John McCain & Sarah Palin on

Interview on People’s website starts out:

Even the kids were in the dark.

Meghan McCain, 23, didn’t find out until a few hours before the rest of the nation. Track Palin, 19, an Army private on base in Fairbanks, Alaska, got the news in a text message an hour before his mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took the stage in Dayton, Ohio, as John McCain’s pick to be his running mate. “I said, ‘Track! Turn the TV on in an hour,'” Sarah Palin told PEOPLE. “He says, ‘What does this mean? Am I going to have to crawl in a hole?’ And I said, ‘No!’ Because he had no idea; he doesn’t even know where we are.”

Where they were was the Nutter Center college sports arena in Dayton, Ohio. And PEOPLE was there for an exclusive backstage interview with the McCain and Palin families suddenly joined in the campaign for the White House. Sarah Palin, in ruby red peep-toe platform heels that showed off a pink French-style pedicure, first ducked into a holding room to change the diaper of her just-up-from-a-nap 4 1/2-month-old son, Trig.


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