Inside Palin's Marriage

Inside Palin's Marriage

Sarah and Todd Palin: The couple who gets it done.


Married since: 1988
Family album:
Five children, one already-famous grandchild due in December

Shortly after Sarah Palin, Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, became governor of Alaska in 2006, her husband, Todd, became known not as First Gentleman, but as "First Dude." It's a term they both embrace. Alaska, and the Palin household, it seems, is a place for dudes rather than gentlemen. Caribou is a staple in the Palin diet, after all.

This salt-of-the-earth duo, who eloped to an Alaska courthouse in 1988, can be counted on to get things done, be that shooting tonight's dinner, raising five children or running a state government. Todd told Fox News in a recent exclusive interview, he knew back when the duo started dating during their senior year of high school in 198l that he'd marry the "shy" and "attractive" young Sarah.

On one hand, the Palins seem to live a fairy-tale, rustic life. Theirs is the typical story of two devoted Christians marrying young, having five kids, encouraging each other to succeed—he at fishing, oil rigging and snowmobiling; she at running a small town and then the state—all the while bringing good cheer and friendship to their communities. As Todd's snowmobile-racing partner told ABC News: "Every year I come across the finish line, I try to get Todd to come up beside me and he won't do it," he said. "I mean, he's the kind of guy who wants me to finish first."

On the flipside, there are the rumors: Sarah's extramarital affair; her alleged use of political influence to have her ex-brother-in-law, an Alaska state trooper, fired as an act of revenge; Track, 18, their eldest son's enrollment in the military as an antidote to his persisting drug problems or potential incarceration; and 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, being forced to marry the fellow high school student with whom she's expecting a child in December.

What voters can count on from the Palins, if Sarah and Presidential hopeful John McCain find themselves headed to the Washington after November 4, is that Todd won't be a wallflower in the White House. Since Sarah was elected governor in 1996, he has become a staple "First Dude" around the statehouse, sitting in on meetings and serving as an unofficial adviser to his wife. But he does have limits. "When my wife starts talking about reform, corruption and making government work for the American people, it's best just to move out of the way," he told ABC News.