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. Kandra Lindsey

    John Mc Cain was not making a good choice when he chose Palin. When I read the news report she abuse her office as a Govenor when she and her husband went after her ex brother inlaw job. Then she sent her staff after his job she was wrong and his her husband going to jump into the affairs that effect her as VP can he sit back and keep his mouth close. He had no right to question why his ex brother inlaw was still employed as a state trooper and hounding for him to be fired. How Petty

    August 29, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. John , Toronto, Canada

    McCain has stated, sometimes jokingly, that the only duties for a VP are to inquire after the health of the president and to break ties in the senate. If these statements actually reflect his views and the conditions under which the job was offered, could it be that Governor Palin was the only person that did not refuse?

    August 29, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Mel

    This is about John McBush winning. We poor, suffering "saps" do not really matter. He allows us to see what is most important in his way of thinking. May the Lord help us if the majority falls for his spin and the perseption which he wants us to swallow as the truth.

    August 29, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Are you a woman who wants your choice taken from you? Your words and choices of all kinds will be taken.
    Sara Palin may be the governor of my state but I did not vote for her, she does not have and has never had Alaska's best interest in mind. She has oil and money on her mind...not to mention this new baby she has...there are some serious rumors going on about her. None of us here in Alaska even knew that she was pregnant, but we do know that she took her 17 year old daughter out of school 7 months early and sent her away and then look she has a new baby that she is claiming is hers.....I guess we will find out. She is just a liar so I guess she fits right in with McCain.

    August 29, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. Alan Boyer

    John McCain is no manager. "Hiring" someone based on one meeting is not a risk. It is reckless. If he picks a VP based on one visit, then you can imaging that he wouldn't bother meeting with his cabinet. Take a look at how McCain was peeking at her butt while she was speaking today.

    August 29, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Zuq

    Did you know this about Palin?

    In January 1997, Palin fired the Wasilla police chief and library director. In response, a group of 60 residents calling themselves Concerned Citizens for Wasilla discussed attempting a recall campaign against Palin, but then decided against it.[12] The fired police chief eventually sued Palin on the grounds that he was fired because he supported the campaign of Palin's opponent, but his suit was eventually dismissed when the judge ruled that Palin had the right under state law to fire city employees, even for political reasons.

    August 29, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. frances

    Palin?? Are you kidding! Two things. McCain has only met her once in his life so he should focus on getting to know her and start over. Palin gives birth to a disabled child and goes back to work after 3days and she's called a Nurturer. More like an abandoner. Women stress at having to go back to work after maternity leave and Palin goes back leaving her family to care for this child. Mothers with disabled children are more concerned with the development of their child not their community let alone their nation. This is what we want for a VP a so called mother, a woman that gets pregnant with a demanding job, delivers, and leaves the world to raise her disabled child. How sad for this NB with no mother. Oh and let's not forget she'll have to work after hours with no OT so we should look forward to an expensive child care bill. McCain is sure to win...... In his dreams.....

    August 29, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Mike, Neb.

    Jim, in response to your question about this being a "trick" and double standards.

    The people voted for Obama and he won the primaries fairly (no matter what people say). However Palin was CHOSEN by McCain so there is a possibility this may be a trick to pander towards women. There is no double standard here.

    August 29, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. Melissa in Florida

    I now seriously believe McCain has lost the little bit of mind he had left...does he think that women are stupid? This Hillary supporter is now voting for Obama

    August 29, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. Grok

    I want to know about the care that Palin's 4 month old child is getting. Is she able to provide an adequate level of care while campaigning for VP?

    August 29, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. Stefanie, Texas

    Can one of you people who claim to be Hillary supporters, and now wish to vote for McCain because of Palin, explain your decision? Palin is the ANTI-Hillary. Palin is anti-choice, anti-science (creationist), anti-gay, and she's currently under federal investigation on charges of abuse of power! Yeah, she's quite the reformer.

    August 29, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Zuq

    After she was announced as McCain's presumptive running mate, she stated that she does not believe that climate change is man-made. Is it because her husband works for an oil company?

    August 29, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. beth

    frivolous; irresponsible; calculating but unthinking and unthinkable.

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

    Campbell.. Please moderate yourself.. Your suppose to be a reporter but your method of challenge to your guests in regards to the Republican VP appointment are showing a different side of you..

    August 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. Ken

    You women should not be offended by McCain picking Palin for his VP. If anything, it gives us (that is right us, even though I am a man, I am a Hillary Clinton supporter that will NOT vote for Obama) a chance to show Obama how wrong he was by not putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket as his VP.

    To tell you the truth, I still think that the "Super Delegates" made a huge mistake by making Obama their nominee instead of Hillary Clinton.

    What the "Super Delegates" did, voting for Obama and what Obama did by picking Biden has started their downhill fall. Obama/Biden will not be able to beat McCain/Palin come November.

    The Democrat Party will NOT win back the White House, and you have the "Super Delegates and Obama to thank for.

    August 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. BK

    He chose someone he only met once? This is how this man makes decisions?
    If he wanted to choose a woman, why didn't he consider Rice? She has excellent foreign policy experience and would have even made me think twice about my vote. But someone he only met once as a ploy to absorb Clinton supporters? What kind of idiots does he think they are exactly?

    August 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Demetrius

    I just know McCain has to be smarter than this! He's the republican presidential candidate for crying out loud!! How could he not have considered that the American people, more namely, the American women would view this as a political stunt. America is NOT stupid! It seems that he just wants to get in office, by whatever means necessary. And just because Palin has a son who joined the military on September 11, 2007, and is serving a tour in Iraq doesn't mean she has foreign policy experience. If that's the case, my mom should be on the ticket. This Alaskan governor of 2 years who was the mayor of a city of less than 9000, also second runner up of the 1984 Miss Alaska beauty pageant is a bold choice for the republican presidential candidate. That's serious experience! But McCain doesn't need a secretary... he needs a vice president...

    Yours truly,

    August 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. Pamela Wise

    I am so outraged!
    When will we all wake up and realize that our election should NOT be based on Colour of skin nor Sex.
    I am apalled that Gov. Palin could even, even compare herself to Senator Clinton!
    Listen up everyone.....we are in a state of close disaster...
    Shame on the Republicans for short sighting the American Women when they think all we want is a WOOOman in the seat.
    NO we want what is best for our country.
    So sit back and get over race and gender and just listen to the facts..
    THEN...make up your mind.
    Thank you. PW

    August 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |

    The only one that is shook up is McCain. Cindy better watch out.

    August 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. Brian

    One of my favorite Pythons was a Palin. Mcain must have a sense of humor

    August 29, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. yugiho

    well killing wolves with a machine gun from an helicopter is like killing iraqis from an air plane with a cluster bomb, no wonder she has been chosen! and this way she will avoid any 'dick cheney' hunting accident!

    perfect choice

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. mary, colorado springs

    Sarah WHO???? I reiterate my previous statement: The man is verging on senility, and is going through his second childhood.....or is it his third? Palin has less experience than Obama, no matter how much they try to justify it as much experience She may be a big fish in Alaska bug in the lower 48, she's just another little fish like the rest of us.

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  23. Hanna

    And McCain throws the election, ladies and gentlemen

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. PUMA 4 OBAMA

    I feel bad for the people who are racist and sexist...they have no one to vote for now 😦

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. Paula

    I hope all of the Hillary Supporters will calm down & reconsider for the sake of our collective daughters!! Too many women (and men) worked way too hard to give us a fundamental right to our own bodies-please don't let this ignorant republican couple take it away.

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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