DAY IN A NUTSHELL
John McCain wrests back the headlines from the Democrats with the news that his vice-presidential nominee is Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old governor of Alaska. The pair appear at a big rally in Dayton, Ohio, where Mr McCain presents her as a gritty and principled reformer. Mrs Palin, a mother-of-five, is only the second woman to be chosen as a US running mate. Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden say they are pleased to see "old barriers falling" but their campaign also targets her lack of national and international experience.
"She knows where she comes from, and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down. She's exactly who I need."
John McCain praises Mrs Palin's strength of character as he presents her as his choice in Ohio
"I didn't get into government to do the safe and easy things. A ship in harbour is safe, but that's not why the ship is built."
Sarah Palin talks about her willingness to take political risks in order to best serve the people
"Her selection is yet another encouraging sign that old barriers are falling in our politics. While we obviously have differences on how best to lead this country forward, Governor Palin is an admirable person and will add a compelling new voice to this campaign."
Barack Obama and Joe Biden issue a joint statement on Mr McCain's running mate choice
"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency."
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton comments on Mr McCain's choice of Mrs Palin as running mate
"Governor Palin is a proven reformer who is a wise steward of taxpayer dollars and champion for accountability in government. Governor Palin's success is due to her dedication to principle and her roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic and serves as a wonderful example of the spirit of America."
President George W Bush applauds Mr McCain's selection of Mrs Palin
"There are a lot of women who are disaffected by how Hillary [Clinton] was treated by the media, by how she was treated by the Obama campaign, by how she was treated by the Democratic National Committee, [DNC Chairman] Howard Dean not speaking up when sexism raised its ugly head."
Democrat Geraldine Ferraro, the only previous female running mate, comments on Mrs Palin's potential appeal to women on Fox News
At 44 years old and with five children, Sarah Palin certainly presents a contrast to John McCain, celebrating his 72nd birthday as he announced his running-mate choice.
Critics have been quick to point out that she has been governor of Alaska, population 670,000 (2006 census), for less than two years and before that was mayor of a town of fewer than 9,000 people.
She preferred to focus on it being 88 years almost to the day since American women gained the vote, as she became only the second ever female vice-presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, the latest daily tracking poll from Gallup puts Barack Obama ahead of Mr McCain by 49% to 41%, up two percentage points from their previous survey.
Rasmussen's tracking poll also suggests Mr Obama is ahead but gives him a smaller lead, with 49% to 45% for Mr McCain.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a mother-of-five who likes hunting and fishing - and was once her hometown's beauty queen