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. Vigla

    Washington Observer,

    Quit listening to Hannity and Bimbaugh. Face it, Conservatism is a failed ideology. We've endured it for 30 years.

    Btw, Barney Frank and chris Dodd have only been chairmen for less than 2 years. All this happened WAY before that. Quit feeding us the bs.

    November 25, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. hjon

    If Obama sort of "breaks" a campaign pledge its due to conditions of the economy. Its shows real leadership to think about the problems that may arise from breaking the promise. Its the same with Iraq. Obama may not be able to withdraw troops exactly on the timetable he wanted due to conditions on the ground. Republicans make this Iraq arguement so they should be happy the rich won't have their taxes raised for a while.
    Palin was a complete flop like McCain. If the media circus around Palin continues and she grants the interviews it shows a complete opposite stategy could have worked had she done these interviews during the campaign. Blame John McCain and Rick Davis for the clamp down of Palin.

    November 25, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. pam Eugene OR

    Come on John at least be honest. Palin is good for the Republican base but beyond that no one wants to even hear from her. We have serious Palin fatigue!
    The Republican party is loosing members so fast they will not be able to rebuild for many years. Someone as far right as Palin is can not bring in any independents or right wing Democrats.
    Palin needs to get out of the headline and go back to school. She simply is not smart enough to govern. She needs grammar, diction, history and world affairs knowledge. Please educate this woman before insulting the American people again with her.
    A wink and a smile will get her nowhere and every reasonable woman is turned off by her thinking (or lack of thinking).
    She is a turkey wink wink!

    November 25, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Palin/WRONG WOMAN

    She is ignorant and the brunt of all kinds of jokes. Not a good mix for a president....haven't we learned that yet???

    November 25, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Ted:Canada

    Be Nice! – she is trying

    A friendly word of advice to the Repubs – go with intellect not with the “good old boy or good old gal” approach…

    This was ok before the turn of century – but in the 21st Century you are dead in the water!

    Clue! “demographics” paper boomers are getting older and the new younger generation is more educated than ever before…

    Plus – if Obama gets it even “half right” it will be a “long time” before the Repubs get another shot…

    Be good!

    November 25, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Lauren the Designer

    Fred in SC November 25th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

    Obama is very, very, shady…. he might not even be legally eligible to run for or hold the office of President of the United States. Keep your eye on that one!

    --------------------------------–

    OMG give it a rest. You bitter republicans are so foolish.

    Honestly do you all actually think McCain would come out and admit that she was a major player in his downfall? Of course not. He will defend his choice till the end of the earth and at the end of the day it doesn't matter.

    I do respect him though and I respect that he is willing to work with the Pres. Elect now that the campaign is through. He has moved on. Some of you should try that too.

    November 25, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. BobC

    I don't know, KJL. Not quite either love or senility. More like delusional.
    Poor John.

    November 25, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Here's An Idea

    How about sending Anderson Cooper to interview and investigate Paulson, Bernake and KashnKari? How about asking real questions like who is lining their pockets with those billions($) just donated to fixing the economic mess? How about asking how come regular joe would be fired and/or go to prison for the type of derivitive shenanigans played by mortgage brokers and the hypergreed displayed by Wall St? What has happened to journalistic integrity? I bet Edward R. Murrow is whirling in his grave.

    November 25, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Ken

    He either just doesn't get it or is just too stubborn to admit the error.

    November 25, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Renea B.

    Senator McCain - surely you cannot be THAT clueless. Sarah Palin is the reason you lost the election!

    November 25, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Sam

    I wouldn't count Sarah just yet...Apparently there are enough dumb people in this country who think she is the next best thing to sliced bread...

    November 25, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. TSS

    Tired of immature trolls bashing Palin and McCain unfairly. Your guy won so let's see what change and hope Obama is going to bring because so far he has not with all of his appointments. Just the same old, same old nonsense and bull. Suppose that is the reason many people on this site and at this network have such a great need to continue to criticize and scrutinize Palin.

    November 25, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. LyonsPhilly

    Sarah is a breath of Alaska air.......full of moose doo doo

    November 25, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Blue is my favourite colour

    I think it's best to say that we were spared 4 years of continued ridicule from the rest of the world by getting this election right. We should all be proud of what we've done.

    For John McCain, I am sure that it hurt to have seen the Obamarama that took over the world on election day, and the excitement that has followed. Everybody wants 5 minutes with Obama, and even world leaders are eagerly awaiting to take their turns to be in his company. Everything "Obama" is unprecedented, and darn–I've got to admit it feels pretty good to me, but John McCain's thoughts must turn dark every now and then–because this would never be happening if he were elected.

    November 25, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Noel

    "Fred in SC November 25th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

    Obama is very, very, shady…. he might not even be legally eligible to run for or hold the office of President of the United States. Keep your eye on that one!"

    HUH ????!!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Deborah

    No, Senator McCain, had "most Americans" viewed Governor Palin as a "breath of fresh air" your ticket would have won.

    Given that you did not, your statement is false, just like nearly everything you and your running mate spewed during your nasty campaign.

    Now, please, Put America First and tell her to be quiet and to stay in Alaska!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. political junkie

    God help us – she actually makes George W Bush look SMART!!!!!

    And these people who said they voted for her because 'she is like
    them' – well – I don't want anyone 'just like me' for President. I want someone a hell of alot more qualified, educated etc running my
    country. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Dolores

    By chosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain showed us that he was not the leader we neede. The RNC has so much work to do to re-build the party that it is truly a shame that we still talking like this. The RNC is in ruin – so lets stop pretending like Palin was a good choice and that she has any future in politics – she DOES NOT. Please – can the RNC just act like responsible leaders – Please!

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Irony

    "fresh air" is more GOP doublespeak, what "my friend" really meant was smog laden brown skies full of co2 and methane!

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. dibick99

    mccain hasn't changed since november 4. he's still in the throes of advanced senility.

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Maggie SC

    The reason for the shift, senator McCain is because of the CNN coverage and the biased news they allowed in their news room. Comentators like Cambell Brown, Wolf, B, Anderson Cooper and all the other loud mouth news commentators who like to hear their own voice and spoke so loudly to be heard over the other person/s voice. They mighr as well get a mirrow and tape recorder they like to be seen and heard so badly. Of course our economy is bad and was bad. It is not that it is any better now, it is just that people have gotten so used to hearing about it they have gotten somewhat immune. Just watch and see whn ever something comes up that is good about the Republicans and President Bush CNN will down play it and harshly critize all the good until it becomes so waterd down to be unreconized.

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Auntie

    Sarah Palin energized the GOP base in the first two weeks after the RNC because people wanted to get to know her. For those two weeks, her stump speech was almost word for word of the speech she gave at the RNC. When she finally became accessible to the media, American voters saw that Palin lacked everything that we have come to believe represents an educated, intelligent leader. Each time that Sarah Palin was interviewed by the media, she presented a defensive attitude. Then came the ode and buzz words that incited her rally attendees to shout words of violence - and Sarah smiled. Those buzz and code words conveyed to many Americans of color that Sarah would be a good candidate to lead the White Superiority Women's Party - but not any position representing ALL Americans.

    Yes, Sarah Palin might have a future with the Republican party, if they had a future. With politicians such as Sarah Palin being the best that the party has to offer, they have no future.

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)

    NY Republican-–like Bill Clinton said, if you feel left out, come join us.

    hiros-whoever you really are, you are the problem

    November 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Moose & Wolf.

    PLEASE, keep this Palin witch away from us.

    November 25, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. sankaba

    McCain is only partly right. She also energized the Dem and Independent base to vote for the other guy.

    November 25, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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