August 29th, 2008
09:01 PM ET
12 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. THINK before you Speak

    McCain cares more about winning than this country!!! Its about the issues idiot: the economy, international relations, taxes, and health care. The future of our country should not be diminished to that of a beauty pageant or popularity contest. Since McCain criticizes Barack for his rock star status, then why is trying to become one himself instead of placing our country first? Barack had it right: McCain does not have the temperament and judgment to be POTUS. The mere fact that he waited to see who Barack was naming as his V.P. instead of naming a V.P. who would be best for the country on the issues. This speaks to his lack of judgment, integrity and genuine "vision/plan" for change. Having a woman who happens to be your V.P. pick is fundamentally different than having a V.P. who happens to be a woman. He really don't get. As a democrat, I feel cheated and will offer my apologies to Mitt R., who would have substantiated McCain's claim that he has the well being our country, safety, and livelihood in mind. McCain is just out of his mind!

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. clifford

    McCains age is showing with his judgement because he criticizes obama for not having experience, and then turns around an chooses a running mate with less experience. Regardless if she is the governor of a state ,that has a population lower than my home town...........Thank You McCain Have a happy birthday!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  3. Slab

    Well Eve, your message only proves that you could care less about the issues, but only about your own selfishness. Are you a democrat or not? You were going to vote McCain just because Obama didn't pick Hillary? Now you can't give Palin a chance because you feel offended so you are now voting for Obama? I am still undecided and will wait to choose my pick as I have sense enough to give a fair chance to both.

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. Frank, MO

    Met her only ONCE ? You got to be kidding!

    August 29, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Closely Watching

    ...geeez, after reading these posts I have come to the conclusion that I did not give you die-hard Hillary supporters the credit you deserve...if you are going to vote for McInsane after this then you are more foolish than I thought. Thanks for proving me wrong.

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  6. mike in central va

    what a joke. this lady, a very nice lady im sure, told cnn's dana bash that she had 13 years executive experience. so this means that 11 out of the 13 years were mayor of a town of 7200 people. wow!!!!!! alaska, a beautiful state im sure, total population i heard wolf blitzer say was less than the city of san antonio texas. im not sure who is more STUPID john mcidiot or anybody that is planing to vote for john mcidiot. talk about BAD judgement.

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Justin in CA

    I care because it shows what poor lack of judgment he has. He didn't even trust himself to make the pick. He would rather win an election than stand by what he believes. At least Obama will put the country first.

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  8. Missy

    I am just trying to picture Sarah Palin having the dreaded 3 a.m. conversation with Ahmadinejad... And I haven't been this frightened since I watched Silence of the Lambs.

    I can clearly imagine Hillary, Condaleeza or any number of strong, qualified women in that situation, but this soccer mom with her perky ponytail who admits that she has been too busy to pay much attention to the war in Iraq will never be taken seriously by a Middle Eastern leader. Bin Laden must be drooling in anticipation of the next four years.

    I am so disappointed in you, John McCain, for putting your ambition ahead of your country. You know in your heart that this woman should not be the President of the United States. Shame on you.

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. Nidia Cota

    Desperate! To choose a woman who became pregnant at the age of 40 knowing that chances of having a child with Down Syndrome are significantly increase after the age of 35. And what did she do? Ms. Palin went ahead and became pregnant, despite the fact she already has four other children, and now she has a very sick child condemned to a lifetime of disabilities; what right did Ms. Palin have to do that? She has already demonstrated how irresponsible she is in her personal life, and we can count on Ms. Palin to take away a women's right to choose if something happens to ancient McCain. The women in this country can kiss our freedom to choose goodbye! If Palin ever becomes President; she will appoint judges that would strike down a woman's right to choose. I am happy that John McCain was stupid enough to choose someone like her... inexperience, reckless, and irresponsible... The "old dude" just lost the election!
    Nidia Cota
    Malibu, California
    Land of the Free!

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. Sue

    What an insult to women! Today, for the first time, I made a donation to the Obama-Biden campaign! To pick a woman who John McCain met one time and has decided she can take over in a heart beat – is purely a political move. Women who wanted Hillary Clinton didn't want a woman – they wanted Hillary who was capable of being the Commander in Chief and who had experience, knowledge and the ability to lead. Hillary didn't want the VP job – as Bill would have to divulge too much info. That needs to come out and stop this talk that Obama didn't pick her when in fact she didn't want the job. More will come out about Palin including she doesn't believe in abortion even if the live of a woman is threatened. I shutter to think how she can stand up to Iran and Iraq or even South Korea without any idea who they are. Look at her quotes...those will come out. She hasn't given the situation in Iran/Iraq any thought at all. Terrible pick John, just awful.

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. Stefanie, Texas

    So the man who has been bashing Obama for being inexperienced chose someone of less experience and who is currently under investigation by a federal committee on charges of abuse of power as his VP after meeting her only ONCE! McCain is proving he doesn't have the judgement to lead our country.

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  12. Concerned Voter

    Why not Kay Bailey Hutchinson? Or anyone else with experience?

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. Diane

    Thank you John McCain.. Once again, you prove how out of touch you are with the real people of this country. Picking an unknown with no experience with national politics. And this, after you admitted that you don't really know as much about the economy as you should. Oh, Mr. Candidate there is so much much more that you don't obviously know. It's nice to know that this is your answer to Hilary. You obviously don't know that although we Hilary supporters were saddened by her lose, almost devestated, that when it comes down to voting, it is the issues that will persevere. Barack Obama knocked it out of the ball park with his speech Thursday and with his pick of Joe Biden for VP. My vote, along with countless others has been redeemed by my beloved Democratic party.

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. jeremy

    How does McCain "know her so well" if he only met her once. All i can say is he does not have much respect for women if he thinks this choice will "woo" them because she is female. SHE IS NO HILLARY, NOR WILL SHE EVER BE!

    August 29, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. SB

    Finally, almost 30 years after the first woman nominated as a vice president (by the Democratic party, of course), the "other" major party in the United States finally decided to follow suit. I certainly hope that this selection is sincere and really indicates a move forward rather than just a tactical move to distract and divide for a short-term personal gain of "you know who".

    Thank you.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  16. Independentvoter

    This was a complete insult to me as a woman who supported Hilary Clinton. At least I know now 100% that Obama is my pick. I use to have alot of respect for John McCain, but not anymore. I don't understand how he thought just picking any woman as a running mate would turn us Hilary supporters his direction. I would hope that any (WOMAN) Hilary supporter would not vote for him because of the way he just insulted our intelligence!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. CB

    Obama has 10 years of solid experience in state leg & senate. He has 10 years previous working for workers. 20 years experience vs. Palin's 2 years.

    McCain = pander. He'll do anything to win. He is not putting country first. I think he wanted a woman so he could push her around. He's certainly not looking for someone to give him solid advice. I think she'll be shut out of important meetings.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  18. Danny

    Way to go John, you just gave the election to the Demos. Stressing the important of demonstrating your first big decision as blow it. Go Demos!!

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. stone

    McCain is a great man for president. Very smart choice!

    CNN isgetting sad for this choice. Especially Mr Jack Cafferty. Please,

    your guys read the Palin's resume. She is younger than Obama, but

    she has more experience than Obama.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |

    McCain is digging his own grave.... how appropriate for the old man

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. Leslie

    This VP pick by Mcain is insane!! I get the impression, he picked a woman so he get the votes of Hillary supporters,...wrong! This VP choice is to prove a or say anything to get elected. I can not tolerate John McCain. I actually thought he might win.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Tired of C Students!!!

    This will not help. She is insulting to women. She is not qualified to be a heartbeat away from the most important job in the world. I guess we should go to the local PTA and grab one of the mom's and pick her as a VP pick. Why not just pull a name out of a hat. This is a very crazy move on his part. Very imature of you McDesperate, I expected better.

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Hawaiian Dude

    This is wonderful news. The Republican ticket could not be more representative of 21st century America: pro-gun, conservative, tax-cuts for the wealthy, let's-go-trash-the-environment-for-short-term-benefit, screw-the-rest-of-the-worl, and so forth.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Tricia

    Responding to a comment above ... "Alaska is flush with cash from oil royalties". How about being flush with billions of dollars from TAXING oil companies. There is a difference between royalties and taxes.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Dyan, MN

    Dear Senator McCain,

    I'm not stupid. I know the difference between a woman of substance and qualifications and one who is nothing but pretty token to have around.

    An ex-Hillary Supporter

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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