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. Raoul

    Judgement... Judgement... Judgement...
    He meets the woman one time and chooses her to be his VP running mate. Once again, John McCain makes a monumental blunder in judgement. This man will destroy our country with his ill-advised, reckless poor judgement.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. sharon Handley

    I wonder who is looking after the new VP candidat's 4 month old child with Down's Syndrome?? That was mentioned, I'm sure meant to be a selling point. I know many people with Down's Syndrome, and I have a nephew with this syndrome. I understand Sarah Palin's husband works oil rigs and fishing vessels. WHO raises the children? Having the right to life is one thing. Having the right to a mother who wants you and really cares for you should be in the same package.

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. delbert

    Hey America,

    Thanx John! As Bill said, "we're on the right side of history. " Republicans should be concerned, all of you. You allowed a maverick to seal the deal for Barack.

    You can't justify the pick. Hillary's defections will be few. The Republicans just gave Barack a coronation, and most women who were wavering, aren't now.

    This is high-tech exploitation, feeding on the desires of a segment of the gender population; it is pandering to women.

    Hillary didn't pander. If she made it to the nomination, I doubt seriously she would have selected Julian Bond, or Cornell West to court the disaffected African American.

    Boy, what a gift! I'm not saying Palin isn't intelligent; but the Republican's did better and stay out of the Dem's closet.

    They took on an issue that doesn't fit, and the Dem women aren't stupid either.

    Good luck!

    August 29, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. Xango 08 & 12

    ok, here we go

    He just doest not get it

    this person was the mayor of a town of 8,000 people IN ALASKA


    talk about isolated places,
    that is experience

    m mmm mccain
    sorry to say, but that trick wont work, just because she is a woman to think that he will get the PUMAS , sorrry
    but thePUMAS have a brain

    and this woman is NO hillary clinton

    August 29, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  5. Jan

    Many Republicans are SCARED TO DEATH because McCain made a HUGE ERROR in picking this woman. Hillary's fans won't like her because she stands for everything Hillary doesn't like. Women in general will be ticked off because they will believe that the Republicans think that anyone who is female will appeal to women. NOT!!!! I would much rather have a man who has my values and ideals than a woman who doesn't and there are MANY of us who feel that way.

    August 29, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Mitzie

    She is a "hockey mom"! That explains it all!

    August 29, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. Victoria

    We was not for Hillary because she was a women. Hillary was the first lady and married to President Clinton and well able to step in as President and this choice of Mccain shows Mccain has no judgement this is scary. Mccain is 72 years old and he choice a VP with less experience than himself. This is so terrible! This move was a Political move for Hillary's supporters Mccain is not thinking about the American people's future just another Political move. This is not good!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  8. john

    My wife and I are democrats from NY. yest I was all for Mccain. This decision is so irresponsible that it shows you that Mccain is out of touch. Its sad because I wanted to vote for Mccain. But his pick is not qualified.

    August 29, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Portia, Los Angeles CA

    I hope women (especially Hillary supporters) do not fall for this nonsense! Palin is a die-hard CONSERVATIVE... say goodbye to roe v.wade and your freedom to choose ladies! Also please lets not forget what senator McCain actually stands for (i.e. Bush policies)! I am insulted by John McCain's choice. God forbid something happens to him and "president Palin" will lead America? Think people! By the way, senator Obama did a PHENOMENAL job last night! I am so proud!

    Obama/Biden '08!

    August 29, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. anom

    Given that she is just a heart beat away from become VP – is this how McCain puts his country first??????
    Are we, the American women, so very stupid that he thinks we loved Hillary for her gender? I find McCain's stop gap selfish choice of a woman VP both, offensive and yes, unpatriotic. He said he wasn't going to put the election before his country – well, you just did Senator McCain!
    You met her only once in the vetting process and you made up your mind about her being your VP – hmm stinks of insincerity about the 'putting politics before the love of country.' Are you just that desperate?
    You just helped me make up my mind. Yes, Obama/Biden you got my vote!

    August 29, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Mike Dallas

    McCrypt thinks that the fact that Palin won Miss Congeniality in the Miss Wisilla contest, qualfies her to deal with the issues in Iraq???

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. I've been at my job longer

    I've been at my job longer than she has been a Governor. My husband went to Iraq and I volunteer in my community. I guess I should run for Vice President, too!

    Wow, I guess if she can be VP by being mayor of backwoods USA, then in 2012 I am announcing my candidacy.

    Country First McCain, YEAH RIGHT!

    I will stick with Obama/Biden with CONFIDENCE.

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  13. sarah

    As a republican women, mom, and professional, Phalin gives me and my own daughters a renewed sense of empowerment. I spoke with my 3 year old about a women being elected as the VP of the US and she clapped her hands. I'll be clapping all the way to the poles on Nov. 4th when I cast my resounding YES vote for McCain and Phalin. Finally, a leader, a common sense lady who complements MacCain perfectly!

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. JT

    Just remember, when you're cursing high gas prices at the pump, Alaska benefits from higher oil prices. McCain and Palin aren't going to implement policies that hurt her home state. There is no way they will do anything to reduce our dependence on oil, or to reduce oil prices.

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. Hispanic for Obama - Ricky

    Kay you must be mistaken...McCain has a record of going against equal pay. Please do YOUR research.

    This is obviously a move to grab the Clinton voters. My mother and sister both wanted Clinton initially but they love Obama as well and will stick to the Democrat ticket. They also are pro-choice. McCains party will definitely be appointing Supreme Court judges to overturn Roe v. Wade. No matter how Republicans on tv try to spin it, the reaction by bloggers who more accurately depict views of the American people are that, by both liberals and conservatives, the majority disapprove of this VP pick and slap to the face of the intelligece of women everywhere.

    It has become obvious this past week that Obama is the right choice to lead this country. Start with VP picks. Continue on with policy changs. And end it off with foreign relations because ours is currently strained.

    Obama/Biden 08!

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Starling

    For the Hillary supporters who are now planning to vote for McCain:

    Why were you a Hillary supporter originally? What about her positions and policies appealed to you most strongly? What made you feel she was most qualified of all the candidates on the Democratic side?

    I'm curious, because many of Hillary's more vocal supporters don't seem to have a clear idea of what her positions on the issues actually are.

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  17. Mya

    As a Hillary voter I am insulted.

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. HLP

    John McCain must think there are a lot of very stupid women in America. This woman is no substitute for Hillary Clinton. I am insulted and outraged.

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Chicago Evelyn

    I was a Hilary supporter – I view this as such an insult that McCain thinks this would get my vote just because I'm a woman. Hillary's such an intellectual with a wonderful record of working on family issues such as healthcare. I'll vote for Obama in a heartbeat. Obama has YEARS of experience in Chicago as a public servant – helping people in need. Sadly, a large share of our country is in need of help today. He seems to be able to empathize with us regular people the way that Hillary does. I'm not going to be voting for Miss Alaska Runner 1984!

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. Western Voter

    This woman is next in line to become president after a 72 year old man with a history of cancer! Is she qualified? Well...after all, she is the Commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard.

    August 29, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. Sarah

    This choice is profound.... it is the hand of G-d messing with McCain's brain. If it's true that he chose Sarah Palin in order to garner the women votes then I cannot understand any mother choosing to accept this job (being a heartbeat away (and even closer, if that is possible, since we are talking about a 72 year old man) from the Presidency when she has a four month old baby who in addition to being a baby has down syndrome. No job is worth this sacrifice and I am unbiased observer from Canada.

    I have been thinking for weeks now, since we have been hearing so much of McCain being a POW and undergoing so much torture, whether McCain is mentally stable to make major decisions – this choice certainly shows that there is some instability there in his thinking.

    August 29, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. Keith

    The U.S. really needs someone who can lead and can be strategic, and I strongly feel McCain does not meet up to these standards. Especially, with his last decision regarding his vp choice(gov. Palin). Even though it may not have been McCain's plan to choose any woman with a respectable background(yet no experience) just to steal Clinton supporters, too many he did.

    Earlier in his campaign, McCain accused Obama of having little experienced and now he chooses a govenor with only 2 years making changes in our country. The word hypocrite comes to my mind when the name McCain is brought up, from his lack to follow through on his attack on Obama about experience.

    McCain is not even on the same level of Bush, he's more like a Bush Jr. I can honestly say, i hope Barak Obama is the future president.

    August 29, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  23. Ashley

    I am looking for someone who can lead a nation not a soccer team or a small troop of men. This nation deserves a charasmatic person, who can influence, bring a tide of change, and presents a positive image of America.

    McCain and Palin are not qualified or have shown they have the leadership qualitiy within them. Republicans are looking more desperate and a mess.

    This Obama-can is voting Democrats for the first time.

    August 29, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. CNN

    CNN=OBAMA.......very disappointing.

    August 29, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. Valerie Hostutler

    Eve from NY I agree with you. Sen. McCain is showing just how much he thinks of women. He has pulled the biggest insult a man could on the women of today. He thinks the only reason Hillary Clinton was loved was because she is a woman. But we all know that the reason women loved Sen. Clinton was because of her heart and what she stood for in this country. Sen. Clinton has proven to millions that she loves her country and that she will fight for this country and the people in it.

    Sen. McCain has met this Governor once. This alone shows that he is out of touch and will do anything to win this election even if it means USING this Governor to do it. This has set women back 50 year.

    Sen. McCain picked this Governor thinking all Sen. Clinton supporters was only behind her because she is a women. What an insult. So he picks a women for VP spot.

    Sen. McCain don't under estamate Sen. Hillary supporters. Sen. Hillary Clinton is a true Hero.

    August 29, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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