Mother of five, one-time Miss Congeniality, caribou hunter, pro-lifer, proponent of creationism: Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin is all of these things, rolled into one strategically advantageous package — at least in the eyes of the GOP higher-ups who backed her rise from relative obscurity to sudden political stardom as John McCain’s running mate.

Los Angeles Times:

“The people of Alaska, many of them got tired of the ego issues out there with longer-term federal and state officials and said enough is enough,” said John Harris, the Republican speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives.

But he added that Palin has proved to be, as she was in Wasilla, “not a great communicator.” She has alienated enough Republicans that “without a very large contingent of Democrats supporting her positions, she can’t get anything accomplished,” Harris said.

McCain campaign surrogates were spreading the word Friday that Palin would appeal to women because of her ability to juggle five children and her political career.

Her bookends, the oldest and the youngest, have made this a bittersweet season for Palin.

Her oldest, Track, joined the Army last Sept. 11 and will depart for Iraq shortly. Her youngest, Trig, was born this spring with Down syndrome, a condition his parents were aware of before his birth.

“Many people will express sympathy, but you don’t want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You have to trust me on this,” the Anchorage Daily News said she wrote in an e-mail to relatives and friends, in the voice of “Trig’s Creator, your Heavenly Father.”

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