OCCUPATION: Governor of Alaska
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES ON THE TIME 100: 0
PRO: Her VP nomination along with her steamrolling convention address and ratings-breaking debate revitalized the GOP's slumping self-image. By 2012, she could be a presidential contender or a red-state Oprah.
CON: What some see as from-the-gut straight talk, others see as ill-informed prattling. And we'll always wonder how John McCain would have fared had he not chosen a nominee who looked like the most famous female comedian in the country.