November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
3 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. barbara campbell

    The Republican base – the same 28% of the population that still approves of Bush/Cheney – may see Palin as a breath of fresh air but the rest of us see the same old divisiveness, self-interest, and hateful ideology that permeates the right wing. Instead of the usual angry rich old white guys, we have an angry rich young white woman spewing the same lies and propaganda.

    Only head-in-the-sand Republicans can't see how their agenda has wrecked America; how the American people stood up to the rich and powerful and took back our Democracy.

    Palin's rise in the Republican party simply proves that the neocons are not moving forward with the rest of us.

    November 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Yes to Obama

    It seems that McCAin did not learn from his major crushing defeat....McCain PLZ understand...PALIN HAS NO BRIGHT FUTURE>>>EVEN UR WHOLE GOP IS A QUESTION MARK – THANKS TO BUSH....

    November 25, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. kk

    BoB: when will you (and people like you) start understanding Sarah Palin?? No one has lied about her - SHE SPOKE FOR HERSELF!!! And therein lies your problem.

    November 25, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Paul

    She did a great job of rallying the GOP's bigoted base and exposing that party for the divisive, hatemongers they are.

    November 25, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Lisa Vilen

    Okay, now I get it. The plan is to run Sarah in 2012 because she is going to be the Republican's sacrificial lamb.

    November 25, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Luigi ina California

    "A breath of fresh flatulence," would be more accurate, thank you. What a bunch of delusional egomaniacs. And did I also mention: losers?

    November 25, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. johnrj08

    John McCain appears to be at odds with several of the respected thinkers in the Republican Party, including Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, David Brookes, Christopher Buckley, Colin Powell, Susan Eisenhower, George Will and Ken Dubenstein. My guess is that many more moderate intellectuals who still remain in the GOP feel exactly the same way. McCain puts his own party at risk by continuing to endorse Palin, who only appeals to the shrinking evangelical right-wing of his party's base. And that's not enough voters to win any national election.

    November 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. Republican that voted for Obama/Biden TEXAS

    McCain must still be off his medication. Palin is horrible and it's McCain's fault that she is here and won't go away.

    Hopefully,Trig will get shoes for Christmas. She is a horrible mother, too.

    November 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Lydia

    John McCain needs to stop it! The economy did not derail his candidacy. His response to the economy derailed his candidacy. That and running a campaign that was rabid, evil, and devisive. I can't imagine how Sarah Palin has a future in politics. She is DUMB. Worst than that is she doesn't even know she is DUMB.

    November 25, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Jane

    I am very disappointed at the elections results, however I am looking forward to seeing much more of Sarah Palin. I am very excited to know that she will continue to be engaged in GOP politics.

    Sarah Palin is the future of the GOP

    November 25, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. Kim

    All you males who so strongly defend Palin only like her for one thing and it isn't her brains!

    November 25, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Republican that voted for Obama/Biden TEXAS

    It's hard to imagine what McCain/Palin would be doing in this crisis. I can only imagine their cabinet. It is sicking to think about.

    November 25, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Sarah's the Babe

    See you in 2012-can't wait--we'll tell Michelle not to change the drapes as she'll be gone after one term-

    The economy is going to pull Obama into a quagmire from which there is no escape--and you'll take your rightful place in the Oval Office-

    November 25, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. I LOVE OBAMA

    I belive Palin woudl've been out of the spotlight already if media outlets such as CNN would STOP POSTING about her already..who cares? We all know a big reason McCain lost was due to the fact that he picked her as his VP. I'm sure the race would've been much closer had he chosen Romney or someone..anyone but her. Why is everyone acting as if this woman would actually have a chance if she ran in 2012???? Even most Repubs can't stand her.

    November 25, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. Tim E

    This 'breath of fresh air' John inhaled was really just a "gust of lust."
    If Sarah Palin had been a man, she'd have been Dan Quayle redux. Frankly, it won't bother me a bit to see her provide the Republican Party with its leadership for the balance of my lifetime. I'll just call her my "easy button."

    November 25, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. lisa l

    if she had of presented herself similar to obama she would have made been great. but she came off quite the opposite like an attack dog and a puppet. she had her chance and blew it. now is she supposed to reappear like some changed person who really cares about the world and highly sensitive to the sentiments of others particularly her peers – like obama. she blew it! hope she pursues the other offers i would watch her in hollywood – she'd fit in ok – maybe

    November 25, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. Chris in Va.

    ....Well there are some out there who are such blithering idiots that they consider her, the biggest moron to EVER stand on the political stage (this per the REPUBLICANS THEMSELVES) intelligent.

    I guess when you have the IQ of a rock a shiny rock can seem appealing, eh BOB?

    November 25, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. Jim in San Jose

    Sarah is little more than a cheerleader for a party that has lost it's way. It's base is the only section of the electorate that she attracts and thus the republicans will be playing second fiddle for many years to come. That is until a real leader comes along (and is recognized as such, a higher hurdle than finding the person). That person will have to realize that the three things the republican party needs most are acceptance, acceptance and acceptance. Their best shot will come in 2016 at the earliest.

    November 25, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Ted

    McCain has lost it and Palin never had it.

    November 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. C C

    PAILIN NEEDS TO BE GROOMED ,IN THE ART OF POLITICS,FOR PEOPLE TO CAPTURE HER DRIFT,AND HER PERSONALITY AND COMPOSURE WILL COMPLIMENT THE REST.

    November 25, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. Texas Teacher

    Yes... yes.... yes.... let Sarah Palin be the future of the Republican Party! Sorry..... I can't stop laughing!

    If she is all the party has.... then they may as well fold up and go home! The way is open for a new party, folks! :)

    November 25, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. Hafsah Jonas

    ok.... WHAT THE HECK? u ppls r sooo mean. i always thought democrats were nice....will you stop insulting every1? Mccain just can't admit he was wrong about palin...what do u think her feelings will be?And then u dirtycrats r going to start laughing and whining over what u wanted. it's almost thanksgiving, let' s be thankful.

    November 25, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Anyway Like I said

    If Palin is the best the GOP has to offer for leadership then it's sayonara to the GOP or is it good riddance. Geezer has really showed how incompetent he really is. Then again America did vote for the village idiot from Texas not once but TWICE. How's that go? Fool me once uh uh duh

    November 25, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. Michelle

    HAHAHAHA, these comments are funny...the article is funny...good times....

    November 25, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. Mavericky

    Mccain knows what he's talking about; she will have a very bright future as a GOP leader, but he didn't say that GOP's future will be in the toilet if she IS the GOP leader

    November 25, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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