August 29th, 2008
09:01 PM ET
6 years ago

How McCain chose Palin

McCain only talked with Palin once before choosing her.
McCain only talked with Palin once before choosing her.

(CNN) - John McCain first met Sarah Palin only six months ago and had just one conversation with the Alaska governor before offering her the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, the Arizona senator's campaign said Friday.

The move appears to be a marked departure for McCain - a man known for his tendency to surround himself with a close circle of advisers and politicians he has long felt comfortable with.

But according to the McCain campaign, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee first met Palin in Washington at a February 2008 National Governors Association meeting. He was immediately impressed with the 44-year-old rising GOP star, and decided to consider her for the vice presidential slot.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis had several conversations with Palin throughout the vetting process, but McCain himself didn't speak with the Alaska governor until last Sunday - one day after Barack Obama named Joe Biden to his ticket. It was then McCain reached Palin by phone while she was at the Alaska State Fair to discuss the possibility of joining the ticket.

Palin then traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona Wednesday evening, where she met with top McCain advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter. On Thursday Palin traveled to McCain's Sedona, Arizona home where the Arizona senator had another conversation with her, and formally asked her to be his running mate.


Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (1,482 Responses)
  1. JOE KILOZ

    B R I L L I A N T

    August 29, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Corrie

    Where is McCain's flag lapel pin???? Theone he made such a big deal over when Obama wasn't wearing one.

    August 29, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Don

    Pawlenty and Romney were used, lol

    August 29, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Eve from NY

    DONT BE FOOLED by false bloggers saying we clinton supporters arent insulted by this… WE ARE!!

    My friends an I have been EXTREMELY INSULTED by McCains' vp choice!!

    Even more so because we were going to vote for him come Novemeber! But this is OUTRAGEOUS..selecting Palin simply because of her anatomy, and expecting intelligent american women to vote for him because of this!!

    We have set up a group, consisting of 42 women already, who have commited to voting for OBAMA because of McCains decision.. which shows that he really IS OUT OF TOUCH with women in America!! There is only one choice this year.. OBAMA!!!

    Eve Watson, New York

    August 29, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. timber (ex dem)

    What a great choice!! Clinton paved the path for women like Palin. Congrats to Palin, Clinton and women everywhere.

    August 29, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. vic nashville,Tn

    We don’t want to know how he chose her ?
    With in a day we know she is better than Obama
    Life long democrat and Hillary strong supporter will vote for Mc Cain
    Hillary 2012 /Mc Cain/Palin2008

    August 29, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Alison, FL

    Wow! He only met her once before yesterday??? That is scary! He doesn't even know her?????

    August 29, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. wiser

    Great Choice! Thanks for respecting an intelligent, strong woman.

    You have this Hillary supporters vote. The democrats are all words, words, words!

    Democrats for McCain/Palin

    August 29, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. OnlyObama

    does he really think he'll get votes just because he picked a women????

    August 29, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  10. Corrie

    Where is McCain's flag pin? He is not wearing one in any photo of him posted today. And this after he and the other Republicans made such a big deal about it. So I guess we can all question his patriotism now.

    August 29, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Bridget

    McCain Campaign, please instruct Governor Palin on how to pronounce "nuclear", "Iraq" and "Iran". No one will take her seriously if she comes out of the gate sounding like Bush!

    August 29, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. rachael

    I am so upset with this decision. What if he wins and something should happen to him?! He's leaving us with HER?! She's under criminal investigation and was placed on temporary leave last week! AND HE PICKED HER! IS HE INSANE?!

    I'm going to have an aneurysm. What happened to Mitt Romney or Pawlenty, or Ridge or even Lieberman!? This is so irresponsible.

    August 29, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. Bill

    Well, they say McCain is a real firecracker, and today he blew his campaign's thumb off. Right from the beginning it looked the an impulsive choice (typical McCain, which is why his experience matters less than you'd think), and the details only confirm that. I bet he doesn't even realize how big a role her attractiveness played in his choice of her above the others. What a dangerous man to have in the White House.

    August 29, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Jorge

    Just when the number of houses gaffe was losing its punch, we have the VP announcement gaffe. This will last until Election Day, the gift that keeps on giving.

    August 29, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Billy

    He met her one time??

    This is scary. During the Warren debate, McCain would rush to answer before thinking. Now, he rushed his VP selection and selected a clearly unqualified candidate.

    Does McCain have the right temperament to make presidential decisions?

    August 29, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. JO

    Campbell Brown should be ashamed of herself. I am watching her right now - her show that alleges to be "no bias" - and she is blatantly pro-Obama. She is fully taking up the Obama talking points on Gov. Palin, without any effort whatsoever to be balanced. I am terribly disappointed.

    August 29, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. b. Krause

    Instead of a woman who runs with wolves, Palin prefers killing them...from airplanes and helicopters. What a brave, brave hunter! Then there's her position on teaching of evolution in schools: "It should be taught from all sides," she said ignorantly and presuming that there are many sides. Creationism (or "Intelligent Design") as the conservative courts of the land have decided is religion. Evolution is science. I wonder what her grade point average was at Univ. of Idaho.

    Is it any wonder that in the last 28 years, America has dropped from being in the top ten literate countries to 41...after Poland, Cuba, and Slovenia? And this is the package Republicans think America should buy? Come on, fellas and gals. You're losing your minds.

    August 29, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. mndharmas

    blind shot , the future of US

    August 29, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. suz

    SARAH PALIN????? The WORST governor in the COUNTRY on environmental/wildlife issues????? Someone a heart beat away from a presidency occupied by a pasty-faced sick-looking OLD white guy????? If nothing else, THIS should MOBILIZE a LOT of people!!!!!! It is me! What a stupid stupid choice by McCain! Nice try; no cigar!

    August 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Paul

    He met her 6 MONTHS AGO......???????????!!!

    How could anybody possibly decide if somebody capable of being VP after knowing them for only 6 months??

    Makes you wonder what else he is likely to do in an instant, without much thaught! dangerous

    August 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. RyanD.

    She was a 5th choice. LOL @ this bungle by the GOP.

    August 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. Sue

    He is such a fake. First he says foreign policy is something his VP pick must have, and that he must be comfortable with that choice. Nice to see that he feels he can get in bed with her after two short meetings. Judment of McCain – 0!

    August 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. LaShanda

    He doesn't even know this woman! This is frightening!

    DEMOCRATS 08!

    August 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. maryfromtexas

    I'm honored to be the first to comment! I'm extremely excited about the choice for VP! Women everywhere should be proud of where we have come. I'm not nervous at all; I know we're going to get this election won. Obama has too many things he's hiding about his past that still need to be exposed. Dems have made fun of President Bush for 8 years about how he talks, but have you heard Obama stumble and stutter while trying to think of answers? I can't wait for the upcoming debates, if Obama has the fortitude to accept the challenge. And do not underestimate Sarah Palin. You don't raise 5 children, one of them handicapped, without having nerves of steel and a strong conviction of right and wrong. Why is Obama keeping his secrets? Don't believe what the biased robot at CNN tell you. Shame on you women who are setting feminism back 50 years. Shame on you, Obama. (Just quoting Hillary)

    August 29, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. Troy

    Gergen and Campbell Brown are so in the tank for Obama it's crazy...how can anyone take them seriously?

    August 29, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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