Meet Sarah "Barracuda" Palin

She may claim to be "just an average hockey mom," but John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin is anything but average.

The reaction to McCain's shocking selection of the Alaska governor has been all over the map, but one argument no one can make about Palin is that she is a bland choice.

It's not just her credentials as the youngest and only female governor in Alaska's history that make Palin so intriguing. How many vice-presidential candidates in American history have been avid moose hunters, sports reporters or beauty queens? Palin is all three.

When Vogue Magazine asked her what her favorite meal was, she didn't settle on pizza or Mexican. "Moose stew after a day of snowmachining," she said. Does it get any more Alaska than that?

The Alaska governor might be just a "plain Sarah" herself, but her children's names are far more dazzling: Track (18), Bristol (17), Willow (13), Piper (7) and Trig (4 months).

Trig has Down syndrome, and his mom told the Anchorage Daily News that he is "absolutely perfect."

Her husband Todd, whom Palin met in high school, is a champion snowmobiler, but Palin's sport of choice is basketball. She was a star point guard in high school and earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" for her hardnosed style of play.

Her opponent at the top of the Democratic ticket Barack Obama (better known in high school as "Barry O'Bomber" for his strong jump shot) is fond of taking breaks from the campaign trail to play pickup games on the basketball court.

Forget the debates—how about a one-one-one contest between The Baracuda and O'Bomber?
  • Scott Conroy On Twitter»

    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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