Sen. John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate brought a wide range of reaction. Some said she was a shrewd choice, but others argued Palin has no business being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Across the nation

"She is the ultimate high-risk, high-reward pick."

Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute

"They're [conservatives] going to be excited about this pick because here's an authentic person who believes and does what she says in her policy atmosphere and can authentically carry that message to the country."

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

"On his 72nd birthday, is this really the one-heartbeat-away he wants to put in the White House? What does this say about his judgment?"

Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the No. 3 Democrat in the House

In Alaska

"She's like Saint Sarah up here."

Mark Hellenthal, a Republican pollster in Alaska

"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

Sen. Lyda Green, president of the state Senate and a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla

"Sarah Palin's chief qualification for being elected governor was that she was not Frank Murkowski. She was not elected because she was a conservative. She was not elected because of her grasp of issues or because of her track record ..."

Dermot Cole, a longtime columnist for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

In Minnesota

"When I first heard the choice, I was pretty skeptical. ... Then I watched the event in Dayton. She's dynamite. The story she tells, a working-class family, a neat family story that will appeal to women ... "

Vin Weber, former Minnesota congressman and a senior McCain adviser

"It's a desperate Hail Mary pass that's going to fall flat."

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, co-chairman of the Obama campaign in Minnesota

"She's going to energize conservatives and shake up the status quo, which is exactly what this election is about. It sends exactly the right message."

Brian Sullivan, Minnesota Republican activist who ran Mitt Romney's campaign here

"Obviously when the pick is unknown, it depends how they perform on the first day. I thought she did great."

Dan Hofrenning, political science professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield