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. Alex

    She didn't go to grad school. I'm 20 years old. I'd have a higher education than her before she leaves office, and from a more prestigious university than University of Idaho!

    I'm sorry but I don't see how she is more qualified than Obama. Obama has actually had to make public choices that involved foreign affairs and national security. What decisions did Palin have to make? She sued the fricking Department of Interior for putting polar bears on the endangered list, she's under investigation for wrongfully firing someone (sounds familiar?), she shoots animals from planes? I hope she has better aim than Dick Cheney! She opposes same sex marraige and when the Alaskan Supreme Court ruled against her, she wrote a constitutional ban against same sex marraige. She, as many people have stated already, is pro-life. Nobody knows where she stands on issues of creationism – read her flip-flopping (http://dwb.adn.com/news/politics/elections/story/8347904p-8243554c.html), and thinks that global warming is "unreliable, and her husband is an employee of an oil company.

    I'm sorry but the global warming issue bugs me. Has anyone seen the recent strengths of hurricanes, the tornados in random places (including a tornado warning in Los Angeles, of all places, earlier this year), the tsunamis? Those are all related to global warming and to point to all the evidence as "unreliable" is turning a blind eye to the plight of the people.

    I also find it highly suspicious that McCain also picked a former Alaskan beauty queen. Apparently he likes the women close to him to be former beauty queens/models.. Cindy McCain was a former rodeo queen, which is a part rodeo competition, part beauty pageant, and I can come up with so many tasteless jokes about that... and John McCain's first wife was a former model, before she died, probably from the grief that compounded her cancer when John McCain pressured her for a divorce so he can marry Cindy.

    August 29, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Bob-PTC

    CNN and Larry King just knocked down there creditability a few more notches by having the racist Kelly Anne Conway on for commentary on the Palin discussion.

    August 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    This proves what the Republicans have always said – you just can't trust what McCain will do.
    A few points: If Palin is such a conservative, family values woman, why isn't she at home taking care of her husband and 5 kids including a 5 month old with Down's syndrome?
    If she is so great, why does her husband, a BP employee, inappropriately sit in on meetings that should be private?

    August 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. Solar Energy

    Pros:
    Woman, 5 kids, hockey mom, runner-up in Miss Alaska
    Cons:
    President Sarah Palin with 1.5 years of experience.

    August 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Michael S. O'Brien

    Governor Sarah Palin Vice President.., one heart beat from the Presidency of the United States. Are you kidding ! The Russian's are laughing.. What's that guy's name again.., Barack.., Barack Obama ? I am for the first time in my life.., looking at a Democratic. John.., what is your age and health ? A little concerned..

    August 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. Gino

    Who's going to watch the kids? Do we really want this nasal know-nothing to be president if McPain croaks?

    August 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. Lisa, MD

    Wow is this crazy or what well I'm not voting for her I've always supported Obama and I'm sorry her beliefs are straight bonkers not going to change how I feel because she is a woman. I think she should govern her state of Alaska and take care of her family. I have an child with Downs and it's a great responsible and I love my daughter regradless of her challenges and continue to support her. Personally I think this is a slap in the face to us women. McCain doesn't have a clue like Obama said last night he doesn't get it. What a insult and very disrespectful !!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  8. K.W.

    Obama!

    August 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. zo owen

    Oh pul-ease....I never wanted Hillary but to compare this woman's
    biography to hers, is an insult.....It isn't just any woman will do Mc cain....Its pathetic....to think feminist only want any woman you can drag from the evangelical closets.

    August 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. Bubba

    Now McCain, Cindy, and Sarah can have a threesome.

    August 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. IGeek

    This proves what the Republicans have always said – you just can't trust what McCain will do.
    A few points:
    If Palin is such a conservative, family values woman, why isn't she at home taking care of her husband and 5 kids including a 5 month old with Down's syndrome?
    If she is so great, why does her husband, a BP employee, inappropriately sit in on meetings that should be private?

    August 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  12. doubter2008

    So – better to have the president of the united states have no credentials, and a a career politician as vice president. Than – a career politician as president, an a vice president with no credentials.

    August 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  13. MMA: Maverick My A$$

    McCain is senile. This is a political gimmick and shows how desperate he is ! Not only is McCain desperate, he is very dangerous. His vice president selection not only show extreme lack of judgment, but it also ties McCain even closer in similarity with Bush. They both will put our country at risk to settle a score or in McCain's case, to win this election. As a communication specialist, I viewed the video several times of Ms.Palin's debut. McCain's expressions, body language, and the twisting of his ring on his finger, indicates that he's very uneasy and unprepared for Ms. Palin's remarks. McCain has clearly shown his true colors. He will do anything, at anytime, to win this election. This women clearly is not presidential material. Just listen intently to how she speaks. You can also tell that the level of excitement by the audience is staged. You hear one man constantly screaming no matter what Ms. Palin is saying. The audience is clapping frantically at every word that is uttered from this women's mouth. McCain is far from being a maverick, but he has proven to be a desperate, dangerous, idiot!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  14. Tracy Ettinger

    As a woman, I find it insulting that the Republicans feel that Clinton supporters will just "make more cracks" in the ceiling because they are running with a woman candidate. Clinton supporters supported her because she was an experienced leader with new ideas, not simply because she is a woman.

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. Jennifer Davis

    Eve – from NY. I know you live in the Dem. bubble, BUT trust me when I tell you this is real. Call me a fool but, as a die hard feminist and Democrat since I was old enoough to vote, i will vote for McCain this time around. I have never been so disappointed in my Party, the Democratic Party, then I have been this year. Call me a PUMA, but I will happily endorse MacCain this time around. F Obama and all the far Left pundits who have taken over our Party.

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Did Someone Say Next Mistress

    Cindy must be getting old..bring in the NEW Mrs John McCain

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. nate

    never thought i'd ever question the sanity of someone running for the white house.

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Sue, Vienna, VA

    Get a grip all you Campbell Brown bashers! I'm tired of everyone bashing the media. I don't always agree with a lot of them all of the time but they're doing their job and as long as they're not being totally biased, cut them some slack. How many of us do you think could sit back and be totally unbiased?

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. Rob Britton

    He only met her once? You got to be kidding me. Could this be McCain's Monica?

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Ruby

    Eight years ago I campaigned for John McCain. Almost from the beginning (here in NH), the Republican Party made it clear that they wanted Bush. It really didn't matter how many votes McCain got. I saw the same thing happen with Obama and Clinton. No party determines who I vote for, and no media tells me what to think.

    The things I have always admired about McCain are his refusal to let anyone tell him how to think or how to vote. This week I met a former army major from PA who was in Iraq for more than a year. He says we are making a difference there every single day and that the Iraqi people invited him in for tea every time they saw him. But that story is never on the news. When McCain said we were making a difference and should let Petraeus get the job done, both parties blasted him.

    McCain wanted to use the surplus from the Clinton era to shore up social security. It didn't happen. How does social security look now?

    There are many examples, but the point is that McCain can be something of a maverick. I like mavericks. Picking Governor Palin was a reinforcement for me of the person that I believe in. She is a governor and governors historically outperform Senators or Representatives in presidential polls. She is from Alaska, which gets no national attention (and they probably appreciate that most of the time). She is young and energetic. She is a union member. Yes, do take note of that-a Republican union member.

    And now for the woman thing. Top Democrats didn't want Hillary in Obama's camp because of the "Bill Factor". Is there anything more sexist than that? Is anyone concerned that Biden's wife might actually have an identity, a history, a point of view? Of course not. Wives stay in the background. Women who are true Democrats won't vote for McCain because of his pick, but independent women just might, especially if they were already leaning that way. And anyone disgusted with both parties can vote an alternative-yeah, they do exist.

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Bubba

    She 44 and has a 4 month old baby? Is that her baby or her daughter's? This is just weird.

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. John

    Let's face it; John McCain picked this woman because she is hot...

    August 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. Who Cares

    Cindy McCain ought to be worried. John has already demonstrated that he'll dump his wife when someone better comes along, and Palin definitely looks like an upgrade.

    August 29, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  24. Flora

    As I watched the report on McCain's decision for VP I as a women did not get the feeling like, hey a women I am so happy no not at all i thought of this as a strategic move and
    i feel sorry for this women who is being used her and her children will be used and it is sad that some of my fellow americans will vote for this reason, when will we finally end the reign of hell we have been in for eight years , exoerience, we must think of the people and that is what Obama /Biden care for. not the trumped up speeches that the republican make by beibg blind to the eight years we have suffered as a diminishing power. my vote will count as a women with children in need of change for the future and that will be Obama

    bad move McCain bad and sad that you would use this women I am a strong Hillary supporter and I will follow her cause

    August 29, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. Phyllis in Buffalo

    All women should be truly insulted by this travesty. What idiotic member of the McCain campaign thought this was a good idea??!! Do these jerks actually believe women are so naive and stupid to vote for McCain simply because he decided to put a woman on his ticket!? Unbelievable!!! Wake up America....these Republicans are getting so desperate that they are finally beginning to show how they truy feel about women. We're just a means to an end for them and they are so incredibly stupid to think that we are so incredibly stupid that we would fall for this crap!!! Take note women of America.....DON'T FALL FOR THIS GARBAGE!!! And Gov. Palin should be ashamed for allowing herself to be used this way.

    Vote Obama/Biden who respect and admire the women in their lives for the people they are not for what they can do for them.

    August 29, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
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