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. Mike, FL

    Wow, what a poor judgement by McCain!!

    The candidates biggest decision so far has been selecting a the best VP candidate.

    I don't care if you are McCain's supporter, but you can honestly say she is the best pick over the likes of Romeny, Ridge, Powel or Rice.

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. bo

    i'm no mccain supporter, but already the claws have come out against palin as a woman. the pundit on cnn just made fun of how her beauty queen training helped her with her speech today, bloggers and commenters are already attacking her for taking on this job since she has children, huffington post has a degrading picture series of her, pundits all over are saying how biden can't have a real debate with her now or he'll be seen as bullying her, msnbc's breaking news headline during her spech said "how many houses does palin own?" etc. pretty much, this woman is just being treated as a joke. even though she may lack experience (and has gotten more done in her two years as gov than obama in all his senate years) – she is the VP nominee of one of our major parties and as a person, deserves a little respect.

    i can't wait for the misogyny i'm going to have to endure for the next two months straight; with hillary out fo the race, i began to forget that sexism existed. but make no mistake, all women, no matter their politics, shouldn't sit around and let this woman get degraded or treated differently for being a woman.

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. Zuq

    She doesn't even know what a VP does.

    Count Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as one of the most surprised that she was chocen as unning mate for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

    In an interview just a month ago, she dissed the job, saying it didn’t seem “productive.”

    In fact, she said she didn’t know what the vice president does.

    Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” asked her about the possibility of becoming McCain's ticket mate.

    Palin replied: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. Independent

    Must of been love at first sight!!!!!

    I'm a Hillary supporter and I'm not falling for this crap.....NO WAY NO HOW NO MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rove have his dirty little hands in this....what a !(($H%$...you can fill in what ever suits you.....

    Is it true she won't hear of putting the polar bear on the endanger list???

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. Eric in VB

    McCain is thinking with the wrong head. Cindy you better have gotten John to sign that prenup.

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. gijoe31523

    I think I have this pick figured out! McInsane realizes that he nor the the republican party can win in November, so he wants to do a symbolic gesture-Geraldine Ferraro- for the Republican party.

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. Rich

    Why does this Sarah Palin seem familiar to me...? Oh, that's right, she used to go by the name Harriet Miers! Good to see she's still working!

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. REAL TALK

    ARE REPUBLICANS SMOKING CRACK?

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. aware

    Republicans win again! :)

    I am a Hillary Clinton Supporter who will vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. :)

    Barack didn't have the wisdom or the intestinal fortitude to choose Hillary Clinton. He chose a good old boy for his VP! He is an arrogant phony, an obfuscator, a prevaricator, an equivocator and a wimp! :(

    Obama is toast! His stand on abortion is so far left even democrats cringe! Biden/Obama is the ticket of babble and rhetoric!

    McCain/Palin is the ticket of authenticity, integrity, action, reform and real change Americans can believe in! :)

    August 29, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  10. McCain/Palin

    To Eve (7:10)

    Would you women Hillary supporters stop giving yourselves so much credit; that 18 million count didn't solely consist of you!

    Give Gov. Palin a chance, some of us Republicans like her, stop giving yourself a pat on the back believeing that you will make or break this election.

    Go McCain/Palin

    August 29, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Wes

    Desperate measures for a desperate party.

    August 29, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Jules

    I am very shocked by McCain's VP choice...did all the others say "No Thanks"? It frightens me that Palin thinks she qualified to hold this position! I can't believe a mother with young children would consider this- Will there be back lash from the party that brought us " family values"?! This election gets more interesting by the minute!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. tuttysan

    This is an insult to the intelligence of every woman in America, because he only picked her because of her sex! while there were many other male candidates that were more qualified. This is also irresponsible and a showing that it is McCain who puts his political interests BEFORE the country by doing this random choice in hopes of winning the swing women vote. How sad and how scary!

    August 29, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Sheila

    Does Mc Cain really think that women will cast a "gender" vote rather than a "substance" vote this election year? How insulting. He needs to understand that women are not interchangable And even if we were focused on supporting a woman 'just because' , Palin doesn't hold a torch to Hillary. Barack/Biden 08!

    August 29, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  15. Truth B Told

    Oh I forgot MSNBC is the same as saying CNN. Moderate that!

    August 29, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. Steven

    This is a disgrace! All the Republicans do is exploit people. This indow dressing is hurtful to all woman. She looks very weak and make women look even weaker. She knows what this is and she should have turned it down.

    August 29, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. Unhappy

    I was going to vote for McCain but now I AM NOT happy.

    Fine, I'll give CHANGE a chance but man if I get burnt... if I feel like I was fooled I am going RIGHT back to McCain.

    Holding my nose and voting Obama...

    Republican keeping his fingers crossed.

    August 29, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. drep

    1. Steve- Blobermann isn't that smart. My 3 year old can handle that idiot.
    2. Don't say she isn't qualified. She is govenor of a state. You know like Clinton was a govenor of a state, or do libs forget those facts.
    3. Might want to stay away from the experience issue. Osama Obama has none. He's not even an experienced senator. He's spent two years wasting your tax money campaigning. He has never managed anything. He hasn't managed a state, a city or an organization.
    4. I don't care if Mccain met with her once or ten times. Everyone knows that the candidates have people that sort those choices out and make recommendations. Just like Osama Obama. Seriously, he never spent a whole lot of quality time with Biden. Try focusing on real issues and quit voting for a rock star that can read a teleprompter. Someone from CNN ask Obama if he can actually spit out an orginal idea and plan.

    August 29, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. Rufus Paige

    The 18 million cracks dont seem to like McCains choice.

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. Me

    Where's your flag pin for your lapel Mister McCain? Tsk. After you all made such a big deal over Obama not having one.

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  21. Zuqer

    There’s no way troglodyte Republicans are going to vote for this ticket with McCain one foot into death’s door. It’s essentially voting for Palin for President.

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. Nija

    McCain is desperate period.

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. vam in TX

    A VP Choice based on anatomy and genitalia.. Great.. This is a sure way to insult Hillary...and some of her supporters...

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. me

    GO SARAH!!!!!!!!!! :) She'll kick Joe Biden's but!

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. Tom in Delaware

    On a more serious note, this woman's credetials are impecable. She won't be hearing any criticism from any Catholic Archbishops over whether she should receive Holy Communion.

    She has to deal with the governments of Canada and Russia on a regular basis.

    She is working to build a nautral gas pipeline from Alaska, thru Canada, to the lower 48 states.

    Alaska is larger than three-quarters of all of the other countries on planet Earth.

    She is Commander-in-Chief of the Alaskan National Guard.

    She has more Executive experience than Obama and Biden and McCain combined!

    I have been following her for about 5 months now and she is not a person that anybody is going to be able to dismiss easily, so be very careful of your contempt before investigation.

    She doesn't merely hold an opinion about being Pro-Life (can't stand you 'people' that call it Anti-Abortion), she LIVES Pro-Life everyday. That makes her 100% UN-TOUCHABLE on this topic.

    She is a fantastic, beautiful, intelligent, wholesome, role-model for young women everywhere.

    Go McCain/Palin '08 Down with Obama Bi(de)n Drama

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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