 'A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why the ship is built.' Politics isn't just a game of clashing parties and competing interests. The people of America expect us to seek public office and to serve for the right reason."
Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, stumped in Ohio yesterday. At the same time, their campaign unveiled a 30-second national TV ad that says McCain's selection of Palin should not obscure that McCain's candidacy represents a continuation of President Bush's policies.
"So, while this may be his running mate," an announcer says with a photo of Palin on the screen, "America knows this is McCain's agenda." The visual then switches to a shot of McCain and Bush. "We can't afford four more years of the same."
During a 60 Minutes interview released yesterday, Obama said of Palin: "Obviously, she's a fine mother and an up-and-coming public servant," but, "it's too early for me to gauge what kind of running mate she'll be. My sense is that she subscribes to John McCain's agenda."