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. Tracey

    It is a shame that John McCain picked Sarah somebody? Who is this person? McCain can't really answer that himself because he only had one conversation with her. Who mets a person one time and is willing to make such a committment with them, only AN IDIOT! What is he thinking? As a women, I am offended that he made this choice to shake things up and to win the women over. Hillary Clinton is in a whole other league and this should offend Hillary and all women across America. People voted for Hillary because she was qualified and not a just a woman, that was the bonus. Also, a comment was made that because her son is going to Iraq, she has foreign policy knowledge. Well, lets let all the parents who have children fighting or have died in this war be placed on the ticket as well.

    August 29, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. Sarah

    Madame Vice President Palin – Get used to it! her accomplishments make both Obama and Biden look like school boys outside the principles office. Michelle's pity party of 'working women who can't get a break' is over. Barak's 'i care about workingwomen and my mother sob story' is minimized by a woman who has 5 kids, including an american soldier and special needs kid. She will take the mantle away from Margret Thatcher. Republicans have given us Dr. Rice and Madame VP Palin. This is GREAT GREAT GREAT!

    August 29, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. Zuq

    I want to criticize her because her husband works for the biggest oil drilling company in the world and I don't want more oil politicians in office to do nothing but raise gases, possibly to $7-10 as is their target with the next Republican. He recently went on-leave so there wouldn't appear to be a conflict of interest while his wife runs office, since his co. BP has been paying Alaska off to do offshore drilling and her husband helps lobby to increase oil taxes for a living. WAKE UP unless you love going broke keep sticking your head in the sand. I'm not gonna let a devil in disguise fool me but that's fine if guys get a hard on and vote for her so they can be a broke joke. I can't bring myself to vote for Obama, but I am not crazy to vote for more inflation and higher gas prices by oil cronies in office either.

    TODD PALIN WORKS FOR BP – world's largest oil co.
    TODD PALIN WORKS FOR BP – world's largest oil co.
    TODD PALIN WORKS FOR BP – world's largest oil co.

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. ss

    All you animal lovers should check out the Defenders of Wildlife website and read what Palin has been up to. Just more of the same! no thanks.

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. caliking

    Oh my goodness! How could you trust someone you only met once! Offering them the chance to hold the highest job in America if you die. I don't have any words for this other than I'M SCARED TO DEATH OF MCCAIN/PALIN. He's crazy! That's not a maverick, that's just DUMB.

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. VNAM1969

    And she will be "one stroke" away from having her finger on the nuke button. Wow, scary....

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Mike

    I agree with Begala. McCain is senile!! Crazy! Nuts! Either he is the best poker bluffer in the world or he is really stupid. He should have picked Huck, Romney, Ridge, or even the traitor Lieberman!!! I guess stupid is as stupid does!! And boy was he stupid!!! What is he thinking? She is an empty pant suit!!! No experience!!! Being governor of Alaska is like being chief dog catcher in NYC. What are her duties? Keeping the Carabou away from the humans. Lowering the ice-fishing taxes. Alaska has about three people in it. She has only been governor there for less than two years and she is already under investigation. I guess McCain owes the Oil Companies a huge favor because that is the reason I can think of why he would pick Palin. Unless he just wants another pretty face to look at.

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Stephen

    Gov. Palin and Political Experience This Speaks for itself.

    A month ago, Palin said:
    "...what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that V.P. slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question."

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Northwest Washington

    OMG. He only met her once before now and he goes from the gut and picks her as VP? John McCain is another Bush that goes by his gut. OR.....He really didn't have much say in it. So who did?

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. S. Bird

    Met her once? Ok, so he's decisive, but maybe the public should vote for someone who stops, thinks, reflects, and analyzes before making huge decisions. This choice has sealed my vote for Obama (and I'm a female registered republican). Where can I donate to the Obama campaign? I'm calling them now.......

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Campbell? Brown needs to forget the word "experience"! Studies done have indicated that virtually most people off the street could do a credible job as President of the United States. How could anyone do worse than the present Congress?!

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. Ommi

    This is shocking to know he only met her once.It goes to show how out of touch McCain is with the people of this country.

    August 29, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. La Nita

    It is obvious Mc Cain has a thing for young women. Look at his wife. Go figure that relationship. His pick for VP just reasure my vote for Obama. He will pull the ignorant women who voted for Hilery just because she's a woman and nothing else. John McCain has sold his country out for a young babe. Shame!!

    La Nita
    Richmond CA

    August 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. Jay

    What absolute sexism I'm hearing from the supposedly "progressive" left of center crowd when they go on about whether or not Mrs. Palin's 4-month-old child will be getting proper care! What...husbands and fathers are somehow incapable of caring for children?

    Typical liberal hypocrisy!

    August 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. DRH

    She has only 20 months experience as a Governor of Alaska and a Mayor Her education is a communications degree NOT a LAW degree, but she does look good!! That’s the republican thinking with the wrong HEAD!!!! I sorry.

    Oh Mitt should not have upset McCain you would have been the VP instead of the pretty women.

    August 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. tom

    I personally think that McCain has given up on this race with this pick because if the phone rings at 3am in the morning who will better answer that phone as VP Biden or Palin, Think about it.

    August 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. Alexander

    Yeah!!!!!! Let's outwit Obama with a woman VP pick. Forget the fact he only met her two or three times in his life... And the fact that she could be the next President. There is one thing that McCain has never gotten throughout this whole campaign, that Obama brought to light in his speech on Thursday, and that is that this race is not about him or Mccain. It is about the people. And McCain just made it crystal clear that for him he doesn't care about "The People."
    Obama-Biden '08.

    August 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. Al

    Grok, to answer your question the answer is she won't be able to do it. As a mother with a kid with special needs, it is not easy at all. She has five kids either one of them will take care of that poor kid or a nurse.

    August 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. Texas

    How absurd. He has been complaining about Barack Obama's experience and he picks someone he met once six months ago who has only been a state elected official for a few years? McCain is 72 years old, and a person with no national experience and little state experience is a heart beat away from the presidency. My vote is now decided and it will certainly not be McCain.

    August 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. Jake

    Cambell Brown just had a melt down during an interview about McCains VP pick. She was forced to conceed that – at best – Obama's experience is no better than Palin's. It was hysterical!

    August 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. Alan Boyer

    Lieberman has got to be PO'd. McCain played all of his lapdogs: Ridge, Romney, Graham and Pawlenty.

    August 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. wow

    Superb choice — absolutely superb — McCain and Palin. I was so hoping he'd pick Sarah — and aren't her children darling! We're back to sanity instead of a Las Vegas Greek-columned spectacle, crowning Obama, the emperor with no clothes. On to victory in November — REAL change and REAL solutions for America — the BEST country on earth!

    August 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  23. Patricia

    The new governer of Alaska? Not even proven as a Governor of her state yet? The only thing she has going for her is that she is against abortion...and a woman. McCain doesn't even know her! So a man who is 72 years old, had cancer four times, feels that he has picked someone to take his p

    August 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. Ella

    Sorry no Hillary! How can she take Hill's words of 18mill...cracks.
    No way no how!!!!!

    Obama this time

    August 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. Dandelion.

    This is outrageous.

    John McCain – Strategy First.

    This is an insult to all women. If John McCain should die in office, and she becomes president it would be a disgrace to have a pro-life woman be the first woman president. A disgrace. Shame on you, John McCain. Shame on you for thinking that women are stupid enough to fall for this horrible gimmick. Shame on you John McCain.

    August 29, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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