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. Laurie F

    A pure light-weight who could easily replace an old man as commander in chief. People, vote with your brains, if you have any.

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. Cheryl

    ANY WOMAN stating on here that she is a Hillary Clinton supporter and SHE is insulted by Palin is first of all NOT a Hillary Clinton supporter and secondly WE ALL KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE>>>OBAMABOT!! NONE< NOT A SINGLE Hillary supporter would be ANYTHING but right behind Palin 100%!!!!! So, go peddle your CRAZY to people who will fall for it!

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. MLPeacock

    As an Alaskan I can tell you tha Sara Palin is qualified to be to Vice President of the US. She has taken on each public office she has been involved in with full understanding and enthusiasm. She cleaned out corruption and wasteful spending. She has been working the energy issues for many years and taken on the oil industry and established a course for the Alaska Natural Gas pipeline. She is an outdoors person in any north country weather condition and knows how to survive in the wild. Just ask her how many moose she has bagged and how many large halibut she has landed. Just watch her straighten the out sobs that get in her way. She is a LADY -The full meaning of a Lady. Looks like a lady, acts like a lady, an intelligent lady, and knows how to work with focus and determination. As Vice President chairman of the US Senate She will rival Nancy Pulosy in a manner that Nancy will take lessons from Sara. as for foriegn policy –Alaska and Alaskans have more international experience because of our location being very near Asia and the many asian international relations that we have being in the the cross road as we are. Many countries internationally relate to Alaska as a country seperate from the US.

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. Zuq

    Still under investigation ??? The former Miss Wasilla ran into trouble when she tried to fire an Alaska State Trooper, Mike Wooten, who also happened to be in the process of divorcing her sister, Molly McCann. When the Commissioner of Public Safety refused to fire Wooten, he was fired. Now, she is under investigation for possible ethical violations and abuse of power.

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Will

    You know...I was laughing at this decision this morning when I first saw it. Then I went and started reading about this woman- how she has repeatedly gone against the GOP in Alaska to do what she thought was right. She is a maverick- and a perfect side kick for McCain.
    And if she does end up as President because something happened to McCain- she is still more experienced and more trust worthy than Obama.
    Change eh? Sure. Just have no votes showing you are willing to work with anyone but fellow liberals. Run on an anti-war stick but then pick a VP that voted for the war. Oh- and our boys are leaving Iraq for sure- but now they are going to Afghanistan. Cause that's what the polls say to do.
    He has more experience than Obama.
    She has more experience then Obama.
    Both have showed a willingness to work with the other side more then Obama.
    If you want change- the answer is clear.

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    A true Washington outsider coming to fight the "good old guards:" Inexperienced? At least she has governed a state for two years unlike Obama who has played with the old guards for a part of his term and most of it campaigning for his bid for presidency. Who has more experience governing? I agree with independent- Clinton was a governor too. He was experienced enough to be president.
    Isn't Palin coming from the "outside" bringing change to Washington? A true outsider! Isn't that what Obama's campaign is all about? A fresh person in Washington.

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Born-again Christian

    All you women giving kudos to a woman who is willing to give her 4 month old infant with down syndrome to someone else to look after while she is off running for VP must have a really cold heart. I have looked after several children with Down Syndrome and they all need a mother, not a VP. I can't get past the fact she went back to work 3 days after having her special needs baby and he is now only 4 months old. My heart aches for this child who will not be able to adequately bond with his mother. Are Conservatives really looking for someone who puts their own ambitions far above the needs of their family?

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. Mike Dallas

    To all who are comparing Obama's experience to Palin, it needs to be pointed out that Obama was ELECTED while Palin was CHOSEN by an old man so desperate to win, he throws the country under the
    Straight Talk Express!

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. fred

    If anyone thinks this is a 3rd Bush term, you have got to be kidding me. Can you see Bush picking Palin. Heck no. He'd have picked Romney. McCain is truly a Maverick.

    McCain/Palin 08

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. Ed

    Governor Palin also met with Senator McCain in Washington in March to discuss oil drilling.

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. deanna

    only met her once before this week? Mc cain is insane!!!!! A possibility of her becomming prez should mccain die in office. No experience on national security or forgein relations. at least obama chose biden for his vp he balances out obama what obama lacks he can consult biden. work for me. go obama-biden 08

    August 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Steve OHIO

    A governor with experience. Honestly I see him trying to find a way out of this one. There was a time I would have voted for McCain or is it "Inane" this was a blunder. OBAMA 08

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. tom

    mccain just gave away the election. this was a very stupid choice. she will get ate up by biden in the debates,she has no where the brains of obama and biden. mccain is dumb like bush he needed a smart person to make up for his lack of brains.

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. David

    its a joke
    just like McCain's entire campaign!

    but it all makes sense now! McCain will be president during the week, and while he rests on the weekend palin gets to be president

    its sure to be the perfect combonation of experience and youth! its just GOT TO BE!! lol

    thanks for the laugh John!

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |

    Wow, This shows how out of touch McCane really is. With this decision we has shown it is about him and not us. (Americia) The only reason for this choise of a VP is that John wants the women to vote for him. As a man I FEEL THAT McCANE JUST INSULTED OUR LADIES.

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. Ferreira

    Must be the age!

    Is the only explanation!

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. Joan

    John McCain Obsession with Beautiful Women

    What do Carol McCain, Cindy McCain, Vicki Iseman, Sarah Palin, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears all have in common?

    Poor old man…Ha ha ha.

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  18. KP

    Sarah Palin?

    Ok- so his theme is "County First"??? This was clearly "McCain" first. My vote will without question go to Obama!

    McCain – clearly insane!!! LOL

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  19. Sharon

    Could a woman really lead this country??!?! in the words of the Dem rock star 'YES WE CAN'!!! Brilliant move. I was struggling for whom to vote for because, honestly, I don't like either one, but this just convinced me to vote mccain/palin. I'm psyched.......

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  20. Rosie

    The jury's out at this point. However, if Campbell Brown continues her "reporting" of the VP choice, Sarah Palin will be thoroughly chewed up and spit out. If Campbell Brown will be subjecting us with her personal opinions through the convention next week, I will watch any other channel but CNN. She is arrogant, rude and totally offensive...time to give her the hook.

    August 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. Ann

    Two words from someone who was undecided until this morning:

    Check. Mate.

    Obama/Biden '08!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. eric

    i want to know what Palin does to help McCain other then a V.P. who is to grab votes. What does she know anything on the national level? she was the governor of ALASKA!!! How is she suppose to stand up to the leaders of foreign countries and how will she beable to deal with the senate? Biden fills the parts that Obama doesnt have what does Palin do for McCain? if they win then the person with no national experience a heartbeat away from the head of our country........

    god pray for a Democrat win.

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. mona

    Has anyone mentioned a possible Barbie Doll syndrome with McCain?

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. J.

    How many, if any, non-elected vice-presidential candidates have gone on to run for and win the Presidency? Could it be that none of the others who had been mentioned as possibilities wanted to risk being part of a losing team? Palin really has nothing to lose whereas the others could possibly be future candidates.

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. PAT

    Again, McCain proves that all this experience he talks about hasn't done any good, as far as growing into a true leader, who looks at the whole picture.

    August 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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