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. jkh

    You know what this article says to me–McCain's trying to hump her bones, nothing else. She even wears her hair like his wife, who's maybe getting a little old right now....wow

    August 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. David

    The Dems say "Eight is Enough". 2 seconds of Obama is enough.

    August 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. Nicole

    This is just shows he has poor, rash judgement (choosing an inexperience person, just because she is a woman) You cannot vouch for someone when you've only met them once. I don't care who it is. He's 72 years old...how can he put someone who was recently just the mayor of a town of 8,000 people and for only 15 months, the governor of a state of only 600,000 people. Barack Obama's conressional district was 20 times more populated. This is ridiculous.

    August 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. truth now

    This woman wants to make it criminal to have an abortion, even if the pregnancy is from rape or incest. Since incest is a part of our society, how many women want to be forced to have the baby from their father, brother, uncle or cousin. What kind of sickness is that. Or how would you like to be raped and then be forced to have the rapists baby? She is a pyscho rethug and all of you women better think twice about the lives of you daughters, granddaugters.

    Some women have stated that the younger women should have to pay a price for not voting with them. I think that is the most selfish and horrible thing I have heard come out of the mouths of people that are supposed to be predisposed to nurture. I guess you have forgotten about the thousands of women that died or were left sterile or diseased because they did not want to have babies. What about the young people that are dying everyday for an unjust war. Do you want their blood on your hands.

    If you put this man in office, I hope you can sleep at night without the blown off limbs and heads of innocent people creeping into your dreams.

    August 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. karen

    So Palin isn't Hillary Clinton? Well, you can't have Hillary Clinton because OBAMA WAS AFRAID OF HER.

    August 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  6. John

    Disaster, Complete Disaster.

    August 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Steve OHIO

    The days of a V.P.'s like Quayle are and should be gone. We need two men or women or one of each, who have different strengths and weaknesses to offset each other. It is going to take to very wise people to get us out of this mess. Inane just sealed his fate.

    August 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. Campbell Brown is biased but pretty

    Campbell Brown should be professional, like Larry King. Brown has some more growing to do. She needs to learn how NOT to interject her personal bias into her reporting. CNN took a gamble with her.

    Straight Up.

    Becky Ann in Michigan

    August 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. mary, colorado springs co

    I have to wonder: WHO comes first in her life? Her country or her family? Being a woman, politician and mother, what are her priorities in a crisis?

    McStupid made ANOTHER blunder and has handed the Presidency to Obama.....Thanks, Senator, we needed that! Obama and Biden will show you what REAL political patriotism is. I can't wait until the debates and watch Obama and Biden tear you two lnto verbal shreds. I'm going to the Red Cross and give blood for you....with pleasure!

    You two deserve each other. Keep an eye on him, Mrs McCain, or you may wind up where his first wife did, losing him to a younger woman. Sound familiar??

    August 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. YJ

    This is an extremely irresponsible choice by McCain and as a woman I am offended. She is simply a pawn in this political chess game and an illustration of tokenism at work! Hillary put those 18 million cracks in that ceiling by her decades of service, this woman just walks on the scene and dares to believe that she deserves to now carry the torch for woman into the white house. She should have been offended to even be asked given her inexperience. She is clearly as irresponsible as her running mate. The responsible thing would have been to say no. Women of America are not that stupid and we are not buying into this.

    If you Hillary supporters think she deserves Hillary's vote, please think long and hard before you go to the ballot box, vote your values. It's bigger than being a woman, it's also bigger than being African American.

    Shame on McCain who states he would rather lose a political campaign than a war. it's clear that McCain would rather risk the fate of the entire country than lose ANOTHER political campaign for president. This is depressing and scary – Do what is right people – no matter who your choice was yesterday, it is clear which presidental ticket is good for our country. If you thought Obama/Biden was the risky choice, it is the only choice and clearly the SAFE choice! It is up to you and me to do the right thing...Obama/Biden!

    August 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  11. Zuqer

    Be careful of what you pray for because you just might get it.

    With all the Republican numb nuts praying to God for rain during the convention this week. . . well, God is answering your prayers.

    The Lord moves in mysterious ways. I believe this time he’s moving with Gustav and Hanna.

    Good luck boys and girls, it’s tough to win when God is not on your side.

    August 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. Elisa

    First of all, McCain was the poorest choice for the Republican presidential candidate, now he selects the poorest choice for a VP, keep digging yourselves deeper in the hole Republicans. McCain is dazed and confused one day the next he is desperately groping in the dark!

    August 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. TONYA

    I DON'T THINK CAMPBELL BROWN IS BEING BIAS SHE IS JUST AS TUFF ON OBAMA AND BIDEN, SHE IS JUST STAING THE FACTS HOW CAN WE NOT SEE THIS IS POLITICAL AFTER MCCAIN SLAMMED OBAMA ON EXPERIENCE AND SHE HAS NONE, HECK I CAN RUN A SMALL ISLAND. YES, THIS IS A SHOCKER AND THAT IS WHAT SHE IS POINTING OUT. DON;T HATE THE MEDIA OR JOUNALIST. SHE JUST WANTS TO KNOW WHAT THE HECK MCAIN WAS THINKING.... I AM TOTALLY OBAMA BIDEN NOW... DON'T THINK THE CLINTON'S WON'T HAVE MAJOR JOBS WITHIN THE PARTY. AS HILLORY SAID WERE YOU IN THIS FOR ME OR THE PARTY??? AND THE COUNTRY IS IN TO MUCH OF A CRISIS TO LET MCCAIN PLAY GAMES.... HE NEEDS TO ENJOY HIS LAST DAYS.. SOCCER MOM NEEDS TO DON THAT BE A MOM... PERIOD

    August 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  14. Chris

    Wow, nothing like choosing a VP candidate YOU DONT EVEN KNOW!

    That is just shocking how much of a stunt this selection is. Seriously, if this nation elects this ticket then we deserve all the hardship it will bring with it as our economy crumbles to dust and our world standing, what is left of it, is eclipsed by Europe, China and Russia.

    August 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. barry c

    i think having a strong resolute woman on the ticket is just the right ticket....lets look at the polls in 3 weeks....she has a lot of work ahead of her in the next few weeks....Good Choice John McCain not picking another grey haired guy...oh by the way I am one of them....

    August 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. Bob

    MCcain has failed the american people. Sarah is under investagation in Alaska for illegal firings. WOW, not even in the WHITE HOUSE yet and under investigation. Wake up America.

    August 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. S Callahan

    lol...I read alot of these comments and though most are meant to be serious one can't help but have a good laugh. I think McCain has a great sense of humor based on his pick but I'd watch out for his liability for poor Rachel at the top...Deep Breathe..........

    August 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  18. Zuqer

    Why is CNN blocking my post about the scandel in her own state? A true blog allows for freedom of blogging. This is selected blogging to not allow people to voice their opinion. Is this CNN or Fox news?

    August 29, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  19. KB

    It doesn't surprise me that he only met her once. The bottom line is this...

    He only picked her to sway Hillary supporters, plain and simple. It should be an insult to all women that he thinks he can win their vote just by selecting a female running mate. No intelligent woman who supported Clinton would fall for this nonsense. Palin is pro-NRA, hardcore pro-life and anti-gay rights. All of this flies in the face of everything Hillary stands for.

    If a Hillary supporting woman is actually voting for McCain just because he picked her, then obviously you were voting for Clinton just to see a woman president, not because you believe in what she stands for.

    McCain is 72 and has had health scares in the past. God forbid something happens to him and we are stuck with Palin. What do we even know about her? Do you really feel comfortable with her as a possible commander in chief? Are you confident in her talking to Putin? And he talks about Obama being young and inexperienced. How irresponsible can you get?

    Having said all that, If McCain/Palin win in November, it will not surprise me at all. Americans vote for stupid reasons. The issues always take a backseat. This is the same country that elected Bush twice and look where we are. Dan Quayle was an idiot, but he got elected. Use your brain for once.

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 29, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. Ted

    Wha? McCain is so experienced? Has worked in politics how long? During that time he must have met, worked with, developed trust with, and befriended no telling how many political figures. And he selected a VP that he met once?

    Met her once at a conference six months ago is enough to know if you might want to invite she and her husband to dinner. Yet McCain, after a single meeting, was able to know that he wants to work and live in the same house with she and her family for FOUR years. I can just imagine if I'd selected my small business partner after meeting her once six months ago. My friends would have tackled me to stop me jumping into that business relationship.

    August 29, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. jeremy

    imagine that, he picks a woman to try and take HRC followers. and she's half his age to make up for him being 400 years old. this guy is a joke
    not one humble bone in his body

    August 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  22. Charlie

    Geena Davis has more experience as Commander in Chief.

    August 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  23. Jan

    JUDGEMENT. HAHA. Did McCain say Obama had no judgement? Great choice I think. I was a bit worried, but not anymore. He did what he had to do, because Biden would have eaten Mitt alive during the VP debate.

    See Ladies, McCain really care about your rights.

    August 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  24. Jim

    I think McCain has taken this pick to show just how stupid he thinks the country really is. He did it for his own perverted enjoyment so he can laugh at all you idiots that will vote for him because she's a woman and good looking. And he want's to drill in Anwar so bad the oil companies probably have her in their pockets too. This is an oil company pick and McCain's last hope to get Hillary's vote. He knows he's in trouble. This was a desparate move,and a bad one. People don't want her for President or Vice President, they wanted the Clintons. And what's going to happen if McCain dies. He'll be almost 80 before he finishes his first term. How much longer do you think he has? That's all we need a senile, old man a pretty looking woman that has no idea what she would be doing. LOL :) I think McCain is giving up. He doesn't want to be president, he wants Barack too. This is a forfeit move.

    August 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  25. Matt

    Apparently it makes the dems angry when the McCain VP, Palin has more experience than Obama and they realize how hopeless he is!!

    August 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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