November 5th, 2008
11:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Analysis: Palin rocked campaign

Palin, at McCain's concession Tuesday night, boosted the GOP ticket at first but ultimately became a drag on it.

Palin, at McCain's concession Tuesday night, boosted the GOP ticket at first but ultimately became a drag on it.

PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) - Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate redefined how vice-presidential candidates influence a campaign. Unfortunately for McCain, the Alaska governor hurt his presidential bid more than she helped.

Watch: Palin weighs in on 2012

Palin had been unfamiliar to most Americans, aside from some conservative writers and bloggers, who had admired her since she upended Alaska's Republican establishment by knocking off incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2006.

That all changed on August 29 - the morning after Sen. Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention - when Palin was introduced by McCain.

It wasn't just reporters who were stunned. Even McCain staffers at the event itself were shocked. Many assumed McCain would tap a GOP heavyweight like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty. The most daring option, many thought, would be Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat.

But Palin's debut instantly energized the Republican base, which had long been cool to McCain, and the GOP ticket surged in the polls.

Full story

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Winnie Hussein . . . in Montana

    The man John McCain used to be allowed himself to be hijacked by the radical right, Sarah Palin's divisivness and hatred, and the bigotry of the old south. What McCain's supporters did and said under the guise of Christianity was appalling. As a devout and lifelong Christian, I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing. Even last night, during his concession speech, his supporters just could not stop themselves from expressing their hatred. Those supporters scared me as a freedom loving, personal expression, personal relationship with God, freedom of religion loving American.

    Palin energized this "base" with her outright lies and sarcasm and holier-than-thou attitude. I hope and pray that we NEVER have to hear from her again.

    Please, McCain supporters, please realize that you did a formerly respectable man a great disservice – all in the name of bigotry and pseudo-christianity.

    November 5, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Rick

    You Obama supporters are not very gracious in victory. You are a sad bunch of people.

    November 5, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |

    To All Hillary supporters: Nobody wants to hear from you. Your candidate has lost a long time ago. Get a life!!!

    November 5, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Jean, Indiana

    Governor Palin,

    NOW, do you know what a community organizer is?

    November 5, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Trying to keep up, Is a small town in California Pro or Anti American?

    Bye-bye Sarah Palin! Oh at least i don't have to listen to your ignorance for a while! Now go home and take care of the child you have shamefully used as a political football and educate yourself on IDEA and other special programs your son will need that most of us have fought for. Those of us who stood for civil rights, something your party has long ignored. Help the disabled children in your state get the services they need without traveling out of the state. Help to fund your special ed programs, that is if you have them. Help the parents in your state receive the appropriate services so their disabled children can have a chance at living independent lives and for gosh sakes at the very least fund your states special Olympics, someday your son will want to participate! You said you would be a friend to families with disabilities, why don't you start in your own state.

    November 5, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Dennis

    I've supported Barack Obama since late 2007. However, had he lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton, I would have supported her as well. Had another Democrat won the nomination, I seriously would have had a hard time deciding between them and McCain if the VP selection was not taken into consideration. Throw Palin in the mix, and there would be no chance I'd consider the Republican ticket. Her views are too far to the right for my liking, she never impressed me as someone that could handle the Presidency they way Hillary Clinton did, and I found her manner of addressing sections of this country and issues to often be insulting.

    November 5, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |

    I'm so happy now she can go back to Alaska and kill animals!!

    November 5, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Michelle Obama

    J.C. Cole,

    Leave the sour grapes alone and admit that americans chose their leader. The birth certificate is a dead issue, find something else to harp on because your red neck is showing!

    November 5, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Dan

    Karma Baby Karma

    When you do nothing but talk negative about another person the way you did about Pres Elect Obama, people stop listening to you.

    Think about that during the long cold winters in Alaska, and ask yourself when you look in the mirror. "What have I become?"

    Army Ranger happy to serve my new President Obama

    November 5, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. sue

    She hurt McCain's chances. They thought by putting her on the ticket women would flock to his ticket. I hope they see the error of their ways. I still don't understand it. If they really wanted a woman on the ticket to try and appeal to Hilary supporters, they had other more viable republican choices.

    November 5, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. John

    Poetic justice for McCain who palled around with communists for five years and Palin who palled around with Alaska separatists for 17 years

    Welcome Mr President
    This one is for Snake, Falcon and Twijoe
    Sounds very Good!!! President Barack Husein Obama

    November 5, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    All these funny comments about Palin. Obama would have LOST to HER, had the economy not CRASHED!!!

    November 5, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. John B. In NH

    mike you clearly need psychological attention my friend!

    November 5, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Jo Ann

    This is done. Today there is no Sarah Palin, no talk of 'birth certificates', the country has spoken loud and clear, we accept hope over fear. The challenge is upon us, we can keep the bitterness that drove us into this despair or we can reach out and say 'we both have ideas and opinions, and both have value, let's meet in the middle and go forward instead of sticking our heels into the ground and standing still'.

    This is the American of the next century, and together all us, from the strongest liberal to the strongest conservative will walk together, because that is what America is, a nation of ideals and beleifs where we can disagree and not have our patriotism questioned. I am exhausted, but I feel a peace and calm I have not felt in a long time. I love this country, and I love all the different people who live in it whether I agree with them or not, because, like most of us, my family came from a country where you could not disagree, on a good year, you may be able to vote, and to speak out was to be jailed. So disagree that's what we are all about, but do it with respect, the time for hatred is over, from both sides.

    November 5, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. sybille


    November 5, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    America was going to give the GOLD medal Office to McCain, but the economy crashed, otherwise, as according to Hillary, Obama would have LOST the major states.

    November 5, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Fatal Blow

    No Hillary = No Obama

    Get over yourself
    Obama is the next president...


    President Barack Obama!!!!

    Whether you want to accept it or not doesnt matter, most of America sees him as the next PResident and his name is etched in history

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. NB

    I was so happy to get up with a smile on my face today. So thankful to all you wonderful people for your support to our President elect Barack Obama. It would have been so scary to see Sara Palin and McCain winning. Now Alaskan’s also Know how ignorant and arrogant this woman actually is. Hopefully they won't let her elect next time.

    Take some rest Sarah you have bigger things to handle at home like your daughter’s pregnancy and wedding. So please don’t ever try to run for any election. We don't need people like you who divide people. Go away Sarah………..

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Mikey

    Independent Hoosier Voter November 5th, 2008 1:06 pm ET
    As an independent who considers herself a moderate, this election has taught me quite a bit.
    America is much less racist than people believed.
    Obama was able to overcome the handicap he had due to race because of 8 years of George Bush, a faltering economy, McCain's pick of the grossly unqualified and unprepared Sarah Palin, and the truly vile, angry, ugly tone of the McCain campaign. Let's be honest, if Obama was a white guy named John Smith from Kansas, he would have won by 20 points.

    As far as overcoming race, our collective biggotry has been on full display in this and many other blogs over the past year – and the world was watching. This is an added blemish on our reputation – like we need any more after 8 years of GWB and the neo-cons.

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Christina

    This is true, however she quickly hung her own self. Palin has absolutely no experience and was way too arrogant. I hope that she's not planning to run in 2012; that will only guarantee OBAMA another 4 years in office. Go away you "pit-bull with lipstick"! I don't have any harsh feelings towards John McCain but I think my feelings towards Sarah Palin will always be harsh. She made women everywhere look down-right stupid. She made us look as if we don't really have to have much of a brain but we can take our decent looks as well as our ability to think on our feet and make people believe that we know exactly what we're talking about. Sarah Palin never had ANY idea what she was talking about; she just had the ability (as most women do) to win an argument. Personally I hope that her political career is nearing the end.

    Proud of OBAMA!!!

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    I watched it closely and people had connections and feelings for McCain. It's just there and you just know it, but it's that darn ECONOMY.

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Mr. President

    Can anyone tell me where those PUMAS are? Haven't heard from them in a while.

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    A drag on the McCain ticket? How observant. Palin turned out to not be the one to garner in Hillary's supporters afterall. First the governor says she is a "feminist" in one interview, then in another says she is not, clearly not being able to figure our who she really is. She said she was for "equal rights" but then denies women the "right" to choose. That's equal rights? Hardly. She is energy "smart", but the drill baby drill syndrom won't work for years anyway. She shoots wolves from a helicopter as sport? Hardly, the state law states you can't kill a wolve from a helicopter, but you can only wound them and then let them "run" till they drop from loss of blood, then you can land and finish them off. Real sporting isn't it. She says she is "saving the polar bears" but then lets hunters in to kill them for "sport trophys."
    She may get into Washington in Jan 09 if Stevens get re-elected and then gets tossed out by the senate due to his felony conviction. Hell, anyone who wants to be a teacher will not get hired if there is a hint of a felony of any kind on their record. Why should Stevens have even been allowed to be on the ballot until he was cleared?

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Tired of W, OH

    JC Cole, it's people like you that I'm going to miss the least from this election. You take a false story like Obama's birth certificate (which has been verified repeatedly by and others) and wrap yourself in it like a coat to disguise the real reason you don't like Obama: Prejudice. Racial or otherwise.

    The bottom line is this: It's fine if you oppose someone based on facts, such as voting record, liberal views, etc. But when you base your dislike for someone on easily disproven lies, it's just a mask for personal prejudices.

    Maybe a few years of President Obama will help to persuade a few people like you.

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Tim

    I voted for Obama and am very happy he won. I blame John McCain, not Sarah Palin for this loss. Instead of wasting the time during the tough fight between Clinton and Obama, he should have been solidifiing his base. His pick of Sarah Palin was a short term fix to a long term problem.

    November 5, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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