September 29th, 2008
12:33 PM ET
6 years ago

Palin heads to 'debate camp' in Arizona

Palin is preparing for the debate.
Palin is preparing for the debate.

(CNN) - As some prominent conservatives begin to raise the question of whether Sarah Palin should remain on the Republican presidential ticket – and others call for her to be given more public exposure in a bid to reverse falling poll numbers – the McCain campaign is bringing the Alaska governor to John McCain’s Sedona ranch for several days of intense debate prep.

Senior campaign advisor Steve Schmidt and other top officials met Palin in Philadelphia Sunday night, and are traveling with her and McCain to a Columbus, Ohio event Monday morning. The group then heads to Arizona.

Watch: Is Palin avoiding the media?

The original plan was for Palin to prepare in St. Louis, where the vice presidential debate will be held Thursday. Instead, she has already been preparing in a Philadelphia hotel for four days with advisors. She will now get ready for the debate at McCain’s rustic creek-side home - what a top aide calls "debate camp."

The aide, who's part of the team prepping Palin, tells CNN they decided to take her to debate camp there because it is an "invigorating and enjoyable place to prepare for Thursday."

"SP [Sarah Palin] loves it, and has her kids and Todd coming," wrote the aide in an e-mail, and that "John McCain himself came up with the idea.”

Late last week, in the wake of a widely-panned interview with Katie Couric of CBS News, some prominent conservatives who had supported Palin’s vice presidential bid, including National Review columnist Kathleen Parker, suggested she step down before the election.

Over the past few days, a counter-chorus has emerged, as supporters urge the campaign not to keep the VP nominee so isolated from the media and unfiltered audience interaction - to “let Palin be Palin.”

“Holding Sarah Palin to just three interviews and microscopically focusing on each interview I think has been a mistake,” former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romny told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday. “I think they'd be a lot wiser to let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin. Let her talk to the media, let her talk to people."

But one adviser involved in preparing Palin for her faceoff with Biden insists this narrative - that they're “squeezing charm out of her” - misses the point.

“It’s really hard,” said this advisor, who said Palin is still trying to get up to speed on foreign policy issues she has never faced before, from North Korea to other hot spots around the globe.

On Monday’s MSNBC interview, Romney defended Palin’s relatively thin knowledge on national security. "Look she wasn't selected by John McCain because she's an expert on foreign policy; John McCain's the expert on foreign policy. She was selected because she's a maverick. She's a person who identified with people in homes across America,” he said. “She's an executive and a governor, and that brings a lot to John McCain's ticket.
Amid the heavy scrutiny in a close campaign, Gov. Palin is under considerable pressure to make Thursday's debate a "game changer," advisers said.

Palin gave McCain a major boost in fundraising and poll standings after her selection several weeks ago. But following shaky performances in some recent interviews, and a continued reluctance by the campaign to allow her to appear in unscripted situations, her approval ratings have dropped significantly.


Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. cyn

    I am definitely not for McCain, McSame, McLame but both Palin and Biden are going to debate camp. Palin to McSame in Airizona and Biden to his home.

    September 29, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. lori

    people are so mean. take a cue from obama and lay off the personal attacks.

    obama/biden 08

    September 29, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. kris**Brain Transplant**

    about 35+ days could not get het ready for a titty bitty, gentle, small and pathetic interview. They think they can get her ready in three days for a national debate with Mr Biden. *They Must think we are stupid or some thing* Only thing I can think of can help her " Brain Transplant"

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Michael F, Vancouver

    A couple of things. . . for those who continue to state that Senator McCain suspended his campaign, please STOP!

    Allow Governor Palin to succeed or fail on her own. This should be a very interesting Thursday night. I wonder how the Republicans are going to spin either cancelling or postponing the VP debate to further shield her from foot in mouth disease and maintain that McCains sound judgement is still intact.

    Nice try CNN and Republicans for allowing Henry Kissinger to recant the statement he made during the round table AFTER the debate on Friday was finished. Obama's comments were correct and supported by Amanpour!

    Game on!

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    Don't see that it'll help her much. Reasonable people will see her for the drooling idiot she is, as they have for weeks now, and her fan club will persist in seeing her as abused by a mean old liberal man, even if she wins and no matter how many layers of kid gloves Joe Biden had to put on.

    God, I miss Hillary.

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. IWASP!-Intelligent Woman Against Sarah Palin!

    You can put lipstick on a pig and it is still a clueless, unintelligent, lying pig.

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. AJ

    It seems like everytime she opens her mouth, stupid falls out. Do they think that debate camp will do any good?

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Plain ol' Bob

    ...and Arizona is right next door to Mexico. Add that to her Foreign Affairs experience.... Gives me goosebumps just thinkin' 'bout 'er.

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. AA

    Gross.

    It is very simple. The RNC tactics will be for her to just point out that the dems don't get it, or want failure in Iraq, or want to raise taxes. That has been, and currently is all that they are saying. They have not once, EVER explained what THEY would do.

    So, this debate can be a bloodbath by Biden looking directly at her and repeating one question...

    What specifically would you do to (insert any topic here).

    Peace.

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Michael Ray Thompson

    Wow, give Sarah Palin a break. Give her an opportunity to prove her worth. Especially from conservatives. Give her an oppotunity to show what she's got.

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. lopez

    Go home to Arizona and go home to Alaska. Leave America some sense of sane, please

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Tony

    WAKE UP AMERICA, ESPECIALLY YOU WOMEN.

    MCCAIN PICKED PALIN FOR ONE REASON ONLY, THE REASON WOMEN HAVE BEEN WHINING ABOUT NOT GETTING AHEAD OR BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY FOR DECADES.

    BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NOT BECAUSE SHE IS QUALIFIED OR HAS ANY CONCEPT AT ALL OF WHAT THE ISSUES ARE.

    MCCAIN GAMBLED AND WILL LOSE DUE TO HIS POOR JUDGMENT!!!

    PALIN WILL IMPLODE ON THURSDAY NIGHT, IF, AND THAT IS A BIG IF, SHE EVEN SHOWS UP. I EXPECT AN ANNOUNCEMENT, WHICH WAS PROBABLY PREFPARED WEEKS AGO, THAT PALIN WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND DUE TO SOME BOGUS FAMILY EMERGENCY.

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Cindy

    mark my words america, sarah Palin will have something catostrophic come up that will make it imperitve for her to cancel or postpone the debate... that is why why in Sedona, they're plotting some back out plan for her... I can't see how they can allow her to debate with Joe Biden...

    Sarah- THANKS BUT NO THANKS- America doesn't need any more subpeona dodging officials!

    September 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Angela, Cleveland, OH

    MR. Romney, if as you say she is a person who identifies with people in homes across America, then you, as the average American comply with a Subpoena – the average American is subpoenaed by their State Legislature, would never dream of saying, "Oh, no, not ME." Transparency must be restored to the White House. We have had enough of secret dealings to benefit a few. If she is already doing to to her State, what will happen if she obtained the Vice Presidency?

    September 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. suzan fahmy

    Honestlady
    you know i am a woman and could not of agree with you more. what is this man woman thing we are talking about The VP position of the USA
    arent we?

    September 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. baracuda

    This is kidnapping and unlawful confinement. It is awful what McCain and company are doing to this woman. They are destroying her life and after they lose they will blame her and she will probably be depressed for the rest of her life. Let the poor woman go back to her normal life on humanitarian grounds.

    September 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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