August 29th, 2008
09:01 PM ET
12 years ago

How McCain chose Palin

McCain only talked with Palin once before choosing her.

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. John

    Thanks McCain!

    We Democrats thought we were gonna have to work for this victory in November.

    August 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan

    How Mc Lame.
    How dare Mc Cain question the women of America's intelligence and honor by vetting Palin.
    Yes I was hoping for Hillary but I,m not so bitter to vote for McLame because he chose a woman( who is is Pro-life.)
    To the women who will vote for Mc Lame: You are not a true Democrat but a traitor for falling for this dirty, ignorant, immature move.
    To Mc Cain, you are a womanizer and a loser.
    Obama knows what our nation needs and doesn't play the lowest dirty card. He is concerned and loves hs counrty. You Mc Cain are only in this for yourself.
    Obama/ Bide 08
    And don't worry Hillary will have a very significant role in the new Administration.
    God Bless America!

    August 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. sandy

    He talked to her twice before making his decision??? Just what was he looking at?? This is absolutely scary. He is 72 years old, has been treated for cancer 2x's and he picks someone who was a beauty queen, a mayor of a town with less than 5,000 people and has been governor to one of our most densley populated state for two years. If he elected President and God forbid something happens to him, we all better start praying. Also, this election is more important than what one thinks of abortion, or gun control. There is a whole different, dangerous world out there and I for one want someone in control who is qualified. Sorry, but this woman is not qualified. My vote is for Obama/Biden

    August 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. Brian

    How can these so called "Dems" vote for these two? THEY HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON WITH YOUR BELIEFS.

    Say goodbye to the environment. She doesn't even believe in global warming.

    She may be a woman, but from what I've read about her she holds nothing truly dear about the women's movement. Say goodbye to the right to choose. about say goodbye to our economy. Let's suck oil until we have no more, make no real plans to actually become energy dependent, and let's have 100 years in Iraq.

    Good job, so called "Dems." You're immature whining about Hillary not wining the ticket is gonna cost the country an important election if you have your way.

    August 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. Michael

    Once people get to know Palin, they will be impressed. She will be admired and liked. As with any politicain some will agree with her on the issues and some will not. But she is strong and lifts women up, Democrat and Republican alike. It will be very interesting to see how the Hillary Democrates react as they get to know her. Palin is pro-life which will be a deal breaker with many. But she will prove to be impressive. She will be admired. Biden is in for a suprise she's tough.

    McCain/Palin 08!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Chicago Evelyn

    Does a governor of only 670,000 people really have that many challenging issues to deal with? Is there really experience in that? The Chicagoland area has 9.7 million people to serve. Socio-Economic issues all over the place. That's the norm for Obama. That's also very representative of the U.S. as a whole. Now that's a challenge!

    August 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. sandra-california

    steve-so.ill.,regarding keith olberman, his the biggest LOSER!!! in msnbc, sorry, but his ignorance will help MCCAIN/PALIN 08!!! WIN!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. PALIN=G.W. with a Y-Chromosome

    Strong, smart females are not ging to fall for this nonsense.

    Married to an OIL MAN that works for BP

    Against Choice-a seat away from control of the Supreme Court

    Pro-Gun (How can you call yourself Pro Gun AND Pro-Life?!?!)

    Wants the Polar Bear off The Endg. Species List

    Wants to ruin Alaska for a 3 month supply of Oil

    Was FOR the BRIDGE TO NO WHERE before she was against it.

    Rep Ted Stevens Fan

    Pat Buchanan for President....need i type more?

    August 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. The Other Woman?

    Is his wife even in the country? Did she even know in advance? It does not sound like he even makes the descisions, unless his head is all fogged up. Brilliant? The man has been shot down 3 times.

    August 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Ivan

    First term governor on her resume and that is it! The only thing she is good for is the look! Other than that, there are very little substances. Great choice just handed Obama the presidency. Life Long Republican Supporter NO MORE! THANKS AGAIN MCCAIN!

    August 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. David P.

    You have got to be kidding me!!

    McCain speaks to this person once and she is his V.P. choice? How desperate is McCain to appear relevant in this election? He insults all the supposed Hillary voters that he claims are going to vote for him, by making this blatant sexist choice, in the wake of the epic Democratic convention. I will bet he dosen't even know her middle name!

    August 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Melanie

    As a Hillary supporter and member of the Democratic party I had decided to support John McCain in this year's election after her defeat. I feel that Obama says nothing that represents my needs in this election. He makes great speeches that in the end tell me nothing about what he can do except not be George W. Bush. We already know that. I have long felt that John McCain was a moderate I could support and realize that he is the best candidate for the job. Adding Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket is a nice balance but he already had my vote. And as a woman I am insulted by Democrats who know think I am shallow or stupid and will vote for McCain because of Palin. How little does the Obama campaign really know about what is important to women today? Obviously very little.

    August 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. Campbell please!!!

    Palin is obviously a risky move. However, it does seem that in a short amount of time, she has done something to distinguish herself as a governor.

    What, exactly, has Obama done to distinguish himself as a senator. Maybe if one Obama supporter could answer that, I would consider voting for him. But they never have an answer.

    Moreover, can someone tell Campbell Brown to remember to take her medicine. She is making an absolute fool of herself tonight with her anti-Palin bias. If she's worried about experience, why didn't she ask these same questions about Obama? After all, isn't he the one running for President? Total bias. No wonder people gravitate to other channels.

    I doubt CNN will post this....But it needed to be said.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. sam

    It seems that both this election , is not how one of party going to solve problems i.e means how we going to improve things in USA , which is the great country in world , regarding people health , education, living conditions etc but which minority Black or woman , going to hold high position in country. In world woman has held high position , but no black man has held high position as minority in any country. This is real test to find out that we have solve racial issues around world yet.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. JacklynD

    Stefanie, Texas wrote:

    "Can one of you people who claim to be Hillary supporters, and now wish to vote for McCain because of Palin, explain your decision? Palin is the ANTI-Hillary. Palin is anti-choice, anti-science (creationist), anti-gay, and she's currently under federal investigation on charges of abuse of power! Yeah, she's quite the reformer."

    Stefanie, Democratic women cover all ranges of conservatism and liberalism. It is a huge mistake to think that all Democrats support a woman's right to choose and are against religion in schools. I live in California, my sister lives in Michigan. News Flash! She thinks Palin is a great choice. She is totally unforgiving of Obama's treatment of Hillary Clinton. When he didn't pick her as VP she decided not to vote at all. Now she is energized but in the wrong direction. There are a host of reasons that women admire Hillary Clinton.

    Obama's grudging references and acknowledgment of her seem patronizing to my sister and she despises him and the DNC.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  16. bebesvin

    Is it possible for Clinton to still be veep, if Biden resigns??? This is Obama's only hope.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  17. Bachar

    She is nice looking but McCain shouldn`t gamble with the American ppl. Being a mayor in a small town, ok but not VP. It`s like giving a diploma to someone who hasn`t graduated from high schooI. I will never vote for u McCain after this pick.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. Copperfield

    According to the Republican party this should immediately make all women vote for the McCain ticket and agree to lower wagers as well as giving up all the ground on Roe vs Wade.

    Wake up!

    She ADMITED to knowing NOTHING about Iraq meaning it will still be 100% McCain influence, aka victory or nothing. I myself, along with millions of widows and orphans, would like to know just what consitutes "victory."

    8 is ENOUGH.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. Eric

    Bad Judgment
    In their decisions over the last 24 hours, both John McCain and Sarah Palin have provided us with ample evidence of the Republican inability to exercise good judgment. McCain in appointing Palin, and Palin for accepting a position for which she’s stated she knows nothing about and is clearly not qualified for. American’s do not need people in power who are eager to act irrationally under the guise of ‘being a maverick.’ It’s scary to think of the decisions these two could make in the unlikely event they are ever elected. Give me Obama’s thoughtful, educated and considered decisions any day.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    I was a Hillary supporter and am now a PROUD Obama supporter!! OBAMA/BIDEN 2008....ALL THE WAY!!

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Jackson Nanje

    I sincerely believe that this is the case of a 72 years old man who is at the verge of brain fatigue. Beauty and ugliness have finally merged in McCain and Serah Palin. But is Palin as Vice President a reason to vote for this old felllow? Voters shall be the judges–but I seriously doubt that the outcome will be positive. Some analysts are already saying that McCain has succeeded in taking the spotlight away from what was deemed as Barack Obama's most brilliant speech by appointing Serah Palin a day after his speech as his running mate. But I beg to part away from such misguided opinions because some one who is bringing nothing but negative to an already dampened candidate only helps Barack and pushes McCain further away from the Whitehouse.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. Reality Check

    If this joke of a team is actually elected then I am leaving the country and taking all my capital with me.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Tammy - KCMO

    Palin – just another gimmick from the Republican party and McCain – like the tire pressure guages and the gas tax holiday.

    August 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. fred

    Sarah Palin was my second choice for VP behind Mike Huckabee. She has more experience with governing than Obama has. Obama goes to the senate to argue and vote. Does that give experience? Maybe for congressional elections, but not for executive branch elections. Palin has executive experience. So, before you don't think she is fit for the presidency, think again. Obama is the one with no executive experience. At least Biden and McCain have been in the senate for awhile to get some policy experience.

    August 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. curtis41

    What does it matter how many times McCain met with Sarah Palin? McCain saw Joe Lieberman almost every day and he did not pick him. When Obama has very little experience, no one in the media has much to say about it, but when McCain thinks outside the beltway, liberal pundits jump on with both feet. Sarah Palin runs an entire state, Obama just runs his mouth about "hope" and then selects a beltway insider, same old, same old. Obama is in favor of economic justice, which is just another way of saying, "I will take money away from you, and give it to someone who probably did not earn it." Or, maybe a better way would be to Hillaryize it and say from each according to their abilities, to each according to their perceived needs, sayeth Obama. Great! We get a conservative, a non-socialist, with a brain. What more could you wish for in our republic? Certainly NOT Obama and Joey Biden. Now Obiden are going to have to ramp up for destroy the character of a capable, articulate woman. Good luck guys, you are going to need it. May the farce be with you. Don't start picking out the drapes and carpeting for the White House just yet.

    August 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
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