How a college sophomore won Sarah Palin the veep slot.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Aug. 29 2008 1:52 PM

Sarah Palin, Web Invention

How a college sophomore put Alaska's governor on the map.

See Slate's complete Republican National Convention coverage.

Adam Brickley.
Adam Brickley

According to both the Aug. 29 Anchorage Daily News and the June 13 Colorado Springs Gazette, Sarah Palin became John McCain's vice presidential candidate largely through the machinations of someone even younger and less experienced than herself. From the Anchorage Daily News:

The hype can probably be traced to the Web site of a 21-year-old college senior * majoring in political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Adam Brickley, a political buff who will graduate in May, started a "Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President" blog last year and has relentlessly promoted the idea ever since.

Brickley has never been to Alaska or met Palin. But while researching potential vice presidents, he stumbled on Palin and thought she would be a good No. 2 to just about all of the major Republican candidates in the race at the time. … The "Draft Palin" movement picked up momentum in more mainstream media, including a column last summer by Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. Others followed, including talk over the past couple weeks from conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. [ Actually, Limbaugh's been chatting up Palin since February 2008; Brickley created his blog in February 2007, during his junior * year, a mere two months after Palin assumed the governorship. Click here to see him talk up Palin this past May on YouTube.]

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Brickley (aka "Elephantman") supported Rudy Giuliani in the primaries, according to his blog. According to his "Blogger" profile, Brickley's interests include politics, Zionism, and "fighting socialism." ZoomInfo adds that he's a leader in University of Colorado-Colorado Springs College Republicans and the founder of a political blog called ConservaGlobe; that he made dean's list; and that he receives a $7,500 Ronald Reagan College Leaders scholarship annually from the conservative Phillips Foundation. At the moment, he appears to be interning  for a young conservative commentator on TownHall.com named Matt Lewis. "WE DID IT!!!!!!" crows Brickley's latest entry on the Draft Sarah Palin blog. "I'll have a lot more later, but needless to say I am positively elated."

Clarification, Sept. 2, 2008:The Anchorage Daily News' characterization of Brickley as a "college senior" was incorrect. Brickley graduated this past spring. (Return to the sentence.)

Correction, Sept. 2, 2008:An earlier version of this column stated incorrectly that Brickley was a sophomore when he created the Palin blog. In fact, he was a junior. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

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