November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
5 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. LOL

    Breath of fresh air???

    I DID NOT INHALE!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. African in the States

    I don't swallow THAT ONE

    November 25, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. brian in nh

    What is it about Palin that the left-wing morons seem to fear so much? The shrill liberals never stop wailing, do they? They're still crying about Gore in 2000. With Obama already back-pedalling furiously on campaign promises and filling his cabinet with the same old Clintonites who were at the root of the financial problems, we'll soon see how much real change happens.

    November 25, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Pat Pa.

    When he makes statements like this, I really think that anyone who voted for him should say a small prayer that things did not go their way. It is very sad that this man could have been president. Thank God enough Americans realized the truth before it was too late.

    Sarah Palin has NO FUTURE in politics and I think that will be evident as time goes on.
    John McCain–I hope the people in his state see the problems with this man before they elect him for another term.

    November 25, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Kevin in Denver

    Kim J: Here we go again with all of the Obama uniters spewing their hate toward people they don't even know. This is gonna be a great four years.

    The problem is we DO know them. We know them to be inept half wits due to their own statements. And IT IS GOING TO BE A GREAT 8 YEARS!!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Christopher

    Hey Fred in NC....You're a star!! You've uncovered the deep dark secret about Obama and now everyone is wise to slippery ways!!

    Thank God for you Fred in NC, you just keep on doing your "research" so I can put my head down on my ignorant pillow every night and not have to worry about the anti-christ in the oval office.

    God bless you Fred in NC.

    November 25, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Ted

    Hey, Fred in SC, Obama is eligible to run for office and be elected president. For further reference, check out the election results.

    November 25, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Independent Voter

    mcinsane was dumb as hell then and still dumb as hell now!!

    November 25, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Al

    Yes. No political motivations. He chose her purely based on professional merit. Anyone – I repeat – ANYONE who supports this woman for political office is laughed at by the world. Energizing the base? Please! This base being referred to is the racist, extremist right fringe that still thinks Obama is a muslim. Worse yet, this part of the republican base has a problem with anyone who is a muslim. Because they are all "evil." Listen to the words of Colin Powell, wannabe republicans. When accused of being a muslim the RIGHT answer is not "Obama is a Christian." The right answer is "so what if he was?"

    November 25, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Tom

    Poor Poor liberals. You don't have any way to refute anything that is being said about your new Messiah so you fall back on your time honored tactics of attacking anyone and anything that does not agree with you!
    Change? The new "Stimulus" package looks like the WPA and CCC – you remember FDR don't you?
    How come you guys are so happy to have Joe Biden as second fiddle? The Democratic party has rejected him before! Is it because the new Messiah has no experience? Who is really in charge? Joe, Hillary, Bill?
    Did we ever figure out if BO had an uncle in the read army or are we going to re-write teh history books so his grandfather and Patton can liberate Auschwitz? Imgine the uproar if John McCain or Sarah Palin had made a mistake that big!!
    BTW – Sarah Palin never said " I can see Russia" that was Tina Fey. You folks were duped by the Main Stream Media! I hope you enjoy your new TV President!
    P.S> Better dust off that old copy of 1984 and study up! You can read can't you? Or are you waiting for Larry King and Bill Maher to tell you what to think?

    November 25, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Tom

    Wow, the Communist News Network (CNN) sure has some Obama Koolaid drinkers. I will love watching your Messiah make things worse for the next 4 years. Bet you will all be Bit*ching about him soon.

    November 25, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. Steve

    It has become clear that McCain has lost his ability to think reasonably or rationally. Cognitive skills are the first thing to go as one ages, and his age is showing.

    These statements do not reflect well on Mr. McCain. Either he is a complete incompetent when it comes to judging character, or he's lying to make himself look good. In either case, it's not good.

    Never the less, we need Palin around. If we don't keep her around there will be a lot of comedians and news commentators with nothing to do.

    November 25, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Jerry, Bronx, NY

    At this point Sen McCain has no choice but to stand behind Sarah Palin. To do otherwise would amount to a confession that he, and the GOP leadership, made a HUGE blunder. McCain may be old fashioned, but he is not an idiot. I'm sure he regrets gambling with our future, and his, by selecting Sarah.

    November 25, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Are you kidding?

    She is the brunt of jokes...Joe the plumber, Turkey Gate this week, cult church witch doctor, foreign policy because of proximity to Russia, the disaster interview with Katie Couric, Africa the Country, the pregnant young daughter, the baby that actually may be her older daughter's, field dressing a moose, the $250,000 clothing sprees, the folksy winky chatty stuff, Caribou Barbie...these were the topics about Palin. No solutions, no policies, no intellect.
    Yuk. She set back women's issues 50 years.

    November 25, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. JoePub

    I never seen such hateful comments for another human being. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. There is one thing to have an opinion but quite another for crude comments. This is the result of a "change that we need" ? No thanks, I'll take an America where there is decency.

    November 25, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. PDX Gal

    He is either demonstrating a bold-faced denial of the obvious, or else he is a horrific judge of character.

    Either way, we dodged a giant bullet by voting him down.

    November 25, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. indiana voter

    To The Shark: For someone who is calling the Republicans a bunch of hate-filled people, you sound pretty full of the hatred yourself. By your statements, it looks like the Democrat party is set to replace the Republicans as the "party of hate", as you like to call them, using hate-filled speech of your own. You are not the only democrat on here spewing hatred, while calling the Republicans the "party of hate." Take a look in the mirror!

    November 25, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Peter (CA)

    Washington Observer-
    Spending time on the right wing sites I see.

    Frank and Dodd are not blameless but the Fannie Mae problem is bipartisan. When McCain brought this up, the Repulbicans controlled the Congress and the White House. Why was nothing done?

    And about the money...Obama got his contributions from Fannie and Freddie employees. McCain got a larger amount ($169,000) than Obama did and he got it from the board of Fannie and Freddie and their lobbyists.
    I know the right wing wants to revise history but the facts are out there.

    November 25, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Natasha in tally

    OK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I am afraid for my country.

    November 25, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. dickt

    Sara Palin has about as much future as Dan Quayle and Walter Mondale had after losing their VP bid.

    November 25, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. CW in the Heartland

    Unbelievable really. If he were 16 I would say it is just harmones talking but McCain is too smart and wise for that. I feel (or felt) sorry for her because she got used. I don't think she understood how foolish she sounded, nor do I think she understood that most Americans were laughing AT her, not with her on all her verbal blunders. I can see the GOP wants to lose in 2012.

    November 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Jay

    The Shark...I'm glad you seem to think that just because Obama got elected everything is all better and America is now a true democracy. America has been and will continue to be a democracy. It's funny how you Democrats will say that Republicans are racist, and yet I've seen ten times as many Democrats calling McCain or Palin names than I have Republicans calling Obama names. Why is it that when interviewed on television did people not have a valid reason for voting for Obama, other than his whole "change" theme? It's because a lot of those people did not even pay attention to the issues at hand, and unfortunately some voted for Obama just because of his race. If this is an example of the Democratic Party, I'm glad I'm not a part of it.

    November 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Kevin in Denver

    Theresa: All you who have nasty comments about Sarah Palin and how smart you think she's not. WHAT STATE ARE YOU GOVERNOR IN???????

    Wow you sure skipped 10th grade grammar... "smart you think she's not?
    what state are you governor in?" pretty bas sentence structure. You do NOT end sentences with prepositions!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Milhouse van Houten

    Well,here we go again,another insignificant story about an insignificant female who must be salivating at all the attention she is receiving.Again,if Sarah Palin is the future of the GOP,then the
    possibility of the party staying on the outside looking in is greater than
    they would like to admit.McCains'statement about energizing the base
    is only factual in terms of that base becoming less and less in numbers.The faction of the GOP that Ms.Palin energized proved to be no match for reasonable,egalitarians throughout the land.

    November 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. LizTooProudfoot

    Who are these people who really think Palin is a contender in legislative government?...You know how Americans are seen globally? We are seen as ignorant buffoons with no sense of dignity. Since the election of Obama, the world celebrated in a victory of rising above ignorance and achieving common good. It's not just a national achievement, it's a global achievement...

    Palin represents what's wrong with this country...low educational standards, no integrity and ethics, and complete narcissism beyond repair...Palin needs to stop being so ambitious to be the next great GOP leader and take the time to raise her children!!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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