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. DeniseGA

    People this is about the ISSUES, POLICY, NOT A WOMAN! MY GOD this country is doomed! Are you people serious?????? Nothing about what she stands for, just trashing Obama and McCain. Grow up people, this country is in trouble!

    August 29, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. jim

    Hillary PRICELESS


    August 29, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. Lisa

    I think McCain`s choice is good, for HIM!!! but for everyone else, I think not. He`s thinking with the wrong head =O

    August 29, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |

    Palin was not chose to be a Hillary double, nor to "trick" Hillary people. I believe there were many reasons, but mostly to show that Republican's want "CHANGE" too, and we just started!!

    August 29, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Ted

    Barack Obama has been the leader of a campaign organization involved in one of the most challenging primaries in history, and has made hundreds of decisions in the public eye in the process. He's been tested and shown his judgment, decision-making skills, and capabilities to lead our country.

    Barack made his choice of VP by hiring someone very senior and experienced, a true expert in foreign policy.

    John McCain's has selected Sarah Palin as his VP. Few of us know much about her, and look forward to learning more. However, it is impossible to believe that anyone could possibly advance a case that she is qualified to be our next President. Her resume is just too skimpy, and we'll only see two months of her before the election.

    What's almost as troubling is that McCain has spent so little time with her before making the choice. No CEO in business would hire his/her #2 based on one interview. This speaks volumes for how McCain, viewed by many as being impulsive, makes his most important decisions.

    August 29, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. J.D.

    Was a Republican until today. But I've finally had it. This is pathetic.

    August 29, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. shirl

    All you animals lovers, check out Defenders of Wildlife web site to read about "Ending Alaska's Aerial Killing before you decide if Palin is right for VP. Just more of the same!!!

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

    This has to be one of the most political VP selections in modern history. John McCain basically aims to eliminate the relevancy of the VP position. The blatant craven aim of this choice was so transparent as to near comical. What will history say? The VP of the US was chosen purely to attract disaffected Dems by their gender.

    If this Carl Rove play works, god help us all.

    August 29, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. No Thanks, McCain!

    McCain has run an entirely dirty campaign, has offered no feasible solutions for the war, healthcare, economic crisis, oil dependency reduction, the environment, etc.

    And he hopes to APPEASE the women of America by offering Palin???? Why on earth did he not choose a well-qualified Republican woman if he was going to choose a woman. Palin BRINGS NOTHING and makes McCain look VERY, VERY old (He does have children older than her).


    August 29, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Candice

    Sarah Palin has more executive experience than the democrat's top ticket Obama.

    Obama has never ran anything , not even a city.
    She has ran a city + a state.

    August 29, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. Joan

    Ok Mr. Mccain,

    Was Hillary just a woman to you, who could be easily replaced to another woman? How insulting!

    And if something happen to you in WH, would you really want to put this risky person in the position of COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF? Is this
    what you're saying "PUT the COUNTRY FIRST"? What a hypocrite!

    You've just chosen to put the country in danger only to be president. You've just made a decent woman a tool for your presidency only to woo women votes.

    If you think the woman of inexperience could be NO.1 when something happens to you, Why not Obama? Obama is a man of knowledge and judgement, why can't he be the NO.1? Because he's black? What a double standard!

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

    Please let me off this planet! Let me get this straight. Soccer-mom, less than two years as a mayor of 8K people, less than a 1.5 years as a gov, under investigation, biggest worry as a mayor was the dog race, not yet through menopause, not tested, not seasoned, no DC experience, one heart beat away from prez, and McVain expects us to support this so-called leader who has her finger on the nuc bomb, and we are to reaspect her. What is the quidproquo? Did McVain bed her and this is hush actions? What qualifies her over Hutchinson or any other Repub seasoned respectful women. My god, what has the Repubs sank to. Obama has already won...its over. If the women of America vote for this "ra-ra-zis boom bah" soccer mom, can I have the office of Sec Defense for my new job. I will do anything, suck anything, be anyone, act like anyone, and... oh my head hurts. We are doomed. Doomed I say....

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

    Pro bridge to nowhere before she was against it.

    Her first flip flop.

    August 29, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. me


    August 29, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. Jon

    I'm not for McCain but what in the Hell is he thinking. If he wins we have a prom queen as the VP and god forbid if something happens to John she would be the president . What is this country coming to. This is why Americans hate Washington.

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. Perspicacious Chicagoan

    Let's take the chance to get to know her. She seems very nice, but at this point I question her qualifications. I think it is a fair discussion to discuss her readiness given John McCain's health. I question her judgment given the ethics investigation into her which was launched by Republicans and her support for the bridge-to-nowhere (which she now claims not to support). I also question McCain's judgment having only met her once before offering her the job.
    Most importantly, let's talk policies... Does she bring anything to Hillary supporters except being a woman? We should not be voting ala American Idol – we are voting for the direction of our great country.

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. Danel

    During the forum mcCain was ask three people that helped shape his life. He said Gen Petrious, the lady from ebay and Rep. Lewis. Mr Lewis said that he was not even a friend of McCain and never talk to him at all just have a cordial conversation if they happen to bump each other in the hallway. Now what's that tell you? Maybe Gov. Palin happen to say hi to him in Washington and mcCain hired her for the most next important job in the land. Did they go the normal vetting process like the DEM's?God help us if he happens to win this. Idon't think Mccain is capable of thought process before deciding, did he ever consult people and see what they think of the selection.

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Laura

    What an insult. McCain has shown his lack of judgment.

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. Ivy

    I'm an avid Obama supporter thats believes John McCain would just run the country farther into the ground than Bush. However, I am also insulted by this pick by McCain. It is absolutely insulting to the intelligence of American woman, as if he only chose he in an effort to patronize us and win over Hillary supporters. This was such a contradictory move on his part. He keeps saying that Obama is not qualified because he does not have enough experience, yet he selects a woman who has NO NATIONAL political experience. Furthermore, HE HAS ONLY MET PALIN ONE TIME before making this decision. HOW ABSURD!!! If that is how he plans to make his decisions in the unlikely event that he becomes president, I definitely don't want to be around to witness it!

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  20. Brandon

    This pick is purley gimmick...i mean seriously...

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  21. kayway

    Sounds like Palin really put on the pageant girl charm with McCain, must be he has a weakness to young brazen brunettes who know how to handle her guns!

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. Geoffrey

    The reason that McCain and his party will loose big this year, is because he and the republicans are so rapped up in political tactics and games that they have lost sight of the issues which are priorities for the electerate. When people are losing their jobs, their homes and their children's lives over in Iraq, they pay attention. The looser is the one who tries to insult the American people in these hard times.

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. RB

    The state of Alaska has less people than the city of Chicago!

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. pw

    GOD help us one and all-but why not cindy !!!!!!!!and moose is her favorite meat !! and she supported the "bridge to nowhere"!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. Tennessee


    August 29, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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