Idaho Abuzz Over Republican VP Pick

MOSCOW, ID — The announcement of Senator John McCain’s new running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, made headlines around the Inland Northwest Friday for her personal history in Idaho.

The 44 year old was born in Sandpoint and moved to Alaska when she was three months old. Palin returned to Idaho after High School and attended North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene and The University of Idaho in Moscow.

North Idaho College President Priscilla Bell says Palin attended the community college for two semesters in 1983 as a general studies major.

“North Idaho College is excited to see one of its own alumni achieve such a substantial honor by being selected as a Republican Vice Presidential Candidate,” Bell says in a statement released to the media. “Palin has achieved great success in her life and political career and we’re certainly proud of her accomplishments since getting her start at NIC.”

Bell also said the college had recently notified Palin that she would be the recipient of the 2008-2009 distinguished alumni of the year award, presented by the NIC alumni Associated Board of Directors.

The University of Idaho is also reacting to the Vice Presidential announcement and released this statement:

“The University of Idaho is proud of its legacy of leaders, which includes Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, named on Friday by Sen. John McCain as his running mate. University of Idaho alumni are sizable in number, but remain a close-knit community. A large number of university alumni, such as Sarah, have gone on to distinguish themselves in public service.”

Palin studied Journalism at the University of Idaho and later went on to become a sports broadcaster.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter also released a statement shortly after Palin accepted the VP nomination and said she has always brought a lot of leadership to the Gubernatorial circle.

“I believe that Governor Palin is a great fit for the ticket.” Otter said. “I think she brings a lot of balance. I know that everyone knows and understands that she is a westerner.”

Otter goes on to praise Palin for her involvement with the Western Governor’s Conference and the National Governor’s Association. He says Palin has been involved in primarily education, criminal justice, natural resources and transportation matters.