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. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Hillary supporters (if that's who you are) including PUMAs, my understanding is that you want to protect reproductive rights...well, this woman is pro-life. Get a clue...I'd rather have you stay home or write in Hillarys name versus voting for a ticket specifically intended to trick you into voting Republican.

    August 29, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Eve, NY

    DONT BE FOOLED by false REPUBLICAN bloggers saying we clinton supporters arent insulted by this… WE ARE!!

    My friends an I have been EXTREMELY INSULTED by McCains' vp choice!!

    Even more so because we were going to vote for him come Novemeber! But this is OUTRAGEOUS..selecting Palin simply because of her anatomy, and expecting intelligent american women to vote for him because of this!!

    We have set up a group, consisting of 42 women already, who have commited to voting for OBAMA because of McCains decision.. which shows that he really IS OUT OF TOUCH with women in America!! There is only one choice this year.. OBAMA!!!

    Eve Watson, New York

    August 29, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Janet Cooper

    Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton, as a woman I vote on issues not GENDER!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Dealt

    Is Palin experienced enough to take over the presidency in case something happens to McCain? With all the noise the McCain has made over Obama's "inexperience" it's very, very, odd McCain would pick her.

    August 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. Asian4Hillary

    Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska is a REFORMER that doesn't bode well with CORRUPT CONGRESS led by Pelosi who is into earmark.

    August 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. Manuel TX

    Interesting pick.

    I have seen a few profiles on Palin, and I was impressed.

    As a Hillary supporter, I was going to sit this election out, but now I think that I could vote for McCain/Palin.

    Why should the Democratic care who McCain picks anyway, isn't Obama the defacto president already? He's not going to lose correct? So why have so many ___ bunched up? 🙂


    August 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  7. Ann

    I think it's a great choice. Glenn Beck just showed a past interview with her in regards to drilling in Alaska. She is smart and has common sense, and is not afraid to make decisions her own party may not like. It's a shame Cambpell Brown can't keep her personal support for Obama in check and give this story the fairness it deserves.

    August 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Robert in Seattle

    Dan Quale in a dress!

    Under investigation for abuse of power and barely has gotten her feet wet in politics! Perfect for the GOP!

    Can you say "hot potatoe"

    Eight is enough

    Obama – Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Matt

    McCain could and should have picked a more qualified republican. But to pander and try to copy Obama's theme, he picked a inexperienced 1.5 year governor. I was on the fence, but now I am voting for OBAMA.

    August 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. obama

    HA HA HA It's over folks. It's so much fun watching republican talking heads try to spin this! They know this is a disaster. Do they honestly think the American people are going to put this woman in the position of being one weak heartbeat away from the presidency?

    August 29, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Courtney

    It is insulting that McCain thinks picking Palin will score woman votes. As a woman, I vote on who I think would best run this country. I will not vote purely if a candidate has a female on their ticket. It is quite obvious he chose her on that and believe she will relate to woman across the country. Granted, she has a compelling story and I am sure she has endured obstacles and overcame them beautifully. But this election is about something more – it is about turning this country around and restoring our image domestically and internationally. She is not Hillary Clinton, her ideals are overly conservative and lastly this is a ploy – that's it. It is awful to think McCain actually thinks that this woman can take the place of Hillary Clinton and win votes. Purely insulting to the female population.

    August 29, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. An Insult!

    It's an insult to the more capable women and men that he could have chosen and an insult to the women voters he is pandering to.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Shiloh

    Judgement is important. This pro-life woman choose to become pregnant at 43. This increases this incidence of Downs Syndrome, which her baby has. Now, rather than spend time with this child, she is wanting to be the VP. What kind of family values is this. She is not responsible for her own choice. I think her child needs her. We don't.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Anyone that says McCain 08/Clinton 12 – if McCain wins, won't she be the logical choice for 12? This could put Clinton out to 2020 when she'll be older than McCain.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Jack

    He should have picked Romney. McCain is so stupid. I voted for Romney in the primary and Romney is the only one with clear economic plans for the country.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. shay

    McCain personal gain. hint hint Not yours. It is an insult to women and she is being used. Did you forget that men are part of Hillary supporters.

    Oh what a tangled web he weaves. Now that is what I call desperate.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. Scott

    Smart move. I believe this will win him the election.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Obama, you won my vote.

    Bush proved any idion can be a president, Mccain just did oposite.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Eric

    I'm a huge Clinton fan and I voted for Clinton in the primaries and I'm absolutely ESTACTIC about Palin! I can't wait to vote for McCain this Fall!

    McCain 08!!!
    HRC 12!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. george

    Run Sarah Run!

    Hopefully she will be VP. This will end her plan to placate her greedy Wasilla business & oil company buddies by moving the state capital of Alaska to Anchorage/Wasilla. This will spare thousands of Juneau state employees from financial ruin.

    There's one born every minute America.

    Run Sarah Run!

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Karrieann M Hill

    I think he made a great choice. She is the fresh face we have been looking for. The way I look at it, the Democrats are worried. That is the reason why they are going after Palin for not having international experience because Obama sure as hell has no experience in anything. Thank you John Mccain for for picking a respected woman to be your VP. You did something Obama should have done!

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Hillary supporter for MCCAIN/PALIN

    I ove it. CNN is arguing right now that Sarah Palin cannot grab the former Hillary supporter vote. I am weighing in - MCCAIN/PALIN has my former Democratic vote. Though I disagree with their stance on abortion, the top issues are the economy and national security, and MCCAIN and PALIN will champion this. As far as her experience goes, Palin is the commander and chief of the Alaskan national guard. She runs Alaska. As an executive acutally running something, she has made more decisions this month, than Obama has made all year running around the world running for President.

    August 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. jimmy


    August 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. Jeanne

    I also am appalled and insulted by McCain's choice of Palin to serve as his VP candidate. How can he think that intelligent women, Clinton supporters or not, would vote for him simply because his running mate is a female? Her inexperience in national and international politics is shocking for a VP candidate. I certainly wouldn't want her next in line for the Presidency of our nation, and wouldn't vote for McCain-Palin even if I were a Republican, which thank God, I'm not.

    August 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. ann

    mr mccain must have fell out of bed and bumped his head last tuesday night after learning about senator OBAMA pick for VP its sad that sarah would let an oldman use her like that ,

    August 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60