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. ted orlando

    this is scary ..... i cannot belive this this is actually very dang scary ......

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I find it very disturbing that McCain would choose a VP running mate after
    personally meeting her only once. If this is the way that McCain plans to run this country then shame on him and shame on those of us who fail to take this as a warning. McCain who is not ready for the job as president.
    Did he not realize that the person chosen as a VP would potentially be only a heart-beat away from the becoming the president? Does he want to win this election so badly that he cares nothing about the impact that a poor decision ,such as this, could have on the millions of Americans who love this country

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. dsk

    Of course she's the head of the Alaska National Guard. She's the *governor of Alaska*. The governor is always the head of the National Guard.

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. Sharon

    I am shoicked at this choice. Alaska has a population of approximately 670,000+. Anchorage has population of approximately 270,000+. The small town where she was mayor is around 8,000 I have seen in articles. I am a little perplexed as I read she fired her police chief when she was mayor. Plus I think I remember she may have gotten rid of other staff members. As Governor she has taken everyone on – big oil an legislators. Presently her administration is under investigation regarding undue pressure exerted due a divorce nasty divorce case between her sister and brother in-law is a law enforcement officer. Accusation pressure was exerted to have her brother in-law fired. This information has been gotten from todays Anchorage newspaper.

    This woman is not experienced!!! Republicans talk all you want. You hit Obama with huge smear ads all the time. You have labeled him repeatedly. Republicans how dare you now say she is qualified. You really think voters are stupid!!! This is sad. I am insulted!! I am a registered Republican!! Not this time!!!!

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. Shannon

    McCain is not showing respect to Hillary Clinton by chosing this woman as his VP and thinking that any woman will do in this election. Hillary has a great record of achievements that would have supported her bid for the presidency or as a choice for VP. McCain has just cheapened the whole process and I find it insulting as a woman and I am sure that I am not alone. Biden will destroy her in their debate.

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  6. Offended Feminist

    So, okay. McCain wants to court women voters by choosing a female running mate. Instead of choosing Kay Bailey Hutchison or Elizabeth Dole or Condi or any other of the qualified Republican women he could have picked – He chooses Cutie McPretty.

    I can't wait to see how Miss Congeniality stands up to Putin and Ahmadinijad.

    *rolls eyes*

    This is a gimmick and if you buy it, you are a sucker.

    How many times will Republicans allow themselves to be duped (and take all the rest of us down with you?)


    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. Tim in Canada

    Just because the GOP fooled the people twice they think they can do it again. American's aren't that stupid, they landed on the moon for crying out loud. Not this time, 8 is enough.

    August 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. gxm

    Game on. Brilliant move Mr. McCain! And I sincerely thank you. If my state is close and I have to vote for you, you've just made it a whole lot easier.

    Obama fans: You may be too young to remember but Joe Biden endorsed a Kerry-McCain ticket in 2004. Guess he can't be as bad as the desperate Dems are now trying to make him out to be.

    Country before party!

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

    That's just appallin'!

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

    Palin is a truly disappointing choice, one McCain made mainly because of her gender. Again, McCain misses the point that we don't deny or grant opportunities because of race or gender. Gender-neutral does not mean choosing a woman so you have a woman on the ticket. It means choosing the best person possible and not denying it to someone because she's a woman.

    A state Governor with 1 1/2 years experience and no knowledge of national politics or of foreign policy for the second highest job in the land says a lot about John McCain - thoughtless about the nation and only concerned with trying to shake up his dull campaign. McCain's age makes it far more problematic that this untried, unknowledgeable newcomer, a kind of female Dan Quayle, may serve as President at some point, a truly disturbing possibility. Shame on John McCain for his short-sightedness.

    August 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  11. Dont Like Me

    Palin is rigidly Pro-life but hunts animals and carries a gun. Where is this regard for life?

    Another trophy woman for McCain – besides his wife.

    As a woman, her appointment is very insulting. She does not embody what Hiliary represents. Any former Clinton supporter who votes for McCain because of her appointment needs to re-evaluate what the issues are.

    August 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Tom in CA


    August 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. Sue, PA voter

    The old soldier just shot himself in the foot !

    August 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Marge Hibbing Mn

    The democrats are already panning her as a woman..guess that's why they slurred and flamed and lied on know they say it takes a real MAN to support a strong woman. Guess there ain't many in the Democratic Party is there.

    August 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. What?

    Is it true her husband works at BP another about OIL for the rich, if so how many females work in the area?

    Five children at home.............pleaseeeeeeeeeee. just want to know if CNN leave comment.......................

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



    August 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. California Gold

    Before Halloween she and Cindy McCain will both be drug fortified. The political mill she is about to enter, given her support of big oil and virtually no national level and foreign policy experience as she tries to convince the American people her time as mayor qualifies her to be one heart beat from serving as our President, will grind her to a pulp. Yea, both Cindy and Palin will be in the ER requesting controlled substances for aggressive hand shaking.

    August 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Lainie Lewis

    I just started researching her family history and the first thing I found was a Charles R. Heath (her maiden name) from Idaho who was a World War II POW: Wonder if they're related? Might be something for CNN to check out!!

    Prisoners of War, 1941-1946
    about Charles R Heath
    Name: Charles R Heath
    Race: White
    Residence State: Idaho

    Report Date: 21 Sep 1944
    Latest Report Date: May 1945

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

    Yes this it McCain and Myers... Wow

    August 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  20. L. Song

    Palin is a right-wing christian who has zero experience. This pick is simply insane. Imagine her as president.... worse than Bush. What a nightmare.

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

    She is quite the looker. I bet Hef's wheels are turning. If she doesn't make it in politics there is always the mansion.

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

    I was still on a high from watching Obama's speech from Section 317 at Invesco last night when I heard news of McCain's VP selection this morning. It's a cherry on my sundae! And the only thing better than this truly amateur selection is watching the Republican pundits in their hilarious defense of it on CNN! I love it! Obama and Biden should pick out their tuxes for the inaugural ball.

    August 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. Bob G.

    Let's see –
    Joe Biden is mentoring Barrack for on-the-job training for President

    John McCain is mentoring Sarah for on-the-job training for Vice President

    So who would we rather have – a President in training or a Vice President in training?

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

    Good for McCain! Obama gave a flowerly speech that I found socialistic in nature, the government is not here to solve all our problems. With Palin we know what she stands for, with Obama we know he won't even call himself bi-racial but rather identifies himself with one side of his heritage over the other and made all his decisions in a group (Senate setting. As a middle aged women who has voted for both parties in the past, I think she would be a mover and shaker not just a talker.

    August 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. al/Alabama

    McCain seems to have a penchant for models.

    August 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 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