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. Nik

    Palin has been on the job less than 24 hours and she's already made a HUGE political gaff (actually she lied). In her debut today, she stated she was against to the "Bridge to Nowhere." Turns out, in 2006 she was quoted that she supported it the project. Of particularll interest, she was for it because of earmarks.

    Uh oh! I'm sure the neocons will find a way to try to spin this.

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. Diane

    Bay Buchanan.....sheesh! David Gergen asked a thoughtful question and received a bombast of Republican screaming from Bay. Shame on her for dismissing all of the "feminists" as a pack of envious witches. She forgets whose shoulders she stands on. Oh, wait a minute...must be Phyllis Schafly she's thanking for her "success".
    Regarding Sara Phalin. One the one hand, it can be seen as another giant leap for women. Then again, it can be viewed as a most disgusting example of pandering. I am happy for Sara, but sad that the only reason she was tapped was to try and save McCain's presidential bid. We may be emotional, but we are NOT stupid!

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Ted, WA

    McCain has just endorsed an entirely pro life view and the evangelical community is in buzz with Palin as his pick

    3 Liberal Supreme court justices will retire in the next 4-8 years. If they are replaced by the likes of Scalia and Roberts, say goodbye to Roe V Wade.

    Palin, a great pick for social conservatives, a risky pick for America

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. Tim Sites

    Following this pick, there is NO DOUBT, the next president of the Unitd States will be Barak Obama.
    Last week Barak slammed dunked with his pick of Joe Biden.
    Then a brilliant convention!!!
    Today, McCain dribbles the ball off his foot with his Palin Pick!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Kay

    Women considering voting for this woman...especially PUMAs...are you willing to put the country at risk, put more lives in harm's wary in Iraq...just to see a woman as VP??? Seriously, that's blood on your hands.

    Please vote for the GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY....not just your own personal taste.

    A presidential election isn't just about symbolism. Please be responsible with your vote. People's lives are at stake.

    Just ask yourself, if that phone rings at you really want her answering that phone?

    PUT AMERICA FIRST, not your personal agenda.

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. Dan

    She called Hillary a whiner...a righty to the hilt. He just made his first presidential decision and blew it!

    August 29, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    weak weak weak. Liberals will have a field day picking on this BLIND pick. But they liked billary so maybe just because its a woman he can get some points just like his ill-advised handlers thought.

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

    Post my stuff!

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. Sanford

    So, now there can be no doubt.

    If McCain/ Palin win, Roe v. Wade is done.

    Hillary 2012 won't change that.

    5-4 is better than 6-3 against.

    Before you vote, consider your decision wisely.

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. I don't believe it!

    McCain fell for the pretty face over the nation.

    This is what we women are tired of.. Choose me for my brain,
    choose me for my view points.
    This woman is a joke!

    I'm shocked.. Its a darn same when they choose a woman who no one really knows, and she wants to get rid of the Wade/Roe
    I love you Hillary and I didn't realize how smart you are..
    I should have given more to your campaign.

    I will follow your lead and vote Obama. Because to p ut a woman in the WH who is 1/2 as smart as you, hurts my pride!

    I voted for you on the issues, and she has none!

    CNN, post my coments, you ask for them then you hold back on posting them! Shame on you CNN

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Seriously

    Ok.... This dude was seriously thinking with his crotch....

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. Jesse

    When did McCain finally decide to choose his running mate? Was it either the during the Talent, Swimsuit, or Evening Wear competition?

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |

    So What? This lady is not known and how can you pick someone for VP of our country, and you've only talked to them once? You talked to her once and have met her once and she will be our President once you kick the bucket during your term McCain?

    I don't think so!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. Matt MC

    Women aren't as dumb as the Republican party/McCain think, this is a political ploy plain and be honest it frightens me to think that this woman with ZERO experience would be one McCain heart attack away from being president...I'm sure there are many Republicans and Hillary Clinton supporters who would agree...what pandering...

    The stench of desperation is upon us....

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. democrats for McCain

    As a Hillary supportor I am happy to vote for McCain and Palin. Many of us dems will back McCain because we do not like or trust Obama. Maybe in 2012 Hillary will run again.. But History is being made with McCain/Palin and I as others want to be part of it.. God Bless

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Ceee

    Palin's selection goes to show that John McCain is pandering to the right wing of the GOP. Any independents out there, take note. That governor from Montana was right; McCain's a sidekick, not a maverick.

    August 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. mn

    I am not a Hillary suppoerter, I am not even living in the states, I am not even able to vote BUT I am insulted by McBUSH pick!

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. Tim Sites

    This selection is so "Left Coast" "Left Field" it appears McCain is conceeding!!

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. CM


    This isn't high school McCain. Don't try and win the popularity contest by bringing in a beauty queen.

    I think the Dems are more happy about this than anyone else.

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. Albany (NY) Independent

    Sarah Palin for VP? John McCain needs to get his medication adjusted!
    How dare the Republicans question Obama's experience?! This is not only a telling commentary on McSame's judgement, it's an insult to all the PUMAs who supported Hillary.

    I've supported Obama from the beginning...and will definitely work to put him in the White House!

    Obama - Biden '08

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |

    If a governer is not qualified for VP who is?

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  22. Steve - southern Illinois

    I doubt this lady has been completely vetted. Palin should be toast by about Wednesday after Keith Olbermann and crew get done with her.

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  23. Jen, Gainesville

    It sounds like the old McCain who ran off with Cindy after the first sight and then broke with his first wife. He is a gambler all his life. He can gamble with his life or his party. But we do not want him to gamble with our country.

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  24. Fred from Canada

    He just lost the Presidency !!

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. Ralph

    This election just got a lot more exciting. Obama got the thunder over his speech, kicked to the curb by a woman. LMAO

    August 29, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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