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. Vince

    Nicole August 29th, 2008 7:35 pm ET

    I will be up front and say I am voting for Obama. I'm from Illinois and I have seen him in action and have great respect for him and what he stands for. The only reason that I can see John McCain picked Governor Palin is because she is a woman. She does share the base Republican party values – but so do many, many more individuals and have greater experience to represent this country on the world stage. That John McCain would pick a woman and expect women everywhere to fall in line and to pick up votes because he added a female is an insult not only to women, but every person in this country. He contradicts his own words about having someone qualified and I am disappointed in what this choice represents to the American people.

    Wow Nicole, I am from Illinois (Chicago) and I have also seen what he stands for. That is why I am NOT voting for him. Where did he get you? Was it the highest sales tax in the country? Was it helping Stroger get elected? Was it voting down the recall ammendment to the Illinois constitution? Was it Wright? Phlegler? Daley? Is it that we pay close to the highest property taxes in the US? Was it the beautification of the projects he championed? Or is it simply that he comes from Illinois? If you are voting for him in hopes that if he wins he takes some of this garbage with him, then I am on board. If not grow up and look around you.

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. Janice S

    Apparently Republicans believe the woman voter is naive and easily swayed. I supported Hillary because of what she stood for and believed in not because of her gender. I hope all woman voters are smart enough to see this as just another politcal ploy and vote for the issues they believe in not the hype.

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  3. Janet

    John McCain must of drank too much of that Budweiser that he let his wife sell to a foreign country taking jobs from us. It is an insult to women and to compare her to Hiliary Clinton is a bigger insult. Send Bill after her-oh, no better not, she's got that Monica look.

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. Missy

    He didn't pick her because she is a woman. He picked her because she's a good choice. He didn't pick her because she might bring the votes of women. He picked her because she's an amazing person who happens to be a woman.

    I'm thrilled with his choice. She's a strong, independent woman who has shown great poise, grace, and intelligence during her time in the Alaska government. It's not a ploy to get women to vote for him. It's a decision to get people to vote for the best ticket. And that ticket happens to have a woman.

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. rosie

    ~ what exactly are Obama's credentials again , he wears pants ! he talks alot ...yes he is wonderful talker..he has all of you drinking Kool-Aid. i can only hope some of you can see thru the fog and the glitz and glam. but your Obama , has even less, experience than Govenor Palin. sheesh people ..enough with the lip service. why in the hell does the fact that McCain has had cancer..have any thing to do with anything. i pray he lives a long life. i was going to vote democrat, until Obama was elected..i would rather vote for a PRESIDENT with experience and substance. biden has nothing to do with me switching sides. the VP is an errand boy (girl). IMO~

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  6. jody

    The question only person qualified to run for president is a president running for reelection. Get off the broken wagon. Palin is the only one who has run a state as an official in a final decision making position. I have been on the fence until now I am totally behind McCain/Palin 08. I visited Alaska in 2006 and the people of Alaska just love this woman for her accomplishment for their state. I believe her fresh no nonsense outlook is something this nation needs regardless if your democrat or republican . God Bless USA

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. Pat

    As a woman this is a huge insult.
    How dare this woman compare herself to Clinton .

    You've gotta be kidding!!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. coopa

    brobama.org would never make such a non-substantive pick

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  9. mary

    He picked her because he today he turned 50, sample as that

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  10. Elizabeth

    It appears that the focus is on Palin and Obama. Shouldn't the focus be on how she measures up to Sen. Biden? It's obvious that was she was chosen to bring in people that supported Clinton to support McCain. Because of the dynamic speech that Mrs. Clinton called for unity among the democratic party, I don't think that this will change the minds of these citizens. As a woman, she will bring about change but she still is no Hillary Clinton, they're two different people, with different ideals.

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  11. JK

    Sorry John. You lost a lot of votes including mine. We are not stupid people.

    August 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. Patricia

    It amazes me that I can post remarks as well as anyone else, but they do NOT get chosen. Ever... not one!

    I'm going to try this one more time.... though it appears to be an exercise in futility!

    This woman is a hockey mom with a degree (I think, it's a degree) in journalism! She has no foreign experience at all. She is from a state that is so densely populated that it is like a huge little town with all the corruption that comes with small towns. "You scratch my back and I will scratch yours." We just had a big scandal up there from another Republican congressman. But what this woman does have is a husband who is an OIL MAN. You can buy anything if you have enough money. She is not in touch with the common people any more than McCain. She is a female Buchanan! Come on, People.

    And they think we will think this woman is another Hillary!!

    I think I just about spit up in my mouth.

    August 29, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  13. Dan

    This is disgusting. I am appalled by the poor judgment shown by McSame here.

    Think about this. He choose Sarah Palin as his running mate. This is someone who he barely knows and clearly is not qualified to be in the position she was just offered. Much better options were available for him. Clearly he made this choice based on trying to gain votes and NOT on picking a person who would be the best choice for our country.

    Obama COULD have done the popular move and picked Clinton, but he did not. He went for someone strong in foreign policy in Biden and he choose the best person for the job. That's good judgment to me, and his choice reflected what is best for our country, not necessarily what would be best for his campaign.

    MsShame selfishly picked a nobody female to try and gain some votes. SHAME ON HIM FOR THAT RECKLESS DECISION AND SHAME ON ANYONE WHO WOULD VOTE FOR A PERSON WHO PUTS HIS CAMPAIGN AHEAD OF OUR COUNTRY'S BEST INTEREST.

    If anyone out there really thinks Palin was the "best" choice for vp and our country you truly are a fool.

    Obama 08

    August 29, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  14. One of the few REAL Hillary supporters

    I am shocked an completely appauled that Hillary Supporters.. TRUE HILLARY SUPPORTERS would fall for such a scam as this. What a gimmick. This woman stands for the complete OPPOSITE as Hillary and yet because she's a woman you're willing to vote for McCain. What a joke you all are. This was a clever tactic by McCain but as a True Hillary supporter.. who was voting on the ISSUES and NOT THE CANDIDATE; it will be a cold day in hell before I cast a vote for MCain/Palin. I can't believe you people.... Obama stands for what Hillary stood for, yet she would have made a better president. McCain is obviously playing a game, and if Hillary hadn't run such a historic campaign which left so many of us feeling cheated, he would never have considered Palin. Politics is such a game and you so called Hillary Supporters are being played. If the unmentionable happens (and it very well can) to either candidate; I'd feel much safer with Biden than Polin. Why gamble with the future of this coountry? Very Insulting!

    August 29, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  15. Arizona Demo

    For all of you Hillary supporters that vote for McCain/Palin. What are you thinking????? I too am a strong supporter of Hillary and was very angry. I want a woman in the White House just as much as you do, however, I want the right woman, and Sarah Palin is not the RIGHT woman. She is the absolute opposite of what Hillary stands for. Get over it, I have. Why on earth would you vote for someone who is anti-abortion, and a social conservative. Don't vote for the Republicans just to make a point. Eight is enough. Obama/Biden has my vote.

    August 29, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  16. Marquez63

    I heard someone mention on TV news, that the thing about Hilary was all about women. It's wrong!!!!! It was about Hilary....She can run this country in a heart beat...... it was about Hilary. She should try in 4 years again. Obama might not have many years of experience, but he has fresh ideas, goals, plans and youth. Mccain is Old, cancerous 4 times, tired, traumatize emotionally and mentally. How is someone like that going to run the country. We had enough of Bush. The economy sucks, we need a young, smart, intelligent, successful, family oriented, people listener, president. GOOOOO OBAMA

    August 29, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. Jen

    I did not vote for Clinton. But I have researched Palin and I can tell you all, SHE IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO CLINTON.

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  18. A woman

    Good grief....well, finally, the last nail in McCains coffin!! He is showing his age with this selection. As a woman I am insulted that he thinks that by choosing her that I'll "cave" and vote for him....and as a Republican....I say...

    Obama '08/'12

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  19. J Fredin

    Watch the face of the woman behind McCain as he made the announcement of his choice for his VP running mate. The woman had no idea of the name that was coming, and looked severely worried and had no idea where McCain was going until he said "Sarah Palin". That die-hard Republican would have had the same reaction if he had chosen some stranger on the corner, and to many Americans and most of the world, that's just what he did. If you're Republican-at-all-cost, your political "spinning" looks foolish and desparate.

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. TiffIN

    Shame on you John McCain.! For setting this sweet inteligent woman up for failure just to pull disgruntled Hillary supporters. You are leaving the country in dire straights should God forbid you get sick or the unthinkable. How would she step up and run the country with no policy experience or much more in any other area? This is a slap in the face to women just like your comment of making Cindy McCain Ms. Buffalo wing. Any Hillary supporter that jumps on this band wagon deserves to wear a Buffalo wing t-shirt too. Hillary is an experienced, intelligent, and smart woman and deserves a tribute better than this. One thing I can say; you will have someone to blame when it doesn't work. You're trying to ruin her career as she will go down in history as the first Republican woman running for VP to lose because of her credentials. She seems too naive to know what she's being set up for. Best of luck Mrs. Palin!

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. mary

    He picked her because today he just turned 50

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  22. AG

    How can we POSSIBLY expect this NOBODY to lead us if necessary?!

    -INSULTED and DISGUSTED

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. CT

    Regarding 'Eve from NY', you can't be serious. Have you guys ever thought of voting for someone for their stand on issues? Do you guys realized by voting for McCain just because Hillary didn't make it is possibly the stupidest thing you could do? McCain is the complete opposite of Clinton and what she believes in and now that he chose Palin you're going to vote for Obama? Please, just don't vote, you and your 'group' would be doing America a favor.

    You Clinton supporters sure are something...

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. KRB in Houston

    WOW!!! Only one thought for you female pro-choice Hillary supporters....Palin does not believe in abortion under any circumstances.

    Vote for McCain and Palin '08 and wait for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade.

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. NVH

    What a week!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
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