September 19th, 2008
01:42 PM ET

Todd Palin: 'first dude' or 'shadow governor?'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/09/19/todd.palin/art.tpalin.jpg caption="Critics want to know why Todd Palin was copied on hundreds of state e-mail correspondence."]

Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

He's the man Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin affectionately calls her "first dude."

Todd Palin was introduced to the nation at the Republican National Convention as a blue-collar oil worker, a laid-back father of five and a world-record-holding snowmobile racer.

Todd and Sarah met in high school at a basketball game and eloped in 1988, six years after graduation. Todd grew up in Alaska and is part Eskimo. He's an avid outdoorsman and champion of the Iron Dog snowmobile race.

He's worked in Alaska's oil industry and as a fisherman. But in recent times, he's had another role. Some call him the "Shadow Governor."

In government circles and among the family's acquaintances, Todd Palin is known as his wife's greatest adviser and most loyal protector. One family friend said, "Todd is incredibly supportive and is willing to do whatever it takes to help Sarah."

Todd may appear quiet, almost shy, but he's made quite an impression on his wife's running mate, Sen. John McCain. On the campaign trail this month in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, McCain said, "He's not afraid of Washington, D.C.! He can take them on!"

Alaskans interviewed by CNN say Todd Palin has plenty of influence.


Filed under: Randi Kaye • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. D. Chris Simpson

    I don't understand how the Palins can just not cooperate with the government and not testify. Had this been any other American citizen, a warrant would have been issued for their arrest and they would be detained until further notice. If this were to happen in the Obama camp they would be under a fierce microscope. Something is fishy here and this is just one more example of how Sarah Palin should not be in the White House, if she will misuse her political power while governor, what do you think she will do when she is number 2 in the most powerful seat in the world???

    September 22, 2008 at 3:38 am |
  2. Austin

    In government circles and among the family’s acquaintances, Todd Palin is known as his wife’s greatest adviser and most loyal protector. One family friend said, “Todd is incredibly supportive and is willing to do whatever it takes to help Sarah.”

    -No way...he's incredibly supportive of his wife??? That's just outrages...can't you find anything on this lady besides that she has a supportive husband??? She's sends e-mails to her husband??? We should definitely throw her in jail

    September 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  3. violet adams


    September 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  4. John

    Todd and Sarah Palin appeal to an America that is desperately in need of role models. They made it to the top the hard way, no handouts for the Palins

    September 21, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  5. Scott

    The spousal rights aspect to Todd is what discerns me the most. Conversations that Todd and Sarah are protected by law. So his involvement and total inexperience politically just makes the whole Sarah thing scary. What are his motives, what has he done in the past. Who is he?

    At least with Bill Clinton by Hillary's side, he had the full respect of the American public.

    September 19, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  6. DFrost

    AJ...Todd is part eskimo. There are many "native Alaskan" tribes. There are "indians" and "eskimos". Todd is supposedly part Yupik, which is Eskimo. There is some debate about how much Yupik he really is, but he's not half like the repubs like to claim. Look at some of the Alaska newspapers...you will find more truth there than down here. Also, Palin's history is not pro-native. There is some of that information up there as well. From an ex-Alaskan...and ex-Alaska state employee.

    September 19, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  7. lorena

    She can be entrusted with our national security, because she already is.

    September 19, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  8. Rose From San Bernardino, Calif

    There's not such thing as FAMILY VALUES in this family. They all need COUNSELING BIG TIME!

    September 19, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  9. Rose From San Bernardino, Calif


    In my personal comment...
    Todd Palin is the real Govenor of ALASKA not his wife Sarah, he thinks he is above the Law!
    Todd was always there with his wife in important meetings ect.
    What is Todd problem? Does Todd Palin have a trusting issue with is wife Sarah?

    September 19, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  10. Paul

    This article sounds pretty sexist. Is the writer trying to say Sarah Palin needs a man to do the job? The liberal media making up news where there is none. How about focusing in on Obama community organizing days? Look up ACORN on the web and some of the stories around that. Obama is just plain scary. If you are independently minded, do some research. The liberals have paralized this nation some much so, we have been a laughing stock. We have all the natural resources we need to power our country, but liberals would rather care more about earthworms than humans.

    If you want to point a finger at for the subprime crisis, than look no further than Bill Clinton. Back in 1997, he signed a law that allowed people who had no business to have a mortgage the ability to get one. He wanted people who could not afford a house to buy one, and buy one they did. The mortgage lenders knew what they had on their hands and got rid of the loans as quickly as they could write them. They were sold up the financial food chain until the financial investment firms bought them (they only saw the potential money that could be made by the loans, their greed didn't allow them to see the risk).

    The Democrats cater to special interests, because most of their policies are anti-middle class America. They pick off groups because they need them to push their agendas. Their socialist beliefs will continue to bring us down because they believe in hand outs. Obama will bring us further down.

    September 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  11. Lisa

    You have got to be kidding with this story. Have you people in the media forgotten all the times Hillary Clinton was "in" on government related meetings. Geez Louise! Bill Clinton gave his wife say over all our health care! You know how stupid and gullible you in the media think all of us out here are? Multiply that by a thousand and that would be just about how stupid and gullible we think you so-called journalists are. Please, show some intelligence, will ya?

    September 19, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  12. Lacy Lady

    Just wonder if laws are passed only for a few people ? I don't know how anyone can refuse to testify. As far a #1 Dude-whatever that means., I think the people in Alaska wonder why they elected her instead of him. Then McCain says he (Dude) can take on DC?
    Is he the true running mate? I am confused!! But guess I will have others to figure this out-–I will vote for the two winners–Obama/Biden

    September 19, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  13. mike

    i think that democrats are affraid of reform on the government and that is what she is good at. the first dude or what ever you want to call him is not running for any office so everyone needs to let him alone, and to many people are saying just more bushagnomics or what ever, but what they do not realize is the congress has the final say so and thats to bad because they are democrat controlled, most presidents in my lifetime other than ragen say they can do so many things for you and in reality they do nothing. truth is she has done good things for alaska and the people like her for it and mccain has proven himself to me and is the only answer to this countries problems.

    September 19, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  14. Alex

    OMG. Talk about the self righteous indignation from all the Democrats! Talk about a double standard! If the shoe were on the other foot, they'd be doing the same thing. And by the way folks, learn who has powers to issue subpoenas and when refusal to appear is an "actual" violation of law (i.e. Contempt of Court) versus one issued by a "Special Prosecutor" or someone appointed to conduct a hearing, investigation, etc. It ain't the same as some folks believe, especially when those leading the investigation have an obvious bias or political agenda. The idea of most "hearings" or "inquiries" is to have a fair and IMPARTIAL one.

    September 19, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  15. Garnette---NC

    Palin called the campaign for the Republicans " The Palin /McCain campaign !! What does that tell you ?

    September 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
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