November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
6 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. Lisa

    Oh puh-leeze. Can we not put this to rest? She's a lot of things, some good and some bad. But presidential timbre she is NOT.

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

    For those saying that Sarah Palin should just go away and get out of the media spotlight:

    It's not going to happen. On this board alone a typical post gets about 150 hits. A Palin Post gets about 700. She is just too big of a ratings draw.

    If people out there are really dissatisfied with her continuing presence in media, then there is only one option. It worked when the AP did a media blackout on Paris Hilton for a week last year. The only option is to just ignore her.

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Marge

    John McCain you need more than just the right to win elections. The more you have Palin talk the less you have a chance to win.. as for me I am sick of her. Good christain women don't bad mouth the other guy especially if you don't know what your talking about. Isn't that one of the 10.

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Sherrol in Canada

    Someone please tell McCain to get his brain tested, the man is totally out of touch, and again and again keeps demonstrating poor judgement. Thank god you americans did not elect him president. Can you imagine what his cabinet would have looked like? Like a joke, that's what!!!

    God bless America & Obama!!

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Woe

    OK enough already with Sarah Palin. The Repugs lost. If you think for one minute that a Pentecostal Evangelical would be good for the White House. Guess again. We don't need a Bibie thumper on Pennsylvania Ave. Most Americans think that Sarah Palin was just a stand in because Hillary lost to Barrack. That is obvious. Who ever heard of Sarah Palin before the campaigning began. Also it is obvious that conservatism does not work for America. Look at the track record of every Repug President in recent history. Hmmmmmm

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Dinah

    Sarah Palin can take her breath of fresh air right back to Alaska. She will never become president. She showed Americans and the world what an airhead she really is. Gobble Gobble

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. d

    notice how he rubs his head always does that when he lies

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Beverly in NC

    Fred in SC – Yea that's the Republican base for you!

    Ignorant, uneducated, racist, and clings to their hypocritical religion because they are not able to think for themselves and let other ignorant , uneducated so-called "Christian" pastors tell them how to live their lives and what to think and who to hate.

    I live on the border with SC and the state is full of people just like poor Fred. They live in trailers, did not even graduate from high school, work low-skill jobs, drive beat-up pickup trucks with the naked woman mud flaps and fly the Confederate flag in their front yards. They decorate their yards with old tires and the billboards near their homes scream about how God is going to send everyone to Hell.

    Yea – that's the Republican base for you and Palin is their true leader.

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. john

    The breath of fresh air McCain was refering to was really a bad case of halitosis

    November 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. happy thanksgiving

    you can say you are proud of palin if you want to mccain, one thing we learned about you in the election was that you are good at lying, and that's what you are doing now lying again, you know palin was one of the major reasons you lost this election, if you were man enough to admit this you and the republican party would be better off. sick of palin, sick of the republican party.

    November 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. kevin b

    When will McCain realize that his negative and truly negative ads including Palin's vindictive really helped seal the deal for the moderates in this country.
    We rejected her.

    November 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    The lead lemming has a very bright future too...right until that cliff thing happens that is...

    November 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Anna

    McCain and Palin are both reputable and gracious people. The comments here spewing ageism, sexism, elitism, etc. is just as bad as spewing racism. Most everyone here needs to clean up their potty mouths, quit repeating gossip, and just plain quit being so nasty. If your candidate won, please be as gracious as John McCain is in his defeat.

    November 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Beneatha Mann

    She can't have a "very bright" future with the GOP. That would make her future brighter than she is.

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Ron, Chicago, IL

    Of course. He will never concede the obvious – that he made a purely political calculation in selecting Palin and that it backfired. I'm more concerned about his seeking another term in the Senate. What is it about these old geezers never retiring?

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. James

    Hey Sarah, I can see the end of your political career from my house!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Pearl

    I disagree with Senator McCain's comment regarding Sarah Palin that "she energized his campaign". I can't imagine what he was thinking when he selected her as his running mate. Why is the media so intrigued with Sarah? Once again the media insults the
    intelligence of the American people by portraying her as an individual who projects political leadership. Enough is enough of Sarah Palin!

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Beth

    Whatever, McCain. 60+ million people thought otherwise...about you AND her.

    Palin is, and will forever be an idiot. Much like most of the GOP, also.

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Montana Blue

    JGalt,

    Sue is correct. Palin is an idiot.

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Jay

    hitobito, you obviously don't know what you're talking about! Sarah Palin did make a lot of mistakes, but she's just as experienced as Barack Obama. Two of his years in his first term in the Senate were spent running for the White House. He voted "present" over 100 times instead of yay or nay. Part of the reason he won this election is because the media was so in love with him and that's all you tended to hear about throughout this election, which is really sad. I hope he can live up to his promises, because if not, the Republicans will certainly win back the White House in 2012. But I for one am hoping to see the Republicans make a comeback, especially here in my home state of Virginia! I'm a Republican and I'm worried for the fact that our country just elected one of the most liberal politicians ever to the White House.

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Scott from DC

    I hope the GOP nominates her in the future, the GOP as a party is constricting faster than the economy. Palin, a divisive, and not a student of the game she's trying to play, will make the chances worse until the party is no more. The GOP has to come to grips with a changing and non-white electorate. When and if they become inclusive of all non-whites and not just talk, but real inclusive policies, they may have a chance, but if Palin is one of their stars, and they look forward to her running or being President, God forbid, we'll hold the White House until 2024...at least

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Ted van Tol

    Fred!

    Are you dreaming?
    "That one" will be you best President in History!

    November 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. pam

    ""….I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me,..." (I can hear him saying that in his "Penguin" voice – lol). Yep, it was apparent that she "energized" him...eveytime he looked at her rear or she winked at him. It's so apparent that the only reason she was picked as the VP nom is that she excited the dirty old men of the party. Of course, judging by their trackrecord (divorce, adultery, fun-with-pages, etc) that's just about all of them.The rest are braindead, stepford wives & others for whom brains & substance aren't necessary.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Mo

    Please stop reporting on these horrible failures.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Kentucky

    The future does not belong to those who deny Global Warning, or to those that beieve that the earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old and therefore it only takes a few years for dead plants and animals to become oil, or to those who would return us to Trickle Down Economics, or to those who say that the it is acceptable that millions of American children do not have health insurance.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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