Obama with an eight-point lead. In the days leading up to the Democrats’ convention, the two candidates were tied in the polls. But in a strategic move to take the attention off Obama and on to his own campaign, McCain celebrated his 72nd birthday by naming relatively unknown Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is only 44, as his second, and ending speculation that the second spot would go to former rival Mitt Romney or Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.