Sarah Palin's Husband: The "First Dude"

Todd Palin is a known commodity in Alaska, where his wife, Sarah, is governor, but most of us know nothing about him.

Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante set out to change that on The Early Show Thursday.

Sarah, of course, is John McCain's running mate.

And, says Plante, while she and Todd are "just plain folks" in their home state, Todd isn't known as the "First Gentleman" there.

Nope. He likes to be called -- the "First Dude."

His full name is Todd Mitchell Palin.

Of course, if the McCain ticket wins, the "First Dude" of Alaska would be known as the "Second Dude" in Washington!

Todd is a member of the steel workers' union, a commercial fisherman, and an oil-field worker.

Remember the CBS show "Northern Exposure"? Well, says Plante, if Todd winds up in the nation's capital, he can kiss that lifestyle goodbye.

"He seems like a nice guy," says Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn. "He is attractive-looking, and I can't see that there would be a problem, unless he doesn't want to belong or fit in himself."

A move to Washington would mean setting up housekeeping with the five Palin kids at the Naval Observatory, home to vice presidents since the 1970s. And if the Second Dude is going to be a stay-at-home Mr. Mom, Plante points out -- it's a great neighborhood!

"It's a real family home," Quinn observes, "and there is a big yard out there, so it's a great place for kids, and it's a wonderful neighborhood where there are a lot of children."

Alaska's "First Dude" is a big outdoors guy -- a championship snowmobile racer.

But, Plante notes good-naturedly, there isn't a single snowmobile dealer in all of Washington, D.C. The nearest place to rev one up is 230 miles away, in Pennsylvania.

There's always fishing -- there's plenty around Washington, though it's "kind of tame" compared to Alaska's, Plante says. And if it's Alaskan king salmon Todd's after, he'll have to pay $23 a pound for it at the fish market!

Would Washington be a culture shock for the Palin family?

Nope, says Quinn, because, "Power is everything in Washington, and whoever is in a position like that of power is going to be very much in demand."
  • CBSNews

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