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. 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!

    August 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. Osita

    I really dont know what McCain is thinking by selecting Palin. But this shows McCain is not the picture of safety and stability that he would want his many years on earth to convince us of. Obama has been handed a lifeline in addition to his inspirational abilities and smart economics- EXPERIENCE. Nevertheless Dems, be careful how you throw your punches at this woman.

    August 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  3. ikakoo

    Great! Very good pick! This ticket will win! They are the BEST

    McCain/Palin 2008`

    August 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. Kat

    Well, he does like beauty queens.

    August 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. meck

    I have one/two questions for McCain. HAS THIS PALIN EVER BEEN TO IRAQ.?

    Meck, Vanc

    August 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. skip

    What experiance does Palin bring? 1.5 as Govenor come on and part of that she was having a baby come on america be real what is she going to do for the economics of America does she even know what is happening on the streets of america. Does John McCain ? We need help domestically here. We don't need a McCain Cheerleader we need someone that is going to have ideas on how to keep feeding, clothing, and educating the babies around america. We can't do this without keeping jobs in america. Affordable educations, Affordable healthcare for all americans. Yes we are all of our brothers and sisters keeper from the least too the most. I don't feel Palin knows enough to get this done she has no idea how too get this country out of debt and we all must keep this in mind. Obama has been in the trenches of america helping the least of them he does know our issues. McCain the son of a 4 star admiral in the navy has live with the silver spoon and he still does'nt get it we don't need to have history making of a women VP. We need history making economic change.

    August 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Rich

    Some of you people are really making me sick. Having only read 1/3 of the comments I am utterly shocked at the comments here. Whether this lady is someone you like or not, to call her the things I have seen here is shameless. Just becuase she gets a VP pick she is now a "Bimbo."

    There is only one thing that I can believe from this outpouring of hate. Either we are all sexist pigs, willing to berate a women just becuase she dares to play in a mans world. . . . or (what I believe is happening) you are scared.

    Dems I can understand why you would be scared. As one caller put it, she seems to be "the real deal." For once in my life time, I apparently am seeing an honest politician. And it is making many of you tremble in your boots.

    August 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. George

    What is with Cambell Brown and Sara Palin. Cambell is a little tissy. She acts like she (Cambell) was slighted. Taking it a little too personal. I can't wait till Lou comes back on...

    August 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. JJ

    I am convinced that McCain has lost it. Why would this man make a vital decision for a V.P that has no experience? Is it because she is a Female. He could have chosea women with more experience. This proves to me, that this man can not make sound decisions. And yes, I am a Female.

    August 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  10. NutJob

    Thanks McCain, Ive just donated some money to Obama for the first time. What the hell where you thinking

    August 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  11. Al

    I can understand Campbell Brown's frustration and this tells us that the Republicans and McCain for that matter really don't care about anyone but themselves. The question is very simple as Campbell is trying to get a sense of this decision for everyone. If you are accusing someone of not having the experience, which by the way was your strongest wining point, why will you give it up and go for someone who has no experience? As an educated mother with a child with special needs it is insulting. Here we are trying to get parents to take care of their kids, and this poor special needs boy is going to grow up with someone else taking care of him instead of the priceless mothers love. Hillary Clinton is more intelligent than Ms. Palin. This is not even about Palin, it is about McCain! If McCain was as smart as he thinks he is, he would have allowed the news media to help us win by scrutinizing Obama message and drawing out attention to some flaws, but here I am, and all I know is it was a great speech and McCain gooffed by loosing my vote.

    August 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. Hawthorn

    If he had picked somebody like Jodi Rell of Connecticut, I would have called it a home run and a genuine advance for women. Hillaryites and conservatives alike would be comfortable with an experienced woman a heartbeat away.

    I have the uncomfortable feeling that instead, McCain reviewed his shortlist (Palin was known to be on it) and said, in order of importance, "1 – she's hot" and "2 – she shores up my right wing."

    The downside is that Palin may be a time bomb. If she remains the story in neutral to negative ways, McCain loses ground. If she underperforms on the campaign trail, Biden will pounce. If she is a deer in the headlights at the VP debate, ditto. And if, God forbid, the troopergate thing has legs and she Spitzers – it's a disaster for the ticket.

    I expect McCain to show her off at the convention and then put her in the deep freeze. If there's a skeleton, you could be looking at a last minute "safe" replacement, especially if Gustav delays the convention.

    August 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. Tina

    Olberman/Maddow for President and Vice President

    August 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  14. Ann

    What a really stupid choice!

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. voter

    Jay, what years of experience does Palin have as governor. She has been governor for 1.5 years. Not several years. He does not even know her. He met her once and spoke to her once last week. How does he know he can trust her or handle a crisis if God forbid he becomes ill. As a woman, I am insulted. He chose any woman to win the women vote. We are not dumb.

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. snafu

    Now those who are saying this is a brilliant choice I see you do not have a clue as to the word brilliant. She is a nobody and this goes to show you that McINSANE is clueless! He chided Obama about inexperience and look at his choice, geez. He would have done a bit better with Huckabee at least people know of him.

    But McINSANE really think WOMEN ARE STUPID! He used this to try and bolster his failing campaign that even his republican buddies are bailing. But what is interesting is that you would think he would have consulted with this republican base to vet out the VPs but like the idiot he is he alienated his own people.

    This will surely back fire and I thank him so! He met her once and she has no experience but governing over 9,000 people. Now really, in all honestly people is that experience to lead? He insulted women by pulling this stunt. Desparation to say the least!

    I can't wait until the debates. He will get angry and continue to fumble like he always has.

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. TCE

    Palion in PANDERING to woman voters!

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Carl

    I am a republican, and i think Mc Cain just lost the election with his vp choice, (I thought obama screw up with his vp choice by not picking up Hillary). Well just goes to show you most politicians think we the american people are morons, thats why they keep screwing us all the time.

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. sandra-california

    what is your problem!!!!? Campbell Brown, with Palin, she is a great choice!!! and I am very happy he chose a strong women, all you do is try to get negative about her, but you love on Obama!!! PLEASE!!!! remember this is about McCain and Obama and Obama is still the less experience of all 4. WAY TO GO! MCCAIN/PALIN08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POWER TICKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. TG from TX

    Thank goodness she has experience as commander and chief of the national guard in alaska. And she plays the flute. As a woman im sold. NOT!!! Is this the best they have? A gun toting woman, against woman's rights.

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  21. Alan Boyer

    McCain pulled her name out of hat. There was no method. Once he saw her up close for the second time, he was going to pick her if she was the local dog catcher. The guy can resist an attractive women. The guy thinks below the waist because there's nothing above the neck.

    August 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. TCE


    August 29, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  23. Mary

    I think Campbell Brown is understandably outraged at this stupid decision. Plus, she was awful to Hillary in one of the debates, so if she's being tough on Palin, I say, turn around is fair play. McCain should know that most of Hillary's followers have come over to Obama since the convention. I do wish CNN would focus on this investigation into Governor Palin's alleged abuse of power for firing someone who wouldn't fire her sister's estranged husband. Clean government, reform...what a joke.

    August 29, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. chandra burgin

    Sarah Palin how could you fall for that trick from that pimp McCain p.s hillary clinton wouldn't go out like that john mccain quit flipflopping @ keep it real

    August 29, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Lady counselor

    What is Senator MCCain thinking he needs to fire everyone on his ticket. I am a mother of 4 does that make me a qualified VP choice. I have a MSW and a Master of School Psychology. I am really scared now. When you raise children they need you there. Not on the campain trail. What happens when the children are going through normal growing pain. Where will her attention be. This just goes to show we are not thiniking about how to get ourselves back to the place america once was, but beating out a Dem at any cost. This is why we got Bush for another 4 years not because he was capable but because he was Rep. This is sad

    August 29, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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