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

How McCain chose Palin

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Paul

    So on election day both VP candidates will have sons in Iraq. The difference is Pallin, and her surrogates, have used that fact repeatedly to beef up her credentials and the democrats mention it twice, once buried deep in Biden's bio on and once in the intro of Biden by his son at the convention.
    The difference here is that the kevetvchin town council didn't have to vote to send her son into battle where as Biden knew that his vote would put his son in danger. Now that's putting your country first!

    August 29, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. Obama Supporter VA

    The Republicans are looking for another Bush.

    They figure McCain will not last long and then Palin will be in office.

    Because she has not experience, then the Bush/Chenney croonies can pull her strings and lead her along just like they did Bush. Watch out America, we will be in WW iV if Mccain/Palin are elected.

    August 29, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. pat lynch

    Watching CNN tonight with Campbell (was she in the crowd of media cheering for Obama at the convention?).Campbell Brown, with heavy red lipstick, could replace Heath Ledger as "Joker". David Gergen, please, somebody take a scissors and cut that "waft" of hair off his head. Please, do a Rudy G. for him and cut it off. Both are deep "in the tank" for Obama. Can we be objective? Pat

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. alex

    You there are some hillary supporters here who believe that mccain will give universal health care, equal women rights, equal pay... are you people in a dream land!!!!!!!!! there is no equal anything or universal health care from mccain!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Sue Butcher

    I am shocked beyond belief with Mr. McCain's choice. It is absolutely terrifying to think that someone with Mr. McCain's age and health history would choose a running mate with so little international and legislative experience to possibly lead this country. This is making the Republic party a laughing stock, reducing their party to a joke. Perhaps I am dreaming. I certainly hope so.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Big D

    Doesn't it bother anyone else that Palin has to deal with the demands of an infant during this campaign? She has a 4 month old child. It's hard enough to get a real night's sleep, take a shower and eat on a regular schedule when you have an infant. How is she going to deal with the travel and campaign schedule for a VP candidate? And if she were elected and had to move up to POTUS soon, how could she jugge a high-needs infant and the presidency at the same time?!?! I'm a working parent and I'm juggling my schedule as best as I can. But my children are no longer infants and my job is nowhere near as demanding as VP or POTUS. That's just an insane combination of high-demand challenges. Doesn't that bother anyone else?

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. Sharese Anderson

    John McCain's choice for VP, Sarah Palin is a direct insult to all American woman. To think that Sarah Palin could inherit Hilary Clinton voters emphasises that John McCain doesn't understand the American woman. One woman is not as good as the next!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. Tricia

    I resent all comments above that state "intelligent women" would now not vote for McCain/Palin. It sounds a bit like sour grapes from those Hillary supporters. Look at what Sarah Palin has done in two short years as Governor. We need more people like her in Washington !!!

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Sarcasm

    Look at it this way, if he did meet her more than once, the NYT would be shooting it's mouth off with another unsubstantiated story....

    If he wanted a woman VP – he should have chosen someone like Condi Rice, who no democrat likes, but at least she's more qualified than all the fools in the race right now. I mean, she's spent the last 7 years telling George what to do.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Perry, NC

    I just hope Hillary supporters are not swayed by Palin's gender. When it comes to the issues, SHE'S NO HILLARY. Voting for McCain because he chose a woman gives credence to the notion that women vote on emotion only.

    DON'T BE FOOLED. That pants suit contains a right-wing, regressive, intolerant politician. If you really want to see this country move forward, don't vote for two people who are against everything Hillary and the rest of the Democratic party stands for.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. LaShanda

    Women don't be fooled! McCain is using this woman. This is unacceptable!

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. jewel

    Mcstupid has to be insane. Changing skirts from Hilliary to Palin is not the same. America Wake Up!!! Is this the begining of the end of our union.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. Kim

    Shiloh you are an ignorant individual, your right she chose to become a mother, it is our bodies we can do what we want with it, so what if she was 43 and had a baby, your an idiot, she is a woman of child bearing age and she's married if she wanted to have another child it is her perogative, ugghhh you people.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Donna McGee

    While it is wonderful to see another woman as part of the national political scene, it is patronizing to think that women who supported Hillary Clinton and the values she espouses would give one minute's thought to voting for the McCain ticket. My wish was to elect the most experienced candidate to sit in the White House and fix the mess created by the Republicans. Tthe choice of Joe Biden calms my concerns. The choice of an inexperienced governor just to try to attract the disaffected Clinton supports and appeal to the radical right astounds me.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. Kay

    John McCain's choice of a running mate is definitely an insult to the American people and how demeaning to every intelligent woman in this country. Does he (and not McCain actually, but his stupid advisors) think that women are that stupid? All he is trying to do is lure the Hilary Clinton supporters over to his camp by insinuating that Obama wouldn't chose a woman for his running mate but he will. What a dill weed he is. It's not just having a woman for "show" in his camp, but it is what she understands and brings to the table. It's about thow well she understands the over all struggle of all individuals not just women. It's about her strenghts and her involvement in other issues concerning this country. I am not saying that she has nothing to offer and in fact, I hope she proves me wrong but I am saying that this is Republican business as usual. Thinking that the American people are ignorant of their tricks because they have been for so long. John McCain is an empty vessel that has no concept of what is right or wrong. He just stands there and let these idiotic ideas be poured into him and he goes along with whatever is fed to him because he is so out of touch with reality.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. W O W WO W

    A M E R I C A ' S--N E W E S T---S W E E T H E A R T-– A H........

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. sharon walker

    These are due to them not putting my message out the first to this caption.

    In the west the train came through , wagons and steel.
    West ward young man!!
    The golden gate so beutiful put in place by the manpower!

    That labor force put in the oil rigs in the oceans and gas pipes that
    moved man in history. Sinclair and Richmond oil.
    Remember any others. These men met challenges and ranched and farmed. They moved nation and were not afraid to have a woman with them.

    Stellar the courage to bring woman into the highest of offices and administration of the USA.


    IN the Beginning! New Beginnings for this fine Presidential candidate and Vice Presidential Candidates. Vote you vote counts.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. Julian Patrick

    As a mother I am disgusted that, this woman with a disabled 4month
    old baby is choosing politics over her family. Biden refused to take his nomination in1972 untill persuaded because he put his sons first.
    This woman jumped over a position that she never thought about.

    August 29, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. Corrie

    >Biden is old, white, male and entrenched washington insider. The alleged reasons for NOT going with Hillary.

    EVERYBODY knows by now that the real reason that Obama could not pick Hillary Clinton was BILL CLINTON. Not to mention that both Clintons have a history of corruption, and that NOTHING woul dhave energized Republicans more to come out and vote than having her on the ticket.

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. Patricia in Las Vegas

    former beauty queen and hubby works for PB (oil company) ~~ a perfect choice !!! GAG

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. David S.

    I think Palin is a brilliant choice. As a member of the bitter gun toting church going conservative crowd Obama looks down so much on, I am rethinking my original opinion of McCain. He has done the one thing necessary to bring us conservatives back to the fold.

    I find it amazing that Obama can actually state that Palin has no experience, I guess he doesnt look at his own thin resume. Being a Governor is the best experience at being a President, not a bureaucrat Senator like Obama and Biden. I also like the idea of getting someone from outside of Washington involved, personally I'm sick and tired of that corrupt lot.

    Palin is the breath of fresh air that I needed to get interested in this election.

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Sara

    I thought she was runner up to Botox Barbie in the Miss Buffalo Chip contest. Guess someone gave ME the wrong information.

    No, wait, wasn't she the one hunting with Cheney when he shot his friend in the face?

    No, wait -

    OH – he has never been voted ms. congeniality, but SHE has.

    Great Choice !!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Shelly

    Thank God we have Obama !!

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. obama/biden


    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Joe

    "How McCain chose Palin"
    It is a Joke I means Big Jokes , Ha Ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Only morons will fall for this
    By the way the Gop or Rep party should be scrap it is a kkkkkkk party which does not represent the reality of America.
    It looks like only white party.
    We want a change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    go Obama, go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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