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. KC

    OMG.... Are the Republicans that stupid to think that the reason people were voting for Hillary was because she was a women. They need to get their heads out of the mud. If any Hillary support votes for this ticket, they were never a real Hillary support.

    If he really wanted to make a impact on the race he should have picked Condi Rice. She would have made a better choice. Hillary has been publicly vetted. My God, at least Biden could step in at Commander and Chief.

    To all women, this is the worst insult ever. Palin says she's a hockey mom!!!

    Give me a break......

    August 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. more sexist comments being spewed tonight

    Why all the questions about the "care of her baby" ? Did you all forget about the husband, and the other siblings? Those types of comments are completely sexist by the way. If you trying to infer that a/any child must be suffering because the mother works outside the home, you are a sexist, plain and simple whether your a man or woman.

    August 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. Jean- Canada

    I am not surprised that a handful of ex-Democrats are now in favour of an extreme right-wing agenda. I feel this could be scripted, like so much is in politics.

    How can people's beliefs so so flexible or are these Republicans-come- lately just playing games? It's easy to make claims like these "now-I -know- better" people do.

    I liked your comments, Stephanie of Texas.

    August 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  4. JH

    Hey Eve....he is not out of touch with this woman....I think it is wonderful that he went outside the beltway and someone who has not connections to the good ole boys club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. Christine

    If you women out there think that John McCain only picked Sarah Palin because she is a women you are dummer then Barack. Look at the facts, she has a positive history of change in the short amount of time she has been governor of the State of Alaska. While Barack Obama has been parading around the country for 2 years campaigning the Presidency with no credit of change to his name. Not to mention his views on the war, his choice of mentors in his personal life are very questionable. They all changed when it wasn't popular with the American public. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure how transparent he is and how much of a puppet he is. You need to accept that women can be strong and independent . Get over yourselves and get a life!

    August 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  6. Zuqer

    Please google Palin and Alaska scandel. This is happening now. She might be behind bars in a few weeks. Wow, McCain really did his homework.

    August 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  7. gg

    One person chose based on what was best politically for potential votes. One person chose based on what would be best for the country if, God forbid, he died and the country was turned over to the VP. It's not too hard to figure out who's who here.

    I hope that the women who supported Hillary see right through this for what it is. As Hillary said, did you support me because of me, or did you support me because of what I stood for? If you supported Hillary because of her views and positions on issues, there is really no choice for you. If you just want a woman in office, you now need to vote for McCain. Think about what you would be doing. Lifelong NRA member. Lifelong opponent of Choice. Involved in political and criminal investigation in her own state. Supports teaching Creationism in schools. Hey, you make up your own mind.

    August 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  8. Alex F

    All the Dems out there. I think you should goto this site to see what your precious Obama really is. It's sad that most of you are gonna pick him because he's all about change. Well go here and see some facts about him which are true.

    I actually dont support either of the major parties because for one their stands on the majority of the issues arent ones I agree with, and two McCain and Obama have both changed their stands on the controversial issues mainly for votes.
    I want a president who is actually gonna stand up to the old way politics were done; where politicians would fix symptoms of problems rather than fixing THE problem. That right there is the main reason our country is facing alot of the problems we have.
    So vote for the person who ACTUALLY represents the issues you feel are important to YOU.
    Not on gender, race, religion, or out of spite.

    August 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. Daryl in Seattle

    So it went something like this! "Hey're kinda' hot. Wanna run with me? Hubba hubba..."

    August 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. Mary Frances Hillary/Obama

    I made my first political blog tonight on this blog site. I watch all the new chanells and have been reading all kinds of blogs. And I can not believe how rude Dems and Reps are being while makeing their comments. I like to listen to all views but this is unreal.

    August 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. Max from chicago


    August 29, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  12. jim

    I hope everyone keeps this in mind:
    Obama picked a VP who would compliment him when he is working as our President. He could have chosen Clinton to get votes, but he decided to look at what would help him get the job done in the oval office.
    McCain picked a VP solely to win the election.
    I was keeping an open mind about McCain till this moment. Not any more.

    August 29, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. ENYEW


    August 29, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. polar unbearable

    the gop thought that mccain's being white would be enough to get him elected. then, obama electrified the convention and they got scared. now they're counting on women to vote with their uteruse (uterii) instead of their brains. well, women aren't as stupid as the gop thinks they are.

    August 29, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. Zuqer

    In early August, the Joint Legislative Council, filled with Republicans and Democrats, voted 12 to 0 to formally call for an investigation against Governor Palin in a manner—that they are stressing—will be unbiased and done in a timely fashion.

    August 29, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. Dawn, Nevada

    If this is McCain's answer to win Hillary supporters, forget it! It's not the gender in play here, it's the person and it won't happen!

    August 29, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. barry c

    Jo,, where were you for the last year...CNN has been the wind behind Obama's back...CNN + Palosi + Dean + Kennedy nominated Obama..
    and the Clinton's lost...Without the Clinton that convention was a bust. OK Obama gave a good speech..I think we know that already....
    The man can speak....

    August 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  18. Truth B Told

    hahahah sometimes the truth hurts doesn't it.

    August 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. PUMA 4 OBAMA

    I feel bad for the people who are racist and sexist…they have no one to vote for now 🙁

    August 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  20. Tim

    This is truly unbelievable. I honestly don't think I can vote for this ticket and feel comfortable with someone who has so little experience. She's really going to be next in line for the most important job in the world?

    August 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. bill

    Palin may need to learn the job quicker than some realize. McCain's public statement of health indicates that he has been having a series of mini-strokes. The statement indicates high blood pressure, dizzyness, and fainting, all of which are indicatations of mini-strokes.

    August 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  22. Obama/Biden 08

    McCain makes possibly the most important decision of his campaign, choosing a woman whom he has barely spoken with? And this is the "good judgment" that the Republicans are touting?

    August 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. Sabre460

    Ha ha! I love the libs & feminazis de-crying Mac's pick of Sarah Palin! You can almost smell the fear because they know this is gonna sink "the messiah and the hair-master"!! And Olbermann? He can foam-at-the-mouth and rant all he wants! His bleating only reaches his Kool-aid choir! (And maybe Chris "thrill down my leg" Matthews, if they can play nicely!)

    Go, Mac/Palin!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  24. turtleposer

    Hillary supporters–sweet revenge–vote McCain/Palin. Obama chose a VP without the same reproductive organs we have! Shame on you Obama!

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. A A

    You and I never met the candidates, but vote for them. If McCain and palin only meet once, they feel comfortable with each other what's the fuss?

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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