LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Top Republicans in Arkansas said Friday they were pleasantly surprised with John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, even though they had held out hope fellow Arkansan Mike Huckabee was in the running for the post.
Huckabee, the former governor who had repeatedly said he wasn’t in the running for McCain’s No. 2 spot, himself praised Palin as a smart pick for McCain and praised Palin’s conservative credentials.
“Sarah Palin is both principled and authentic. As a governor, she also brings an important balance of understanding of the critical domestic issues that is needed and that the Democrats have ignored with their ticket,” Huckabee said in a statement posted on his Web site.