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. SDunn

    Omgosh you people are such HYPOCRITES!!! First you claim that you can't stand Obama because he's inexperienced and then you're OK with a woman who has ZERO experience who is a heart beat away from the Presidency.

    August 29, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Rosemary

    I am disgusted by John McCain's choice. I can't believe he thought women would believe he made a right choice. At his age, he should have picked someone who could step in with experience. He lost my vote.

    August 29, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Fairfax Deb

    Obviously McCain is pandering to Hillary's supporters. He needs to learn that woman are not interchangable. I was a Hillary supporter and I am not amused. I will vote for Barack.

    August 29, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. Bonnie NYC

    This guy after having met her once and makes her the VP on the Rep ticket. He's not a maverick, he's an idiot and doesn't have the judgement to be president. PERIOD !!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. maryfromtexas

    You liberals! Pardon me, your ignorance is showing. Obama's campaign is a house of cards. Don't be fooled by the so called "charisma," which seems to be all you can base it on. If you'd stop choosing such "charismatic" candidates, maybe you could finally choose a good president. You can write poems about McCain and Palin all you want. That's not going to change the fact that Obama has connections with communists and has socialist leanings, that he has no accomplishments, that he's hiding his past, that he's only telling you what you want to know.

    By the way, CNN and your other media cohorts, why don't you just head on down to Louisiana now? We don't need you or your bias at our convention. I'm surprised you're even letting us have our say. One female commentator was oohing and aahing over the last night of the convention, "Oh, how can the Republicans top this?" Surprise. We don't need an over-the-top show with Greek temples or fireworks to make our candidates look like gods. They can stand by themselves.

    You keep joking and making light of the hurricane possibly hitting the coast at the same time as the convention. Just go. You know you'd rather be there anyway. Go. Stay.

    August 29, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Mike

    This VP pick by McCain totally negates his claim to have sound judgment based on experienced while accusing Obama on being inexperienced and unable to lead. Even McCain surprised me with this one. Very unfortunate for McCain and a gift to Obama. If this is how he is a maverick and likes to politically gamble, I would prefer he not use the USA and it's future as a bid.

    August 29, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. mary

    Remember the first mcCaine's wife, he left her for Cindy at the time a lot younger than him. Now he look at Mrs Palin the same way. Watchout Cindy....

    August 29, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. mm

    Wow to actually have Campbell Brown CNN call Obama "our guy" in a heated debate with Bay Buchanan was pretty amazing. I know obama has CNN in their pocket. But to hear it like that was something.

    August 29, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. Terri

    I have always thought in the past that Campbell Brown was a reporter first and maintained appropriate separation of job and politics. I was amazed a little while ago to watch her in action in regards to the appointment of John McCain's selection of V.P. Tell Campbell Brown that she needs to get back to being a reporter and less of appearing as nothing more than a jealous woman as it is not becoming at all for a professional reporter.

    August 29, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. Becky

    As a woman I would like to see a woman become the President of the United States some day. However, it is disrespectful to me, a woman, for McCain to sellect someone like Governor Palin, who has so little experience to lead us in the event of him not being able to function. This pick is definately not about looking out for the needs of women, but rather his own ego. I am so dissapointed that Mr. McCain would use Senator Clinton for his own gain.

    August 29, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. i agree

    August 29th, 2008 7:22 pm ET

    McCain picked Palin for one reason and one reason only. To pander to Hillary supporters.

    That's the difference between Obama and McCain… Obama picks someone who he can learn with and get real advise from and work with. McCain picks someone that he can lead around and be his yes-man.. or yes-woman in this case. Other than the fact that she's a woman… what can she possibly add to his campaign? Obama picks people based on merit… If he wanted the "sure fire win",.. he could've picked Hillary. But he's not looking for who's the most popular… he's looking for who's the best person for the job. Once again… McCain's personal ambitions are shown to be more important than the good of the country.

    made a good point
    voters are looking for experience and making the right choices..

    August 29, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  12. Daniel

    Dan from Plant City,

    McCain picked Palin only because she has a vagina.

    August 29, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. mb

    If this is an indication of McCain's judgement, then I'm totally for Obama.

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. gene

    If you think Obama's gonna wipe the floor with McCain in the debates... just wait. That'll be nothing compared to what Biden will do to Palin. He'll have her wiping her own tears from the floor before he wipes the floor with her. Biden is SO much better of a pick than Palin on BOTH issues and experience. This won't be funny. Palin and McCain may be overrun with sympathy votes after that debate.

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Bob from Boston

    Palin, smart pick for McCain. She's younger than Obama and yet more trust worthy, and she actually has experience at governing.

    McCain/Palin 2008!

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. Sandra

    For all you people who think McCain chose Palin, because she was the best person for the job, or because he had guts, then you know absolutely nothing about politics! There is one reason and one reason only why McCain chose Palin. Sorry my fellow americans, we are being manipulated...and frankly I find it insulting. McCain is more interesting in winning the election then doing what is right for the country. Now where is Ron Paul when you need him?

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. Former Hillary supporter NOW for OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. --Pls post

    I was a Hillary supporter…. and yes, I am a woman! And I am extremely offended by what McCain is implying with his VP pick. Does he think we are stupid or something???

    I WILL NEVER CONSIDER VOTING FOR HIM!! ….. I did not vote for Clinton because she is just "a woman"… I voted for her because of her substance! And your VP pick is a slap in my female face!!!

    OBAMA/ BIDEN 2008

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. CE

    Eve from NY: An intelligent woman would never vote for a candidate with interests clearly against their own, solely out of spite. Just saying... Secondly, most Americans aren't very intelligent, hence the choice.

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. Gail

    My sympathies to Sarah Palin's oldest daughter, looks like she just got promoted to "Mommy" for at least the next couple of months. I have a hard time getting on board with a woman who does not have enough wisdom not to get pregnant at the age of forty four.

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  20. susan in Seattle

    But isn't the real question, How many times did Karl Rove meet with or speak with Palin????

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. D Paul Sweeney

    McCain just tossed his hopes into the garbage can. There are 6500 more qualified people who ride the subway in NYC every day. So long John.

    August 29, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. Diane

    A few of us (women) were watching Governor Palin speak today and we all noticed how McShame was checking out Governor Palin's..ah, bum, the whole time playing with his wedding ring finger. Watch out Cindy, if they leave one for another, it justs easier the next time! We think Karl Rove has been a very busy bad boy!!! When you lay with dogs, you'll get up with fleas!

    August 29, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. themexcellentone

    Thank you, John McCain.

    Thank you for choosing the running mate I was hoping you'd pick: someone unknown, with no proven track record who will basically cause your moderates to cast a vote of no confidence by voting Independent, Democrat or worse, not at all.

    I will be looking forward to watching the White House turn blue again in January when the Village Idiot–I mean, President Bush–moves out.

    August 29, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  24. ANGEL



    August 29, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. juana phx, az

    Pandering to the pro-choice segment of the population is irresponsible and downright hypocritical. If women do not want to become pregnant let them become more responsible, pro-choice means I can do whatever I want and I do not have to be responsible for my actions and of the consequences of my actions because there is abortion to take care of any " problems".

    August 29, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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