Page last updated at 22:49 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 23:49 UK

In pictures: McCain's shock pick

Supporters hold a placard with a happy birthday message for John McCain

Supporters at a Republican rally in Dayton, Ohio sang Happy Birthday to presidential candidate John McCain, as he prepared to announce his choice of running mate.

Sarah Palin (L) and John McCain at a rally in Ohio

"She's exactly who I need, who this country needs, to help me fight to turn the same old Washington politics on its head", Mr McCain said of his choice, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin is joined onstage by her husband, Todd (L), and daughters, Piper (centre) and  Bristol

The 44-year-old mother of five, a relative unknown in nationwide US politics, introduced her husband, Todd, and other members of her family at the rally.

John McCain and Sarah Palin on stage in Dayton

Thanking Mr McCain for choosing her as his running mate, Mrs Palin said she would be honoured to serve alongside him.

Sarah Palin gives her speech to Republican supporters

She also thanked Senator McCain "for refusing to hedge his support"' for US troops in Iraq, regardless of "political costs". Mrs Palin has a son, Track, who will shortly serve in Iraq.

Republican party supporters

Parts of Mrs Palin's speech were greeted by supporters gathered at the rally with cheers of "USA, USA".

Sarah Palin addressing Republican supporters in Ohio

She paid tribute to Hillary Clinton for the "determination and grace" she showed in her unsuccessful bid to become the Democratic presidential candidate.

John McCain (L) is hugged by Sarah Palin

Some analysts say Mrs Palin may have been chosen by the McCain campaign as a tactic to win over some Democratic women voters disappointed by Mrs Clinton's defeat by Barack Obama.

McCain picks female running mate
29 Aug 08 |  Americas

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