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. Trista

    My God, Campbell Brown just is jumping down everyone's throat and needs to let people answer her question. Her bias is so blatant. Normally I really like her, but I'm really turned off by Campbell.

    As for Palin, I'd love to get to know her better. I'm reserving my judgment until I get to know her better.

    Obama/Biden are decidedly partisan and turn me off.

    -Independent Voter

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

    Will the American people really fall for this calculated political move?

    Pure political theatre. How sad.

    This has Karl Rove written all over it.

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

    I cannot believe some of the staff at CNN. All they know how to do is slam the Republicians instead of giving them the same coverage and respect they give the Democrats. Campbell Brown is extremely biased. I don't think that has any place on air, she needs to keep her opinions to herself and report from a unbias standpoint where the Republicians are concerned.

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

    Palin noted for reform... Great choice on McCain's part.

    August 29, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  5. Earl McMinn

    Are you kidding me. Cambell Brown is running a show called No Bias. She is so unproffeshional and owes Sarah Palin an apology. I can not stand to listen to her.

    August 29, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. Jacqueline Sacheli

    I am thrilled to death with the selection of Gov Palin. She is a breath of fresh air, her committment to ethics in government is exciting.
    I think she is raw enough that she will not be impacted by the political machines. I am a registered republician and was starting to lean toward Obama after the convention until I heard the selection of Gov Palin, I think she is exactly what the republicians need. BTW I think the pro-life is given too much press it is not the most important issue for me. Can't wait for the VP debate. And how dare the "liberated women say they are insulted" they are typical of women who will not support other women in the work force. What do they have to be insulted about. This woman has been a wife, mother, city council woman, mayor and govenor not to mention the Commander in Chief ot the Alaskan National Guard. I am a retired government worker and if I had a hat on I would take it off to Gov Sarah Palin.

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

    the chinese must be laughing
    more puppets to play with
    and russians must be giggling , the debacle that USA will be

    August 29, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. John

    Palin is no Hillary, do not compare. Hillary is no VP, so do not contrast. Don't mad at Palin for she can not replace Hillary. Don't hate Palin becos she is VP, hate Obama for Hillary is not VP.

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

    John McCain chose this female who broke the law by using the influence that her office has to pressure her brother in-law boss into firing him for divorcing her sister, and challenging her in court to gain custody of his children. What kind of person would force someone to fire their brother in-law she that her sister can gain custody, so he would not be able to take care of his kids, and we all know the courts will not give anyone custody if they can not financially take care of their kids, all women should be seriously mad! Republicans always talk about families but they never live up to them, she is as bad as the adulterer John McCain!

    August 29, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Jana

    I wonder when Senator McCain will give us a count of the last time Ms. Palin toured the situation in Iraq.

    August 29, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. Fredster

    One thing is sure now, no matter who wins, history is being written in this election. People will elect either a mulatto(he is only half-black, so first black president is yet to come) president or a female VP. America, you're growing up! Kudos to you!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Daniel from FL

    Thank you SOOO much, Senator McCain!!

    You have just handed the election to President Barack Obama on a silver platter!!

    August 29, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. michael

    ask yourself, if you were blind and could not see then herd she was asked, would you ask her based off the news press and the things she done?
    I think they are freaked out because, she has a nice smile (k now what i mean) and they are afraid of there inner feelings, and the dogs are out of the closet. 4 years she wil have experience and run herself for president.

    August 29, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Sadie, OH

    Maryfromtexas....I would like to REVOKE your voter registration card. You said "Women everywhere should be proud of where we have come... Shame on you women who are setting feminism back 50 years. " I should be proud just b/c McCain chose a woman?? I am setting feminism back because I am an Obama supporter? Had he not won the nomination I would have voted for Hillary, because her democratic views are in line with Obama's when you get down to it. To suggest that I should vote for the ticket with a woman on it simply because there is a woman on it is setting feminism back. It says I can't sift through the issues and make the decision I think is best for me and my family. I am a woman, not a feminist, but I know that the principal here is that woman should have equal rights, equal opps, etc... If I can't support who I believe to be a qualified candidate b/c he and his veep have boy parts...I'll just keep my bra on and stay barefoot and pregnant.

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. sonya

    it sure seems like campbell brown's head is about to pop off when she talks about palin. is she getting under your skin already?? this is the best choice for vp..

    go mccain/palin

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. D T

    Bet the moderator is some angry black women, probably overweight. you know the kind, that claims to be proud she is black then goes out to chemically straighten her hair to look like a white woman, like the obama's do. even their little kids get their hair chemically straightened despite it being an unhealthy thing to do. ha ha ha ha

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. Donna from IN


    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. not as smart as you

    The question is can Gov Pallin deliver votes? The fear that Mc Cain will die in office is a non issue and she will be President is a non issue. Joe Biden is 65, only 7 years younger than McCain and his health problems have been far more serious.

    I think that she brings new life, appeals to the conservative base, is truly pro life in action, not just words, has a Native People's husband, is vital, outgoing, aggressive, and appears to be an idealist.

    Mc Cain takes chances and that is more than anything what Americans like.

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. Proud2BMe

    Me clapping vigorously!!!

    Thank you McWalkingCane for lifting any remaining doubt that Obama/Biden will be in the White House come Nov!!!

    Us Dems aren't mad about his choice. I think it's great too! Makes our job as Dems easier.

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. joe m

    this is a bolder choice than a joe biden. to argue that she does not have enough experience is a delicate position for the democrats, as the top of their line brings no more experience himself. and for anyone who accepts the argument made by obama that it is not so much about experience but rather judgement that matters, then palin has shown a similar level of judgement... unless of course democrats believe that only a man or a democrat can demonstrate judgement.

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. striker

    This is just another reason why i have lost faith in our entire system, both parties. We have witnessed so much trickery, and blatant criminal activity from both democrats and republicans alike for years now. I would give anything if "we the people" could quit arguing over the distractions that they toss at us to argue over while they continue to rob us blind. Once again the Democrats will promise health care reform while the republicans will promise to do away with roe v wade, and neither will come through.

    I live in the deep South and cant wait to watch the ultra conservatives try to figure out who to hate the most. Think they have actually read their bible cover to cover? This will be a very confusing time for the natives. At least it will be a fun circus to watch this go round.

    A strong, wise woman is something to admire, but someone with no experience selected for VP, all republicans should be ashamed of Mccain.

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Chris - Moreno Valley, Ca

    McCain's to stump speech entitled

    Pimpin' Ain't Ez

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. Rosalind & Steve Lozano

    If the enemy were surrounding you in a foxhole, who would you choose to have your back, Sarah or Obama? The choice is clear to me.................SARAH PALIN!
    We're very excited about this ticket.

    August 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. Kay Dugas

    Mc'Cain has been spouting all along about Obama's lack of experience and he picks someone who has even less. I wonder what theme he will be using now. I bet we won't be hearing anymore about lack of experience. He'll have to find something else to attack with. It seems to me he is not practicing what he preaches. Oh well, he'll apparently do and say anything to win. If he thinks he can get the women's vote with this trick, we are too intelligent for that.

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. John Smith

    McCain LOVES beautiful, rich, and ... women. I hope McCain does not DIVORCE Cindy for the Beauty Queen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The world has already started to laugh at American, thanks to John McCain, what a great and wise judgement!!

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
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