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. Ronald Roy

    what is the credential for one comment to be posted because I wrote many comments in the cnn comments section but never READ NOT EVEN ONE I WONDER IS CNN "PRIVATE OR?" AS THE CHOICE OF THAT WOMAN IT ONLY REFLECT THE DEEP IGNORANT OF SO MANY FIRST) SHE IS NOT SENATOR CLINTON TWO) SHE IS NOT THE PRESUMTIVE POTANTIAL PRESIDENT AN OTHER WORD SHE IS NOT jOHN MCcain AND AT LAST THE AMERICAN PEOPLES MUST KNOW NOW WHAT SENATOR MCcAIN IS PREPARE TO DO SO HE CAN REACH TO OVAL OFFICE AND THAT IS ANYTHING AND EVRYTHING FOR THAT I THINK HE SHOULD BE INVESTIGATE IN REGARD TO IRAQ AND GEORGIA ACCORDING TO STATEMENTS MAKE BY VLADIMIR POTIN HIMSELF THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS AMERICA

    August 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I think its great!! I couldnt be happier! Go Republicans!!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  3. Concern from Virginia

    Obama all the way. I can't believe McCain choose someone that he only met one time. I hope voters wise up and vote for the right President and VP that is going to put this country on the right path.

    August 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. No Way

    Great choice of sidekick for the Maverick! Sure GOP, women are just going to LOVE her and move in droves to the dark side. Let's see now...she wants to drill in protected natural areas; she doesn't believe there's such a thing as global warming (does she also think the earth is flat, I wonder?); she's a former beauty queen (yep, women really like those feminists); and she wants to deny women the right to choose.

    Slam-dunk. Not. Go Obama!

    August 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  5. Mother is MD

    Why would someone with a 4-month old special needs baby leave that child to be on the road campaigning? What kind of mother does that? I find it disturbing that she had her young daughter holding her baby the entire time she was speaking. As the party of family values, I just don't understand the logic. Her husband is gone every-other week at his sloping job. Where's the parenting?

    August 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. Poor Republicans

    John McCain, a long-time Republican US Senator, loves

    H-O-T young women

    He not only married one, he has chosen one for the rest of us as a possible PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!

    Hey, guys, gotta luv this!

    August 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  7. cynthia culpepper

    WELL WE NOW KNOW THAT EVEN PRESIDENT BUSH [the little OIL PIMP ] IS SAYING ' WHAT ARE YOU ? STUPID ....... EVEN I KNOW BETTER THAN TO PICK A BEAUTY QUEEN RUNNER- UP. AND IM A C STUDENT ARE YOU McCRAZY

    August 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  8. free4ever

    Hey job-longer,
    your candidate Obama doesn't even have YOUR qualifications!

    How many STATES have you run?

    August 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  9. walker2jam

    The big question: If McCain wins and then dies...how will Palin handle being president with no experence?

    The answer: She will pick a VP that will teach her how to handle those situations. You know......kind of like what Obama did......DUH......

    August 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. bebesvin

    Can Biden resign and let Clinton take the VP? Is it too late?????

    The reason I ask: When most female\male African Americans overwhelmingly voted for Obama as candidate, why does anyone think women will not vote for Palin?

    Suggestion to the Obama camp to win: Unless Biden resigns his nomination, Palin will take the women voters needed to win... Obama must let Clinton take the VP somehow, otherwise, just as blacks have voted for Obama in the majority for their demographic, women will vote for Palin.. the fact of the matter is.. equality is a matter of action. I am for Obama, but I am a woman first and foremost. I was for Clinton before Obama, but I really really have taken to Obama, which is not hard – I am a lifelong Democrat. He supports the issues I support. But in order to move ahead in this unequal world, ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS, (yes, I know, it's ironic that I'm writing to try to invoke action.. anyway..) and sometimes it takes baby steps to move forward.

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  11. Carson Kievman

    THIS IS THE STORY:
    On March 2007, Palin presented the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) as the new legal vehicle for building a natural gas pipeline from the state's North Slope.[34] This negated a deal by the previous governor to grant the contract to a coalition including BP (her husband's former employer). Only one legislator, Representative Ralph Samuels, voted against the measure,[35] and in June Palin signed it into law.[36][37] On January 5, 2008, Palin announced that a Canadian company, TransCanada Corp., was the sole AGIA-compliant applicant.[38][39] In August 2008, Palin signed a bill into law giving the state of Alaska authority to award TransCanada Pipelines a license to build and operate the $26-billion-dollar pipeline to ship natural gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48, through Canada.[40]
    !!!!Members of the board of directors of TransCanada (as of April 25, 2008) are: Sarah Palin, Kevin E. Benson, Derek Burney, Wendy K. Dobson, E. Linn Draper, Paule Gauthier, Kerry L. Hawkins, S. Barry Jackson, Paul L. Joskow, Harold N. Kvisle, John A. MacNaughton, C.M., David P. O'Brien, W. Thomas Stephens and D. Michael G. Stewart.!!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. Morris

    I am speechless.. I am conservative democratic that was caught in the middle between McCain and Barrack. I was most likely going to vote for McCain! However, after this pick of VP, I am terrified of McCain. On his first big judgement call, MCCAIN PICKS A VICE-PRESIDENT THAT HE DOES NOT EVEN KNOW! He puts the future of our country in the hands of a person he only met once! SCARY with a capital S! I got to vote for OBAMA BECAUSE I AM AFRAID OF WHAT MCCAIN MIGHT DO NEXT! THIS GUY IS PLAYIN POLITICAL GAMES WITH THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY! Does he think women are stupid or dumb or both! THE PICK LOOKS LIKE AN OBVIOUS GIMMICK! OBAMA, YOU DONT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MY VOTE ANYMORE!

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  13. Jim Ma

    Finally they see, after all that talk of experience, this is what you get. Laughable.

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. Corey, Maryland

    I just have to point out that these 2 are the 2 most awkwardly looking people when photographed together!!! Obama and Biden look good together!! McSame and Palin just look odd together!

    Obama Biden 2008

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. Jen B

    He must be out of his mind; this is so irresponsible of McCain, I fear for the welfare of this country should he and Palin end up in the White House. McCain really doesn't get it, most women are smarter than he gives us credit for and elect a candidate based on policy, not gender.

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. Mary

    Thank you John!!!!!! Your old age and senility have helped Obama.....you go!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  17. Amy Q

    This 'man' has no shame. And any woman who falls for the GOP trick of figuring we are stupid enough to vote someone simply based on gender deserves what we will get with McCain as President.

    Palin is a Cindy clone – probably a sorority sister of hers. She has no idea what the average American goes through as she, too, appears to have come from money.

    McCain didn't choose her to help him run the country – he chose her because he thinks women are stupid and their place is barefoot, pregnant, quiet and in the kitchen and Palin will be the perfect White House housewife, not VP.

    She's far more suited for a part on Desperate Housewives than as our possible President.

    Morons – all of them and anyone who supports them still.

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. democrats cry and complain way to much

    wow democrats whining right and left,

    thats one of the reasons i am a republican,

    I think this is an excellent choice. all she handles and still able to be a public servant is great. running a family seems to help her keep away from corrupt politics and remember what we need to fight for. Fifth child has down syndrome definitley shows she has her priniciples right and cares for human life.

    Keep whining democrats, it keeps republicans like me remember why i am republican.

    August 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. Mo, NC

    McCain's VP selection was irresponsible and insulting. It never crossed my mind to vote for him, but this move was by far the most despicable of his campaign so far. As has been said before, TRUE Hillary supporters will see beyond gender to the fact that Palin is essentially opposite with respect to everything else!

    Obama-Biden '08

    August 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. Callen Blackburn

    Wow, truly idiotic! There is no way to even compare this woman to Hillary Clinton. Less than two years as Governor? Only met McCain once? When John McCain drops dead during his first term in office, this woman can NOT lead this country. She has no experience in Washington and will get eaten alive. Any Hillary Clinton supporter that is now supporting the McCain-Palin ticket because there is a woman involved is truly ignorant! Thank you John McCain for securing the win for Obama!

    August 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. Kathy

    OMG, I can't wait until they start roasting Palin over the pit. The baby is her daughter's? She left her city in financial ruin? McCain likes her because she reminds him of Cindy with dark hair? It will be glorious!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  22. NObama

    Now the race gets interesting! At least the GOP has their ticket right; with the experienced guy on top, and the up and comer in the VP slot.

    She has about the same level of expertise as BHO, probably a little more actually. She actually manages a state, he just showed up to vote present...

    McCain/Palin 08
    Hillary 12

    August 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  23. Elizabeth

    McCain thinks women are stupid enough to vote for just any women, regardless of her lack of qualifications. It is an insult to the American Women!!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  24. Bridgette O'Neil

    As a woman and a Democrat, I am insulted and angered by John McCain’s VP pick of Sarah Palin.

    The fact that he chose the VP primarily because she is a woman is an insult to my intelligence. The equal rights movement is based on the empowerment of women. An integral part of empowerment is the ability to think and act freely not as a monolithic group. Truly independent women will see through this façade and vote for a president/VP based on the issues and one’s governing ability.

    I am a supporter of Barack Obama. I also recognize and admire Hillary Clinton’s contributions to the Democratic Party and to the Country. Her position on universal healthcare and women’s issues is unwavering. If it were not for Barack Obama running at this time, I most definitely would have supported Hillary Clinton-NOT because of her sex, but because of her stances on the issues and her ability to govern. It angers me that Hillary Clinton or someone of her caliber may not be the first female President, but instead someone who is a right-wing conservative who is riding the coattails (coffin) of an elder statesman and who doesn’t value the sanctity of choice, equality, human rights, environment etc may. For those Clinton supporters who are considering voting for McCain based on his VP pick, please consider that you are not only undermining women everywhere, but also you are also undermining Hillary Clinton and her message.

    August 29, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  25. John, NY

    LOVE Palin--great pick--NRA member, loves fishing & hunting, eats Mooseburgers, drop dead gorgeous-–every man's dream--trade Biden for her any day-

    McCain/Palin 08'

    August 29, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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