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. MIchael

    I am shucked at the Republican by trying to sell Palin to the American people. I am begging Republicans every where please do not follow our party blindly. It is obvious that our Republican President has strewed up everything for us and we need a new face in the white house not McCain, not Sarah Palin or any one from the Republican to lead this country for the next four years. CNN should also have its commentators to cut down their tones about Obama and Joe because these are American too.

    August 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Ex-Republican for Obama

    This beauty queen bimbo is a disgrace and blemish to ethical americans everywhere.

    Being Dr. DooLITTLE running the biggest 'park' populated by Reindeer and Polar Bears is a far cry from dealing with real, thinking and talking human beings.

    Her short stint as park ranger has achieved her only notice in the columns of corruption. When she interacts with people, she gets it wrong and ends up in trouble, she is currently the subject of a very corrupt and power abusive scandal.

    Obama: A TRUE american Hero!!

    August 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. David Goldman for OBAMA

    LOL IS MCWRONG OUT OF HIS MIND ?

    DUMB QUESTION. HE HAS JUST PROVEN IT.

    THIS "LADY" IS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

    JUST THINK ABOUT HER BEING THE NEXT

    PRESIDENT OF THE US. AND YOU FOLKS

    MADE POOPOOS ABOUT BUSH. WELL I TOLD YOU

    SOO. MCSAME IS NOT MCSAME HE IS MCWORSE.

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. JANET

    THIS VP PICK REALLY GOT ME RILED UP. DOES MCCAIN THINK THAT WOMEN WILL VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE A FEMALE IS HIS RUNNING MATE? THIS WOMAN HAS LITTLE EXPERIENCE. IF HILLARY WON IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BECAUSE SHE WAS TESTED AND THE PEOPLE CHOSE HER FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT. WITH A 72 YEAR OLD IN THE OVAL OFFICE, IT IS LIKELY THIS WOMAN COULD BECOME PRESIDENT.TWO YEARS AS GOVERNOR, PTA, AND TOWN COUNCIL EXPERIENCE!! SHE'S PROBABLY A LOVELY PERSON, BUT GIVE ME A BREAK, READY TO BE PRESIDENT?? NEVER!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Julian Shelton

    I think picking Sarah Palin was a mistake. The GOP's keep bounding that no one knows Obama. Well, after over 18 mos. they are still saying it. McCain just met Palin and God knows, the American public can't possibly find out who she is by November. What gives? Do GOP's think we are stupid?

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Eve, 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 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Tennisguypitt

    Thanks McCain! I can't believe you wanted Obama to win all along!

    Hillary, why don't you condemn Palin on the issues? Bring more of your idiotic voters!

    Remember "Hillary" supporters, she is no Hillary! If you truly love her, agree with her!

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. thenewscoverage

    I began putting together an article on the general comments and discussion about john McCain's decision to chose Sarah Palin for VP and have found that only hard right pundits and voters feel this was a good choice. Most moderates, and left leaning people have found this to be both insulting and an example of poor judgment.
    'What People are Saying About Sarah Palin' (http://thenewscoverage.net/4720) shows that many internet users are willing to dig on their own to find the details they need during this election. I am very interested in seeing what next weeks' Republican Convention will bring to the table; McCain needs all the help he can get after this decision.

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Joyce

    Why not a women VP? The truth is that the majority of contempoary women were heartbroken by the Obama/Hillary race. There is nothing wrong of taking advantage of the situation. McCain's move is wise and shows his ability of addressing emergent concerns.

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. Puma-SF

    This is fantastic news! They will win in a land slide!!

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Napoleon Complex

    John McCain doesn't have the judgment or the temperament to be President. He's made a mockery of his own campaign slogan. The choice of Sarah Palin doesn't put country first. She not capable of being commander-in-chief on January 20th. This was a cheap, desperate political trick designed to hide the conservatives' abysmal record on civil rights and gender equity.

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Aristotle

    Why the squawking about level of "experience."?
    Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama, and HE is running for the #1 job.–No time for training while POTUS!
    This Obamabot hypocrisy seems to be masking a high level of insecurity.
    McCain caught them off guard. Eureka!

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. carol

    Where is McCain's head??? did he think that just picking a Women would win our votes. He just doesn't get it. Does he? .... Where is McCain's judgment... He met her once before?? ... really now. My vote is for Obama and his excellent choice for VP Biden. This is no match!!!... Obama should win by a landslide! Let's hope!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. Kay

    I'm a Hillary supporter and the Palin pick solidified my support for McCain, but not because of her anatomy. Everyone who questions the motives of people like me need to research McCain's and Palin's positions. They both support equal pay, flexible work policies, family values, and health care for all Americans; they just believe these issues are better handled by individuals rather than government bureaucracy. I'm not insulted by this pick; rather I'm energized and plan to vote Republican for the first time in my life.

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. nitesh

    i wish mccain wins . then watch the whole world laugh on you folks for 4 years. come on america go show the world how insane can you get.

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. RickytheGriff

    Wow, CNN .... you guys really are the new Fox News!

    Bravo, hope the GOP pays you guys well for your services!

    (This will never get posted)

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Rosemary

    Does McCain believe that we (women) are simply idiots!!! We aren't looking for someone who simply has ovaries, we're looking for someone who can actually lead our country. let's go back to the add "when the call comes at 2 AM, who do you want to answer the call"? Palin (NOT!!!). I'm a women who will be 47 on the day of the election. I've never voted before but McCain has encouraged me to register (Democrat) and cast my vote for a team that takes women seriously and has the judgement to run the most powerful and diverse country.

    Rosemary

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. I'll miss Romney.

    Congrats McCain and Palin, for handing the election over to the Dems.

    August 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Jay

    What kind of judgment is McCain exercising when he chooses a running mate he's only had two conversations with, one whose experience in goverment, particulary with foreign policy, is shorter than even Obama's? This was a total gimmick and it's going to blow up in McCain's face. He just lost this election.

    Obama-Biden '08!

    August 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Lindsay

    I think it's great that McCain chose a female as his running mate. I do, however, have a problem with WHY he chose her. If Barack wasn't an African American and if his nomination wasn't as historical, would McCain have chosen her? I seriously doubt it.

    I feel McCain and his campaign made a huge mistake by selecting a woman simply because she's a woman and not because she is the most qualified. How insulting is that to women and to Gov. Palin? And, how is it that Gov. Palin doesn't see that?

    August 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. MIKE ELDER DANVILLE,VA

    If Mccain loses he would make one heck of a PIMP. He not only wants to pimp the ladys but Amerca too.

    August 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Jeff

    I am completely independant, and claim no party. In fact, I couldn't vote in the Florida primary because I chose not to be affiliated with a party. With that being said, I sincerely hope that McCain chose Palin because she firms up his conservative side. An NRA member, pro-lifer, and hardcore christian, she really appeals to those conservative members of the US. But, she is only 44. And that is something that he was pretty critical of Obama about wasn't it? I'm not sure that being the mayor of a town of 9,000 and the Governor of Alaska really gives a person the "experience" it takes to be the POTUS at any second.

    There is no possilbe way that this decision was made to sway the Clinton supporters. If people look at the issues and the stances of both Clinton and Palin, there is a stark difference. I think that McCain feels like he has enough to pull those disenfranchised Clinton supporters by himself, so why not go for the far right appeal that has continually dogged him from the beginning?

    Risky move...we shall see.

    August 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Johanna

    This is worth repeating:

    I was a Hillary supporter not because of her genetalia, but because of her policies. Policies that are closely linked to Obama's. So why would I ever, even for a fleeting moment, consider voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin? He voted against equal pay, and against the domestic violence act (penned by Joe Biden). So why, why would I find his choice anything other than a gross misjudgment and slap in the face of the American people, especially women. A woman with no policies or bad policies is no better, and in my opinion, much worse than a man with okay policies.

    August 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. Republicans hate America

    Well he countered the two things he criticized the most about Obama experience and celebrity and did a one oneupmanship by selecting a zero experience candidate that was in a pageant queen contest. Wow and half of you want this guys finger on the button.

    August 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. Amy

    Is he serious?

    If something were to happen to him....she would be our President?!

    She was Mayor of a town of 9,000 people, and a governor for 2 years in a state that's entire population is smaller than charlotte, NC and you think she could be tough with Iran and North Korea?! Are you kidding me, McCain? I thought you had a brain in your head. My respect for you has dissolved.

    I cannot believe this.

    All of a sudden, Obama/Biden is the SAFE ticket this fall.

    August 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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