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. the truth

    Sarah Palin in 2006 supported "The Bridge to Nowhere" and even inferred that Alaska Comgressional delegation was in a position to let it happen faster

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. Vincent Spaulding

    McCain is the perfect idiot in search of his own perfect piece of a$$. Johnny boy is all about the quest for poontang.

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. Barack & Roll

    uhh nice choice Mccain...NOT

    If you think Obama has little experience, what do you think of Palin?!

    And also, I think it is quite insulting that Mccain picked a woman Vp just because she's a woman. People who are supporters of HIllary are not going to vote for them because Palin is a woman...what is Mccain thinking?!

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  4. Jeffrey

    I love a May December romance...I mean, ticket.

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. sam

    Everybody should be scared if this woman is vice president without any experience at all. Her education is inadequate and being a mayor and a governor for less than two years does not qualify her to be president. Nobody who seriously supported Hillary is going to consider this woman a substitute for her–people posting otherwise are Republicans in disguise who were never for Hillary to begin with. Those of us who truly supported Hillary are voting for Obama/Biden. McCain has lost all credibility by choosing an unqualified woman that he met only once. Does he know how many houses she owns? Or anything else about her? And he supposedly loves this country. If so, he will vote Democratic this year and send Governor Palin home.

    August 29, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. Dakota

    Doesn't she have a 5 month old disabled child and 4 other children to care for? That's not very responsible.

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. rondar

    There goes the last shred of respect I had for Sen. McCain.

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. Mike Dallas

    The Republican spin on this selection is actually causing me whiplash! She has good "judgement"??? Where have I heard that was trumped by "experience"???

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  9. JB hi

    How does anyone know that he choose her just because she's a woman, Give it a little time , just five hours ago most people had never heard of her. Clinton supporters just hang on a minute and give her a chance. Inexperience is what it is, and nobody is going to get that before Nov are they?

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  10. Zuq

    When on June 6, 2007, the Alaska Creamery Board recommended closing Matanuska Maid Dairy, an unprofitable state-owned business, Palin objected, citing concern for the impact on dairy farmers and the fact that the dairy had just received $600,000 in state money. When Palin found out that the Board of Agriculture and Conservation appoints Creamery Board members, she replaced the entire membership of the Board of Agriculture and Conservation.[23][55] The new board reversed the decision to close the dairy, but later in 2007, with Palin's support, the unprofitable business was put up for sale. There were no offers in December 2007, when the minimum bid was set at $3.35 million,[56][57] and the dairy was closed that month. In August 2008, the Anchorage plant was purchased for $1.5 million, the new minimum bid; the purchaser plans to convert it into heated storage units.[58]

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. Susie

    Who ever heard of this woman? He met her ONCE before putting her on his ticket?? Clearly another example of his ample experience not equating to good judgment. This is ridiculous.

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. PacificGatePost, V., WA


    McCain has made a bold and telling move selecting someone with Chief Executive experience – the only one to have any – of the four running for the White House.

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Independent

    Wow...This is to add insult to injury. McCain insults the intelligence of women by picking a woman just for pandering; but then to pick her after only meeting her once before. ARE YOU SERIOUS!

    Any Hillary people that are even getting a neuron close to voting for McCain should be a shame, really. Hillary does not want you voting for McCain and Palin who both stand against all she stands for.

    This is hilarious. No McSame No.

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

    Campbell Brown you ROCK!!! Thanks for putting Senator McCain's campaign manager on the rug regarding Governor Palin. Being mayor of a small town, short-term governor, and having a son in the military doesn't mean she's qualified to sit in the Oval office should something happen to Senator McCain. I think the Senator has made a huge mistake for his party....there are fair more qualified women he could have chosen that are more than qualified to step in as President. If he believes Governor Palin will pull from Clinton's female base, he's spent too much time in the Arizona Sun.

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. Ray

    So she was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it! Humm She is under investigation for corruption ! Humm She wants to protect Big Oil ! Humm Yep She should appeal to the Republican Base alright. Perfect. Does her middle name start with Dubya?

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. BK

    @vic nashville,Tn
    Why do you people keep saying Hilary 2012? Her chances of being President are over because no one will vote for her after she causes the Democrats to loose this election. She will be the Nader of 2008, so to speak, and everyone will point the finger at her for years to come. She'll be lucky to keep her senate position long term if he looses.

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  17. Trina

    Go Republicans!! We have the winning team!!
    Congratulations Palin!! Good choice McCain!!

    Some people just do not have a clue! She has a son on his way to fight.
    She is a mayor, and a family ordinated woman. Her husband is a commercial fisherman and is of great support.

    I wish people would open their eyes and also do a little research. There is more to politics than whats on the surface. The president does not make all the choices. I can not tell you how many people think everything is up to the president. It is a scary world out there.

    We the People!! Need I say more?
    Trina :o)

    August 29, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. Deb

    Campbell Brown just screeched her way through an interview with a McCain advisor. I don't care for his choice either but get a grip Campbell!

    August 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. firstinblogland

    I cannot believe how many of you are allowing yourselves to be brained washed by Obama's ability to "SPEAK". Speaking is not doing! In all of his "grand" promises, does he tell you how he plans to do it? Of course not. He says in his speech last night that "in ten years" he is going to accomplish things. Even if he's elected to 2 terms he won't be there in 10 years! All you women out there saying "how dare McCain" yet you are believing Obama who has nothing but opinions of how things should have been done and even with 20/20 vision (hindsight) he is still wrong. And the gall to take credit for the war being won? You people are so gullible it is really really scary. By nothing more than a motivational speaker?. Want to buy some swamp land? Allow yourselves to think & maybe you can come to your senses.

    August 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Republican for Obama

    Are you kidding me?! Palin is the proverbial "Dan Quayle" of this election. If she's trying to snag some Clinton supporters, then supporters need to know that while she praised Clinton in today's speech, she called Clinter a "whiner". I have firm faith in American Women that they will not fall for this obvious ploy for their support.

    August 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. Joe

    Everyone is slamming Sarah for her foreign policy.....what exactly is it again that Obama has done?

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

    Don't be fooled my fellow women. Governor Palin seems like a strong, intelligent women, but she will sell us down the road. I'm sure she has good intentions but she is a puppet of the Republican party. She is not ready to be president and she is not a person who will empower women. I think that Carl Rove created her from a kit in his basement. Don't fall for it ladies. She will work against us to persue her own power. She is pro-life and pro-Irag war. Pay attention to the details, she does not believe what you believe.

    August 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  23. char

    What in the world? Are we running an election or a beauty pagent? Both Palin and Cindy Mcain are former pagent contestants? What a laugh. I find it hard to take the Republicans serious on anything lately.

    August 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. jed

    hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! in chess you aren't allowed to put yourself in check..... i guess mccain only plays checkers.

    August 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  25. CC, VA

    Will someone please give Campbell Brown her Raging Democrat lapel pin?

    August 29, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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