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. Beagle Mom

    I think the pictures with Biden on Obama's MySpace page read like a fortune cookie..."Our Moment is Now"...thank God they got pictures of their moment. Did their slogan masters not bother to hit Webster's up on the meaning of the word Moment; "1 a: a minute portion or point of time : instant b: a comparatively brief period of time2 a: present time <at the moment she is working on a novel"

    August 29, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. Steve

    McSane in making this decision proves to the world he would be worst than and STUPIDER than BUSH. God! I can't wait till the WEIGHT OF THIS STUPID GOVERNMENT IS LIFTED OFF MY SHOULDER AND AMERICAN BY OBAMA/BIDEN

    August 29, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. terry

    Mc Cain is got to be out of his mind. she is younger than Mc cain's daughter and has no experience.i like both Mc cain and Obama and was undecided. Now i am goin to vote for Obama. there is no way i am goin to let baby popping Palin be president of the USA. She does not have what it takes to be president

    August 29, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. Jacksonville, FL

    People are so concerned with McCains' choice for VP and the alleged lack of experience Gov. Palin has in the political arena. What about Obama......Say 145 day in Congress? Is this the experience we want in a Commander-in-Chief; never serving in the military? The President-elect has a great big mess to deal with from the current state of affairs surrounding the military and other issues on the home front. It is unfortunate that each President spends the first four years cleaning up the mess from the prior individual who held the office; if there lucky, they get to spend another four years getting things rolling to leave it for the next person.

    August 29, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  5. AAA

    I can proudly say that I have traveled to more countries that the GOP V.P nominee...woohoooo... I know geography, I speak 4 languages and I have never been to DC, Can I get the secretary of state job under Mclame? oops, I forgot, neither I nor my wife work for an oil company or are cronies, I guess I will not get it.

    August 29, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. Emily in NC

    Hmmm... McCain's first wife... a swimwear model. McCain's second wife...a rich cheerleader, and his Vice President... a pageant queen. We can only guess who will be in his administration... Miss America? The Cowboy's cheerleading squad? Whoever happens to be on the front cover of the next Sports Illustrated Swimwear issue? Mr. McCain, you are a joke!

    August 29, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  7. Sandy

    Thank you Jen of Gainesville...you said it all...

    'He can gamble with his life or his party. But we do not want him to gamble with our country.'

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. L Freeman

    Well, this now at least has to end the debate over experience doesn't it? I mean come on, McCain's campaign team can in no way now continue the barrage against Obama for a supposed lack of experience. Palin has one term as governor of Alaska, true, but really how much more is that worth? Very little. So lets get to the heart of the real debates. Throw the pointless scare tactic of "Experience" out the window.
    To top it off, as a woman, I feel a bit insulted. I truly hope Palin wasn't asked to take on such an important office simply to seduce the women of this country. I hope it was for much better reasons. And as a citizen of the state where Palin was born and went to college (Idaho), I hope it wasn't just to pull in Western voters. I hope it was for much better reasons. Let's get this campaign going on the issues that are vital to our country and our people. Because as a single woman, I struggle on a day to day basis to meet expenses and bills without the benefit of tax breaks for families and an additional woman. Because as a teacher in the state of Idaho, I have a salary that is far below what it should be. I am lucky if by the end of the month, I have $2.00 left in my pocket. And as a person who lives with an incurable immune disorder disease, I don;t even dream about getting to see a doctor to have it monitored, since my $1500 medical deductible is practically like having no insurance at all. So, drop the experience card McCain. Stand by your choice instead of your hypocritical scare tactic, and get to the point.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. Franky

    You know guys, I'm gonna be honest. That Senator McCain's pick, that literally turned me not to care about this election. I was feeling like how I was feeling when I didn't pay attention at this race from the beginning. I don't care, I don't care about what happens next, I don't care about Palin and to be honest, it seems like I don't care about the Dems(like if I have anyway). It literally brought me down, it literally did...

    I'm gonna try not to care about what's going on. To be honest, I think I'm just do what I do best and that's take people's money, LOL!! Plus, my boy doesn't need me, he has God already helping him...

    GOP......all I wanna say that one day I believed in you guys a very, very long time ago. You guys represented virtue, honor and respect. Since day one I listened to what you said and I cared about what you did. To me, the war was special. It was special because it brought a new way to help the world. It brought service, gratitude, support and most importantly, respect. I truly believed in that just like how I believe you guys since day one. I learned from the world that they need us, I learned from the world that we are not alone and I learned from the world that our neighbors are important. I believed in that and now, I have all the evidence I need. This is not your fault GOP because the ghosts of the party will appear before your eyes...

    God has a plan for me and guess what? Is already shown...I am so proud of myself.

    Later guys!! I'm just gonna do what I do best now and that's get with my other mission. I'm finish with this one...

    Note: Keep this guys, you'll thank me...

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  10. Allen Charles

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw McCain introduce her was “ WHAT A GREAT IMPROVEMENT” from Dick Cheney. When the yak yak started that she has limited experience my first thought was “GOOD”. This lady is intelligent! When she gets facts on any subject, she is capable of becoming knowledgeable about it. Knowledge can come from experience and it can come from studying it also. It you can only learn from experience then close all schools and collages. For eight years the folks in the White House lacked this simple ability. Could this lady be capable of being President? You are darn right, and she can be a great President.

    Henry Ford once sued a newspaper that called him stupid. When he testified at the trial he conceded he did not know everything, and then he told the Judge that he had people working for him that in a matter of a few minutes could find him anything he would ever need to know.
    The POTUS can “if anyone can” get any information to decide any decision necessary.

    I have learned to respect the ability women have to do most anything when it is something they want to do. So please stop insulting this lady for political reasons. If you don’t trust her, vote against her, but ENOUGH of the insults.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. Scott

    Regardless of your views, we all need to celebrate that significant history will be made this November–we will either have a lady VP or a true African-American president. And we as a nation will make that choice with complete freedom to do so. That is truly what our country is about.

    That said, Senator McCain shows that he is a bold leader not afraid to take prudent risks, and to bring individuals with differing views to his team to make the best decisions for this country. That is the kind of leadership we need–and that will be a change from the secretive, insiders network of the last 8 years.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  12. Obama Mwisho

    I thought Mcain is the one who said there is not time to learn in office for this important executive positions! Where is the pin Mcain? I guess patriotism is relative sic. Republicans want to win at all cost and if you not politically litrate you will not see that this was meant to throw dust in Hillary supporters eyes, duping them to vote for him. Mcain under estimated the thinking power of women and ability to see through the dust.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. Jennifer Davis

    As a former Dem for Hillary, I AGREE!

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  14. mark

    McCain reacts to Obam's historic speech by tapping an unknown to be his VP. Once again he fails by showing poor temperment and judgment.
    Country first? Once again McCain puts politics first by pulling this gimmick and completely ignoring his age and health by putting this unknown a "hearbeat" away from the presidency. He is so desperate that he is now downright reckless.

    It also amazes me how literally overnight little experience means nothing. I also heard she is a hunter. Maybe she should take Cheney moose hunting with her to find out who is the better shot.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  15. RIGHT WINGER

    I CAN SEE ALL THE YOUNG MEN VOTERS NOW, AN A GOOD NUMBER OF CLINTON VOTERS ON ELECTION DAY WHO THEY WILL PICK!!!!!!!!!!! YES A CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! THE FIRST WOMAN VP ON THE GOP SIDE!!!!!! YOU KNOW OBAMA WISH HE WOULD HAVE PICK THAT GIRL WHATS HER NAME?????
    VOTING FOR MCCAIN TO KEEP AMERICA WITH THE SAME. NO GAYS IN THIS ELECTION LETS KEEP IT THAT WAY!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. I used to be a Democrat

    I am amazed how much sexism is prevalent in the Democratic Party. I have left the party because of the sexism inherent in today's Democrats.

    It appears that the Republican Party is the more progressive of the two parties.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  17. Diana Frederick

    If Mccain thought this one was going to work. He is waiting for a rude awaking. We don't need a beauty queen, we needed a higher candle than biden.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  18. Suwanee, GA

    This election is not about Hillary, Obama, McCain or Palin. This is about America. The fact that Hillary supporters would selfishly hand over this election to McCain because Hillary lost the Democratic nomination is insane. Shame on you for being so selfish and short-sighted. If America has to endure four more years of Bush-like policies because you handed the White House over to McCain, you'll have no one to blame but yourselves.

    If Obama had lost the Democratic nomination and his supporters had the same attitude, Hillary supporters would be outraged! Some of you seem to be so caught up in having a first woman or African-American in the White House that you've lost sight of what the real issues are.

    Put America first. Vote for the person who can best lead our nation, regardless of gender or race.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. annie

    Excellent choice!! This team wins hands down compared to the candidates for what used to be the dem. party.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. Stephen -Orange county NY

    Desperation has gotten the best of McCain

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. Amy

    This is an insult to Geraldine Ferrraro and Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath with either of these women. She has no foreign policy experience and this would be laughable if it weren't coming from the GOP that brought you Dan Quayle.

    August 29, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. mangubs

    yeeee haaaaaaa

    the governer from montana should be having a field day.

    August 29, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. ccm

    Barack Obama was absolutely right when he said that it is not the length of experience but rather the quality of experience that mattered. Gov. Palin had only been in office for 18 months and yet she already made a diiference in her state, more than what what you could say of Barack Obama in his 2 years in Senate. She has a track record that she can deliver on her promises, unlike Obama who is gifted w/ rhetoric but no track record that he can deliver, and yet he is the top of the ticket of the democratic party. The democratic party is attacking her for lack of experience and questioned whether she would be ready to fill the office of presidency. The last time I heard , we vote for a candidate who would be ready to be President, not whether the candidate for Vice Pres. is ready to fill in case something would happen to the Pres. I hope the Democratic Party is not anticipating that scenario because their Vice Pres candidate is surely has more experience and is more qualified than their Pres. candidate. In conclusion, maybe the democratic party will now at last understand why many of the democrats will not support the current ticket exactly for that reason, we are not confident that the democratic pres. candidate is ready to lead and has the track record that he can deliver, therefore we will vote for John McCain.

    August 29, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. Frank Lee

    Talked to her ONCE? It must have gone like this:

    "I'm John McCain. If you're a woman, you're thoroughly qualified to be Vice President. If I croak, just call KKKarl Rove for further instructions"

    Meanwhile, R-money, LIEberman, and Pawlenty were used as pawns in his little game.

    What a dirtbag........

    August 29, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. Rob indetroit

    Wello my friends i really steped in it,
    i thought i was folling the american people like my party has for the last eight years,by picking palin, oh well MCcain and whoever in,

    "2012"

    August 29, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
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