The AP is reporting that John McCain's running mate will be Sarah Palin, the reform-minded governor of Alaska and a former beauty queen.
Two GOP strategists close to the McCain campaign said all indications pointed to Palin, a self-styled "hockey mom" and political reformer. The strategists spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the McCain camp to discuss the matter. There was no confirmation from McCain or his advisers.
Palin is a first-term governor credited with reforms of her out-of-the-way state. Newly minted Democratic nominee Barack Obama is making an aggressive play for the traditional GOP stronghold and its three electoral votes, and polls show the race close.
At 44, Palin is younger than Obama and, like McCain, she calls herself a maverick.
McCain's pick will be announced at noon in Dayton OH. McCain and his VP pick will appear outside Pittsburgh at a rally on Saturday.
A Gulfstream IV from Anchorage, Alaska, flew into Middletown Regional Airport in Butler County near Cincinnati about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, said Rich Bevis, airport manager. He said several people came off the plane, including a woman and two teens, but there was no confirmation of who was aboard.
"They were pretty much hustled off. They came right down the ramp, jumped in some vans here and off they went," Bevis said. "It was all hush, hush."
Could Palin be the pick?
Or is this carefully-orchestrated subterfuge to throw off reporters and make the VP announcement truly a surprise?
We'll soon know.
[NOTE: The MILF jokes have already started to appear in headlines around the web.]