August 29th, 2008
09:01 PM ET
12 years ago

How McCain chose Palin

McCain only talked with Palin once before choosing her.

McCain only talked with Palin once before choosing her.

(CNN) - John McCain first met Sarah Palin only six months ago and had just one conversation with the Alaska governor before offering her the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, the Arizona senator's campaign said Friday.

The move appears to be a marked departure for McCain - a man known for his tendency to surround himself with a close circle of advisers and politicians he has long felt comfortable with.

But according to the McCain campaign, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee first met Palin in Washington at a February 2008 National Governors Association meeting. He was immediately impressed with the 44-year-old rising GOP star, and decided to consider her for the vice presidential slot.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis had several conversations with Palin throughout the vetting process, but McCain himself didn't speak with the Alaska governor until last Sunday - one day after Barack Obama named Joe Biden to his ticket. It was then McCain reached Palin by phone while she was at the Alaska State Fair to discuss the possibility of joining the ticket.

Palin then traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona Wednesday evening, where she met with top McCain advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter. On Thursday Palin traveled to McCain's Sedona, Arizona home where the Arizona senator had another conversation with her, and formally asked her to be his running mate.

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (1,482 Responses)
  1. Pimpin

    It aint easy!!!
    The modern day political P-I-M-P!!

    August 30, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  2. Empower8

    WOW...whether a Rep or Dem, you gotta admit that this is truly turning out to be the Most exciting election year yet. This move by McCain staffers is brilliant, because there will be women out there that'll vote for his ticket solely based on gender. Just like there will be ppl that will or wont vote for Barack based on race. Fundamentally, this is what our country boils down to folks, Race & Gender. I just hope that the "neutral perspective" has a strong enough Voice to win on the Issues, not the -isms.

    August 30, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  3. Andrew

    I have an idea for you, John McCain. You should open a Myspace account. I saw a profile of this one guy – one year city council member of Podunck, Iowa (pop 99), and he's half black, 1/4th hispanic, and 1/4th Asian – plus he's gay. Perfect to win over black, hispanic, Asian and gay votes. You should email him – he would be perfect as Secretary of State. Remember, 'country first'!

    August 30, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  4. Nate

    A good Independent candidate could really sweep in and steal some votes in this election, especially after McCain's pick for VP.

    August 30, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  5. Paul From California

    This is political pandering at its worst. McCain's choice says it all:

    1.) his energy policy is to drill domestically for more oil; in comparison, Obama's is to wean us off all oil within 10 years. McCain is betting that the American electorate will choose the short-term instant gratification over the longer term. He is obviously beholden to Big Oil.

    I watched part of a piece on Palin today where she was saying that the drilling in the ANWR would leave a miniscule footprint. You are probably correct. Governor, BUT, once you open a door an inch, too often it is kicked all the way open, and in our children's future that tiny miniscule footprint becomes more of a crater.

    2.) He is trying to appease the conservative base – which he needs to win, AND get Hillary supporters. He will energize the conservatives with this pick, but he has grossly underestimated women. My spouse, a Republican, is absolutely LIVID over this selection. I am having a difficult time calming her down! She is now firmly in the Obama camp. Most, if not ALL, Hillary supporters supported Hillary not because she wore a skirt or pantsuit to work, but because of the ISSUES she championed – which Palin is on the other side of the spectrum on most of them. Only the extremely ticked off Hillary supporters who took Hillary's loss personally will move over to McCain because of this selection. If her values were more in-line with Hillary supporters. it might be a different story. McCain is more likely trying to energize the Republican and independant women – but as my wife shows – he might have difficulty doing that. My wife is offended.

    Another thought – as to her comment about being too busy to know much about the war in Iraq – sounds like a dodge there. Also, if my son were going off to fight a war in a distant land, I would make darn sure that I understood EVERYTHING about where he was going, why he was going, how the war was going, and on and on and on.... doesn't anyone else think THAT is strange?

    August 30, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  6. obama/biden

    I'll be honest...people sometimes get pinched in politics, but at the end of the day, candidates know very well that they must shake hands at the end – winner or loser. I am for Obama and respected McCain – but today I lost respect for McCain. He essentially insulted my mother and my two sisters by simply telling them that he will use them to get get them to vote for him. He was willing to put the entire free world at risk for political pompus. I am convinced that Barack and Biden will lead us into the next century. They will crush Republicans like bugs.

    August 30, 2008 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  7. Nancy Levin

    Most bloggers want a chance to vent: many have good things to contribute no matter how "unique" the spelling. This very long list of
    contributers seems to indicate that the pulse of "the public" is in serious trouble. We can't seem to grasp the enormity of the ability of
    those in power to be reckless with our lives, even after many years of
    constant demonstration. Obama is right when he tells us that this
    election is not about him or his opposition...but about us, those of us who vote. SO, good people, VOTE.!!!! But THINK, first, last and often
    about which candidate shows intelligence and good judgement.
    .......teacher from TN.

    August 30, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
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