It's her favorite room [kitchen] in the large but unpretentious home her husband, Todd, designed and built five years ago.... Todd's floatplane is docked just a hundred yards away [on Lake Lucille] at the edge of the neatly mown lawn....Having such a high-powered wife does not faze Todd, who refers to himself jokingly as the "First Dude."So what I learned about Todd Palin is that he is at least as good an individual as Sarah Palin--likely even better as he is a very strong and loving husband and father! The governor of Alaska seems to know that too, as she introduced Todd to the country as "the man she admires the most in this world."
While Sarah does the work of governor, Todd remains the quintessential Alaska man. He stays busy with his week-on, week-off job with British Petroleum on the North Slope. He's also one of the state's best snowmachiners, and has won the grueling 2,000-mile Tesoro Iron Dog race four times. In the summer, Todd fishes a commercial site in Bristol Bay and spends time flying his airplane, a hobby he has enjoyed for 20 years.
Having his wife become governor changed the Palin household, he said, but not in a monumental way. "Her schedule dictates my schedule, but with her being mayor for so many years, we were already used to it," he said. "The kids are very adaptable. There are thousands of Alaska families that adapt, whether you're a contract guy who's gone for the summer season, a sloper or in the military, we have a lot of families who don't have the 9-to-5 schedule."
On this day, Todd Palin is preparing to change into work clothes and help oversee construction of a community playground in Juneau. As First Dude, he is a champion of vocational education for Alaska students. "I'm a product of on-the-job training that was offered to me in 1989. And growing up in the high schools that I attended, we had great shops, mechanic shops and carpenter shops. In recent years, that has not been a high priority, but that is coming back. So I've told the commissioner of labor, 'Wherever you can use me in that role, I am there for you'."
"My slope job has provided for my family," he said. "when an opportunity is given to an individual, it is what that person does with it that matters. As I travel the state, that's a big concern, getting kids motivated. I am meeting kids that can't read a tape measure or just don't want to work, so it's the same message wherever we go. Step out. Once you step out and are given an opportunity, you can change a life"
Todd's family is spread from Bristol Bay to Homer.... when [daughter] Bristol revealed she spent $20 on leg waxing--'That was supposed to be gas money,' Todd Palin said disapprovingly [and Sarah Palin concurred!]
Here are some other things I've found out about Todd Mitchell Palin in searching the web:
- One-eighth Native Alaskan (born 1965 in Dillingham, Alaska)
- Grandmother grew up in a traditional Yup'ik Eskimo house in Bristol Bay
- Graduated Wasilla High School, followed by college work
- Commercial salmon fisherman on the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay
- Coach of kids' hockey and basketball teams
- Member of the United Steelworkers Union
- Rugged individual who works at blue-collar job on the North Slope
- Avoids conflict of interest, including resigning as oil production supervisor when his wife was elected governor [later resumed non-conflicting labor in oil field)
- Four-time winner of the Iron Dog, the 2,000-mile snowmachine race (longest in the world) from Big Lake to Nome along the Iditarod Trail and then on to Fairbanks
- Prefers to vote as an independent
- Is reliable and trusted ["I have to trust my life in his hands, and I do, because he can still think when he's dehydrated and tired," says his partner in the Iron Dog]
- Has a lot of willpower and doesn't quit [During 2008 Iron Dog snowmachine race, was thrown 70 feet and broke his arm, yet finished to end up in fourth place]
- Committed to loving new life [When he found wife's recent pregnancy would result in a baby with Down Syndrome, commented “We shouldn’t be asking, ‘Why us?’ We should be saying, ‘Well, why not us?’”]
- Helps others even when seriously inconvenienced [In last year's Iron Dog, Palin and his teammate helped a racer with broken ribs reach the next checkpoint before heading on to victory]
- Won't spend money he doesn't have [Eloped with Sarah because her family had a bad fishing year and a $35 marriage was all that could be afforded]
- Rock and pillar of his family ["He can go on just an hour or two of sleep a night. He says, 'I can sleep when I die,' " said Sarah Palin. "There is no way I could have done this job [as governor] without his tremendous contributions to the home life. He's able to keep it organized, like a well-oiled machine."]
- Takes his family's safety and welfare seriously: "In 2005, before Palin ran for office, the Palin family accused Wooten [Sarah Palin's brother-in-law] of drinking a beer while in his patrol car, illegal hunting and firing a Taser at his 11-year-old stepson. The Palins also claimed Wooten threatened to kill Sarah Palin's father.... More recently, Todd Palin said, he took his concerns over the governor's safety directly to Monegan. But he said he never told anyone to fire Wooten." Another site adds, "At one point, Todd Palin brought information prepared by himself and a private investigator to Monegan." To see why Todd was alarmed, see the background information supplied in the Ethics Disclosure Form filed in this 'Troopergate' case.