November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
4 months ago

McCain says Palin has a 'very bright future' as a GOP leader

McCain confirmed Tuesday he’s planning to run for a fifth Senate term in 2010.
McCain confirmed Tuesday he’s planning to run for a fifth Senate term in 2010.

(CNN) – Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain denied Tuesday that political considerations - a desire to appeal to Clinton supporters - played a role in his selection of running mate Sarah Palin, calling her “an energizing factor” and telling reporters the Alaska governor has a “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”

"She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her,” he said at a press conference in Phoenix, his first since losing to Barack Obama three weeks ago. “It's one of the great pleasures I've had to get to know her and her family, and I think she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.

"....I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me," he added. "Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air."

Taking a look back at the presidential contest, he said his campaign was dealt a fatal blow when public focus shifted from foreign policy to the faltering economy. “The American people - and I respect that decision, I don’t in any way criticize it – [decided] that the economy was of vital importance. And it is,” he said.

He also told reporters: “We worked hard, and we inspired a lot of people, Sarah Palin and I. I think we look back with pride."

The Arizona senator said that he’s planning to run for re-election in two years, and that an official announcement would come “at an appropriate time.” He praised the president-elect for his cabinet picks so far, especially his reported selection of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano – long mentioned as a likely 2010 Senate rival - as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Multiple sources have told CNN that Napolitano is Obama’s top choice for that post.

"I have already talked with her, and look forward to moving her nomination as quickly as possible through the United States Senate," said McCain. He said he is also planning trips in the near future to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even with his stiffest competition is reportedly taking a pass, McCain’s home state has been trending blue - he beat Barack Obama by just 9 points - and the four-term senator told reporters Tuesday he’s expecting a “tough race.”


Filed under: Arizona • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. Woodman

    There was a day when the phrase "energize the base" meant something in GOP circles. However, with that power base getting smaller and smaller, Mrs. Palin's ability to lead the GOP out of their doldrums is dubious at best. As long as members of the GOP delude themselves by primarily focusing on their base, while at the same time ignoring the rest of the country, they will continue to lose power and influence.
    By the way, Senator McCain: another part of the delusion by the GOP was thinking that the race was ever focused on foreign policy, as you say in the article–it wasn't. It was always the economy. The GOP was slow to pick up on that fact.

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Confused

    Im confused....I thought America was a nation of good natured people...but after reading most of the comments on this post....what i got was Americans are Haters.... none of the criticism was constructive just hateful.....Sarah might be unqualified (thats a different debate) but she still a human being....you "Americans" should be ashamed of yourselves....Democrats: Postive change takes place when you stop being so negative Republicans: Did any of you step up stop scapegoating.... let those who are clean cast the first stone..

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Henry

    Another column filled with comments by ignorant fools who think they really know whats going on in this country today.

    This election was the dirtiest run election by any set of candidates ever and was won by record numbers of people who had never voted before showing up to vote for "the black guy" because they were black and most of them couldn't tell you one thing about any issues he stood for.

    Come on people, we didn't have a good set of candidates to choose from this time around on either side. I only hope the democrats as a whole keep their heads out of their rear ends and fix some things over the next few yrs.

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Mark from New England

    This just shows once again how out of touch McCain is. If Palin is the future for the GOP then it has no future. We may be seeing the first "bankruptcy" of a major political party as it crashes!

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Diane

    I do not know ONE American who likes Sarah Palin, or thinks she is a breath of anything other than hot air.

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. N. S. Huntsville, Al

    CNN WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT PAILN AND MCCAIN?

    MCCAIN SAYING PAILN HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE IS ONE REASON HE LOST. BECAUSE MCCAIN WASN'T BRIGHT ENOUGH TO PICK A SMART VP

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Soccer Nana

    Fred in SC, please get a life and stop writing about that lie. President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama won the election three weeks ago! Get used to it; he will preside as the executive officer of this Country for the next four years; and hopefully, for the next eight years. Be happy and have a happy Thanksgiving!

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. larry

    You gotta be kidding me.....if that happens I'm moving to Canada, preferably in B.C. At least she won't be next door in Alaska.

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Bob

    I'm stunned that Senator McCain is really this clueless. Unless of course he thinks that letting that 'base' run the country further into the ground is a good thing.

    We've had 8 years of a C Student. Now McCain thinks the answer is someone who took far longer than the average moose to graduate, and took over 4 schools to do it. Yeah, that's someone that would bring me back to the Republican ticket, you betcha!

    Senator, its time for you to retire, step down, whatever you want to call it. I'm sure CNN or Fox has a pundit spot just for you.

    November 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Saul- Independent

    JGalt,

    Why are you in denial.
    This is not about libral media, even though you love beating up on them. It is about Sarah Palin's incompetence and lack of substance that cost them the election. people like you amaze me, She spent 75% of her speeches attacking Obama but yet no one can say anything against her.
    my idea of a good presidential/ vice presidential candidate is one who is intelligent, well read, good education, informed aobut world issues, selfless and bring about unity. Please tell me which one of these SarahPalin possess.

    November 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. wdl

    Let's wait to see what Obama does before we ordain him the next John Kennedy , who by the way gave us The Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missle crisis, and Viet Nam. Maybe Obama shouldn"t use Kennedy as a role model.

    November 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Market watcher

    These anti-Palin tirades spread by naive left-leaning voters are as bizarre and far from the truth as the anti-Obama rumors, lies, etc. perpetuated by the far right.
    When she was announced as McCain's running mate, he immediately received a tremendous boost in the polls. The fact is he was running neck and neck with Obama up until the string of bank failures for which he was unjustly shouldered with blame (based solely on partisan anti-Republican rhetoric)

    November 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. j

    no..... she is the best

    November 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. NY Republican

    I am mostly ashamed that she is the "best" my party has to offer. If this is the future of my party, is there room on the "other side of the aisle"?

    November 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. hiros

    i am black and will never vote white, that is why we won, word

    November 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. hugh ~ california

    If John McCain thinks "she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party," proves again that he is not very bright, but more like a dimwit.

    November 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Courtney

    Palin is the embodiment of what they accused Obama of being...a celebrity and not a politician. She is no different than Britney, Lindsay, Paris, et al. To the end of the campaign, she was never able to state what the job of the VP is.

    I think McCain meant a breath of fresh air in the looks department. While I don't get the fascination with her looks, I will agree that she is better looking than most politicians. But if the future of the GOP is Palin, they better get used to losing elections.

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Hope for the future

    First, let me tell you that I'm a white, educated female who has traveled the world. Sen. McCain, here is the thing. When you picked SP, you put the country at risk.

    The RNC audience consisted mainly of old, bored looking, white males. You guys got energized by a bimbo who has a lower IQ than my cat (no insult to my cat). So you think the right pick is someone that looks like a hooker, does not know how to talk, has no IQ, watches FOX news, and spews hate faster than she can blink. Good grief.

    GOP, you have a very big problem.

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Al, California

    Next republican ticket: Sarah the lair and Joe the plumber. The Bush himself will be proud watching from his prison cell.

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. BJ

    Geez people...chill out.

    If a junior senator with no executive experience can win...

    I see he is already backpedeling on his campaign promises...not gonna raise taxes on the wealthy. I wonder what other promises will go by the wayside.

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. SO SAD

    Oh God NOOOOOO!!!! Please don't say that John! Please just admit that she was a mistake, that she was your "hail-mary," and move on. The GOP needs to pull itself together...and we don't want her! PERIOD!! She is such an idiot, and made the whole party look dumb!

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. T

    she is a good woman, but I don't think she has a future as a President or Vice president of united states soon.
    She need to try contest to be a senator . make sure she is foreign policy senate committee, shake off all those her ideologies that doesn't fly with american people.
    May be 16 years from now she may win GOP nomination for President? if the democratic party nominated a dumber candidate.

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. kevin b

    I'm so praying that Sarah is the face of the Republican Party for the next 8 to 12 years.

    it's a wonderful thing to see someone who has the spirit move through her like wind through a screen..

    Once the American people see her true positions on things that matter, they will ultimately reject her.
    But please , oh please Republicans keep on running her.

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Obama--Gays will be his downfall---

    Obama's anti gay marriage position will put him opposite the will of the people and the Supreme Court-–

    Obama does not see gays as people with rights, only as freaks--Rachel Maddow needs to understand this--she has no rights as far as Obama is concerned--

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Dee

    Pubs....being McSame & Palin stirred up HATRED in their campaign. I wouldn't want ANY PARTS of either of them being in charge of this country.. Just reminiscencing, it reminded me of the ole' time Klan Rally...Time to move foreward...NOT BACKWARDS !!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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