November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
7 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. Jonathan

    Sarah Palin is a 'breath of fresh air' if that phrase means attaching one's mouth to the tailpipe of a running SUV.

    November 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Mike Snyder

    Some people may have considered McCain a war hero – and I'm not one of them – but his legacy is going to be that of a real jerk who chose a spectacularly unqualified running mate that speaks English like a second or third language. Why doesn't he just shut up rather than making himself look dumber and dumber? Does he think he convince us that the Wasilla Hillbilly wasn't out of her league long ago?
    The Vietnam "war" was a failure of epic proportions, so McCain's part in it was hardly glorious. The tawdry way he ended his first marriage was hardly noble; his political career was indelibly stained by the Keating mess; and his campaign for president was ugly, negative and (fortunately) poorly run.
    So, who in the Hell cares what John McCain thinks about anything?

    November 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. RAR

    Sarah Palin will be a breath of fresh air when she able to clearly articulate her positions and offer us real solutions. At one time she was in favor of "the bridge to nowhere". She offeres no comprehensive energy policy, believes global warming is not impacted by burning fossil fuels, and collects travel benefits from Alaskans for working out of her home. Her leadership is the future of the Republican Party? She will work on her image, polish her interview skills, campaign everwhere but the question will be has she changed her beliefs that are at the core of her extreme positions. I suspect she won't.

    November 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. hsl

    Stop it! Stop telling us about her all the time.

    November 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. rob

    wow–so sounds like the GOP is in trouble if they think she is their bright future. They mean a nasty divisive sos future. God forbid .She's a destroyer , not a uniter

    November 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Greg Hodges

    Peggy Noonan said it best. The Republicans are caught in a time warp where it is always 1984; Reagan is their Moses; and the poor olde Democrats have no one to challenge him. They just can`t seem to get it in their pointy little Neo-Con heads that the world has moved on; and all those pathetic little tricks of Karl Rove don`t work anymore. I laughed when Bush talked about the 'angry' left. It is the right-wing fanatics that are turning purple over losing power so decisively on Nov. 4/08. They are already dreaming of 2012; still not realizing they have given the American people absolutely NO REASON why they would ever want those idiots back in office, Palin is a joke!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Mickey-Texas

    Oh for heavens sake! McDemtia has finally lost his mind!

    November 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. NIK

    I'd only have respect for McCain if he said "Gosh, sorry about inflicting this woman on the rest of the country! My bad!"

    November 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Caroline

    To Love My USA/Do You?:

    Seriously, your lack of coherent sentence structure is exactly why Ms. Palin worked most people's (including mine) last nerves. While I respect her as a woman, mother, and Christian, I have a difficult time digging through the unnecessary verbiage and fluff to whatever it is she's trying to say. I wish, for the sake of her and the Republican party, she would lay low for the time being. She's got beauty but not much for brains in terms of politics...sorry!

    And to answer your question, yes, I do love OUR USA. Tha'ts why I'm so thankful Barack Obama has been elected President and pray daily that the Lord guides him as he leads OUR country towards better days. God bless America!

    November 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Political Asylum

    Will you libs please find something else to moan about? Palin was trashed by everyone during the campaign and you got your dream of Jesus, I mean Obama, becoming president. Please go get a life some of you.

    November 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Gee

    Fred in SC-- NEWS FLASH the election is over.. Let me introduce you to the next POTUS..... BARRRRRRRRRRRRRACK OBAMMMMMMMA,,,

    :)

    November 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Gisele from NY

    That's great. The bright future is that the dumb will lead the dumber. We all told her to go home, but Palin just thrives on attention -any attention.

    November 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. JU

    that wasn't 'fresh air' i was smelling......

    November 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. J.C.

    I think Obama will need his help, too.

    November 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. AEK

    Unfortunately for "the base" she's energizing they keep getting smaller and smaller, I, of course mean in numbers, not in their ability to understand the real issues facing the country! That was already miniscule! Maybe she should just join Rush Lamebrain and Billo the Clown and get her own talk show. That would save the folks in Alaska a lot of money paying her expenses as she campaigns to resurrect her image. But stupid is as stupid does!

    November 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. mm

    oh lord, all i can say : he is creepy she is brainless

    November 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. jroper

    One of reasons McCain lost this election was picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. I hope GOP members are smarter than Mr. McCain.

    November 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. JGalt

    Sue, your comments sound like the real hate inciting moron, not Sarah Palin. Stick with your hate inciting liberal media folk, like Keith Olberman. You're made for each other.

    November 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Lisa

    The woman is a walking disaster, John McCain needs to stop pretending he was happy about having to pick her, we all know that is just not true.

    November 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Steph

    Someone please tell McCain, Palin and CNN that the election is over.

    November 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    I suspect Obama is going to do a great job and Sarah will be the GOP sacrifical lamb to run against Obama, just like Dole in '96 and McCain in '08!

    November 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Trueman

    What's the deal with people saying Palin will be running against Obama (and winning) in 2012? Are the leftist, elitist, fake-america, terrorist loving, freedom hating pigs going to forget to vote in that election? McCain didn't just lose (like Kerry or Gore) he was routed. Unless Obama comes up with a juicy sex scandal, black baby out of wedlock, or Watergate style screw up, he's not going to run things into the ground like W. did. So Palin, who "energized" more Democrats than Republicans to get out and vote, will not even be on the radar if the GOP stays off the bottle.
    "IF" they stay off the bottle.

    November 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Nifty 60, female and white

    Fred in SC......your still don't get it, how sad. I am glad that you are a repub because your kind doesn't not belong to the human race. Your hatred is still spewing. I take greatest pride in the fact that our new president is of African-American desent and you hicks will have to live with it. But fortunately people like you won't live for ever. I can be just as hateful as you and your uneducated hateful kind. GO PRESIDENT OBAMA !!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Caroline

    Okay, Teresa...
    Obviously nobody on this blog is a governor of any state. But I'm not quiet sure what, exactly, your question even means? I may not be a pilot, but that's doesn't mean I can't tell a good pilot from a bad pilot based on their performance! Any blind person can clearly see how awful this woman is (not to mention her political astuteness and insanely annoying voice!).

    But really, explain your question about being a governor of a state? I'm missing the relevance of it....

    November 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Louis

    When did mediocrity become so desirable? I want my leaders to be far more intelligent than average. The fact that many people find Palin a viable candidate does not bode well for the future of the Republican Party.

    November 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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