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. Leann

    Don't understand how this women would first sacrafice her son to Iraq and now her family to become a VP candidate. Expecially with a four month little baby with down syndrome. What was she thinking???? What kind of message is she sending out to girls and future mothers? There are plenty of candidates with more experience and grown families that would have been a better choice.

    August 29, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. Mario in Texas

    Figures. He meets her only once. I see a pattern here, Seems he only met Cindy once and fell in love (while still married), and who can forget the Vicki Iseman thing. If he becomes president, I wouldn't be surprised if there was another Clinton-Lewinski type scandal.

    August 29, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. God Help Us If the Repubs win

    I'm amazed by this, regardless of her sex or race. This is horrible. 19 months of experience as governor of the 47th smallest state in the country that is separated from the rest of the country by another country. She has NO foreign affairs experience at all. McCain met her for the first time just 6 months ago. He didn't call her about the possibility of this position until one week ago (only the 2nd time they've ever spoke; 6 months after the first and only time they had met). She's under investigation as we speak for questionable actions she recently performed while in those 19 months of office that could result in her loosing the governor's office.

    If PUMA's support and vote for McCain because of her, they're supporting a woman that is on record as calling Hillary, and her supporters, "whiners". A woman that on the majority of political issues today takes a stance opposing Hillary Clinton's stance.

    August 29, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. Dawnette Leslie

    I don’t care what her approval rating is in that little state of Alaska. This is a joke by John McCain and any day now he will tell us all ….it’s all a joke.

    August 29, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Franky

    "Why not a women VP? The truth is that the majority of contempoary women were heartbroken by the Obama/Hillary race. There is nothing wrong of taking advantage of the situation. McCain's move is wise and shows his ability of addressing emergent concerns."

    LOL!!! I could imagine...."Oh, O.K. Let's put her, see how she does, LOL!!!" That's funny. In that case, I'm sad young conservatives might not be here BUT can Pawlenty "pretend" to be the V.P? LOL!!!!!!!!

    Guess what? National Security, huh? Economics, huh? sounds to me like a plan.....

    August 29, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. houstonbound

    Goodness! The democrats appear to be a little angry and vengeful! Imagine that! I think Gov Palin is a wonderful choice and I am not insulted. It was a brilliant move and I'm excited to see a true outsider who isn't corrupt nor is she intimidated by all the ranting, raving, and threats. Way to go McCain! I can't wait to vote now!

    August 29, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. PA voter

    McCain has one foot in the grave and this will be his back-up for our country? I know very little about her, but she looks like something he picked up on the Vegas strip. "Hey, Honey. Come over here. Wanna job? Wanna be my veep? Give me a break!

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

    I just want to make the point that Palin is married. Her husband can look after the children. If you think that it is wrong for her to be out campaigning then you MUST say the same for OBAMA. His girls need him too. Some of you sound like women with children shouldn't work. News flash...they do!!!! This includes parents of special needs children. Don't go even try to say that only she can take care of her kids. She has a husband!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. quogue, ny

    McCain is 72, what is he thinking about, if something should happen to him, we turn to a 44 yearold hockey mom, beauty queen from Alaska. Nothing against her but experience is KEY. People are now seeing the real choice should have been HILLARY on the Democratic ticket. I think we are in Trouble!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Erik in Sandiego

    Stop putting McCain in his grave? He's 72, for godsakes! He's as old as my grandfather when he died!

    August 29, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. kebin

    He could have come up with somone better. Choosing a someone only because of their parts makes no sense. My vote was Mccain and now I'm switching to Obama. What a cheap pick!

    August 29, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Brian

    I hold my judgements about the candidates until the election. Though I have never done any thing like this before(blogging), after listening to Campbell Brown's questioning and commnets of McCain's VP pick, I continue to be disturbed by the new's commentator's argumentive efforts to immediately discredit the candidate. It was my understanding that new's reporter's are to be neutral, report the news and not sway it. Let the viewer decide by providing the information. At the bottom of the screen it says "no bias, no bull", that statement is far from the truth. Report the news, stop trying to make it.

    August 29, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. PM. Missouri

    I think Palin is a great choice.... go McCain go!

    August 29, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  14. Leslie

    WHAT?? WHO ?? Excuse me, I'm having the dry heaves.........gaggaggag

    August 29, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. sharon

    Just heard Gov of Minn say that Obama chose the safe pick in Biden and that McCain made a bold pick in Palin. Wasn't it just last week that Hillary was considered the SAFE pick by the Rep party and they jumped all over him for selecting foreign policy experience and implied that he insulted Hillary? This sounds like a little bit of back -tracking if you ask me. No doubt Obama/Biden have great plans for Hillary on the Hill and and this Palin up-start will be left in the dust.I trust the American voters will see through this childish game McCain is playing.

    August 29, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Franky

    Ohh and by the way, she is under investigation, huh? It seems like nothings change...

    This is where the heart of the Republican Party is at. They have no idea what to expect...

    August 29, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Republican for Obama

    This choice is incredibly irresponsible. McCain is 72 years old and, God forbid something happen to him, but if it does, he has selected a person that makes Obama's experience look like freakin John Adams! If something were to happen to McCain, a man who has survived cancer 4 times, do you really trust Palin to do what is best for America. Are you kidding me!!!! I'm still a Republican, but I cannot believe that there is not more outrage on the part of conservatives at this pick.

    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. Jerry

    These Goofy on here talking about they Hillary supporter who supporting MCSAME they are lying these are fake Republicans who trying to use brainwash Hillary supporters....Dem knows best,,,,Republicans are liars and Palin is the wrong choice I never heard of this lady until today....I wondering what Romney supporters going to do since he was not chosen..

    0bama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |


    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. Joe


    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. mn

    tell me this is not real
    that she is not in the offing for a white house position .
    Mccain is sureluy insane to pick Plain

    This is not a small town mrs america contest
    this is the leader of the free world position

    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  22. Vincent Spaulding

    So, the question du jour is: did McCooCoo get a taste of twat before making his choice? Or was he convinced after a modest whiff of crack? Whatever, Johnny Boy was satisfied filling the ticket based on a pantie raid.

    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  23. What?




    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. Ridgeway

    What's insulting is anything or anyone Dem or Lib. Miserable bunch of mindless wretches. Pucker and smack Hussein's butt until the cows come home. It won't make him anymore accomplished or worth a good puff of wind. He's a cheap, Chicago politico nothing more.
    He's a spineless, lying whimp. You want to know how his Presidency would go? Check out Birmingham, AL, Atlanta, GA, Zimbabwe. He'll bring his pals and friends into DC and butcher the government.
    Make fun of McCain and Palin until your bed wetting little mouths dry up. They both have something in the way of character and achievement.
    Hussein can be your President but he will never be mine.

    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. Insightful1

    What is everyone squawking about Palin’s background not providing enough expertise on the international scale???

    1. She was mayor of a town with less than 9,000 people. No doubt, Osama Bin Laden is hiding in a cave somewhere with even less people.

    2. She can simultaneously fly a plane, shoot raindeer, caribou, and polar bears. She’ll get him.

    3. She was a former beauty queen. This means she will get along well with Carla Bruni Sarkozy, and help our relations with France.

    4. She is a hockey mom. Everyone knows that high school hockey fights always get quickly resolved, so her expertise in this area will be wonderful in resolving our conflicts with Iran, North Korea, and Russia. After all, they are just a bunch of overage kids, right?

    5. Has anyone asked her if she can spell potato?

    August 29, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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