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. Bobby

    A great choice and women in this country should help support her and get over Hillary! The DNC and media shoved Obama down your throats and did everything they could to keep Hillary from being elected!

    August 29, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. maryfromtexas

    Is this the best they can do? Nothing original? Spouting and moaning about how rotten John McCain and Sarah Palin are? You cannot have an intelligent conversation with this group of people. I wonder how many even listened to her speech today, just jumped on her because she is a white female conservative Republican. I'm not against having a black president, but my God in heaven, can't they find somebody with a little more substance? Are there no other blacks in America who are worthy of the high office of president than Obama?

    August 29, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. Erika, KS

    If something happened to McCain, she would still have more experience than Obama!

    p.s. people do live past the age of 72 you know.

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  4. George

    Sarah Palin seems to me someone who can stare down the media and the opposition and not blink out her ideals and beliefs. Experience, they said Regan was just an actor turn Governor, no international experience and look who defeated the Soviet Union.

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  5. B. Smart

    He only met her once. Very dangerous for the country.

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  6. john

    Proof John McCain is not in control of his faculties. The Republicans are gagging on the words as they praise his pick.

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. wolfie

    Palin was a great choice!!....a co-worker of mine, brought this to my attention today it's a creeping sign. Obama/Biden ticket ===== Osama Bin laden....

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  8. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    I pray that women will reject Palin's plea to let her continue what Hillary started. It is an insult to everything that Hillary stands for.

    I am sorry, but I think that there is a block of women voters who are ready to vote for anyone in either party no matter what their views are as long as they are female. That is just CRAZY!

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. darko

    She has more executive experience than Obama. She's accomplished 10 times what he can only talk about in 2 years. and...AND... she speaks 10 times better than Clinton.

    I was more than impressed with her speaking skills. Biden will have his work cut out for him for their debate. I don't think he'll be able to brow beat this one.

    She can connect with middle America. That's something neither John, Barack nor Biden can do.

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  10. NOBAMA

    McCain is the only Senator who has opposed Bush than any other Republican in the house. Get your facts starighten up you all emotionally defunt Obama surrogates.

    Just see the records of the Senate, you will know !
    Its not Iraq War, because all Obama surrogates voted YES on that.

    What McCain brings to table, no one else does.

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. Male from new dumbest state: Florida

    I can't imagine to have Sarah Palin as the new VP. If there's a debate between Biden and Palin, her lack of experience could hurt McCain intentions to be the next president.

    August 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. Ashley Opusunju

    How on earth did McCain pull this off. Is really somebody he had met only once before? Republicans all day will say "yes, McCain has chosen the "most qualified "person out of all the other qualified people...but deep in their hearts they say otherwise...they know the truth...apparently McCain views this as a game...he seems to think with a woman on his ticket he will get more votes. But if (strictly hypothetically speaking) McCain gets to the white house does he really think Palin will be the best to give him advice...God forbid if something dreadful happens to McCain, will Palin be the best person to lead this nation?

    August 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. Louis

    Recent interview Sarah Palin asks: What does a VP do anyway?


    August 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. maryfromtexas

    Now they're eating sour grapes because Hillary didn't get the nomination, that the first female vice president was not theirs to proclaim. Maybe they would feel better if they sent George Obama a few bucks to help him out since his own brother doesn't seem to want to do it. Multimillion income and can't help out his brother. And he says we're our brothers' keepers. Now that's laughable. That's hipocracy. That's lunacy. "If you do it to the least of those, you've done it to me," right, Obama? How many other lies have you told? You poor, brainwashed lot of you, you Obamazombies, you lobotomized parrots. When will you start to think for yourselves? Go ahead and show us your absolute hatred of anyone who disagrees with you. It's time to panic. Be afraid . . . be very afraid.

    August 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  15. FV

    Wow.... a wolf in sheep's clothing..... litterally.

    The depths of Republican poor judgement can not be fathomed.

    August 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. What?

    Jim August 29th, 2008 7:53 pm ET
    I always felt that CNN was following an agenda with Obama in that their spin was in his favor overall. But when this white woman is nominated for the VP......................
    Clinton is WHITE, what are you talking about JIM!...she had 18 million voters who trusted her for her values, EXPERIENCE with leaders of other Countries, with other senators, her experience with's not about a WHITE WOMEN, just think if Obama supporters were to say something like this we would be called PREJUDICE!!!!!!!! dahhhhh

    August 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  17. Alex

    I am already sick and tired of how hard Republicans are trying to justify how experienced Palin is. She could be anything but not experienced. That is just a joke or undermining the intelligence of the American public. They can say she is smart or whatever but give us a break on the argument of experience and comparing her with Hilary. This is a miscalculated political move and an insult to women. The women who voted for Hilary voted for her because of her experience and views. There is no view Palin and Hilary share other than both being woman. For McCain to think woman do not look at issue and only vote based on the gender of the person it is honestly an insult. He will pay for that big time. This is the best gift McCain can give to Obama.

    August 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. lol

    she is a great choice for vp. at least the republicans respect accomplished women, unlike the democrats. speaking of dumb vp choices obama went with the MAN, who got 9000 votes, instead of the woman who got over 18 million votes. that speaks volumes about his lack of judgement, and willingness to unite the democrats!

    August 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  19. Sara

    Oh my gosh...what was McCain thinking. He is handing over this election to Obama. He had much better choices.

    August 29, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  20. wisky


    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  21. Alan

    Why would any Hillary supporter now vote for McCain simply because of this choice? Hillary worked hard for the nomination, has many years of experience, etc. - it just didn't happen. McCain's choice has not been vetted by a primary or debate process. It just doesn't make sense.

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. To all the Ex-Dem:

    Just remember that if McCain wins! we Obama supporters will turn Ex -Democrat to say thanks. So were will this end? "unity now" for the sake of our country and the people who waited long for a change.

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Erika, KS

    You don't want McCain to gamble with the country? Excuse me, but Obama IS a gamble. You Obamabots are insane, blind and just aren't logical in any of your rantings! Obama is a huge gamble because he hasn't done anything! Nothing! Nana! Zip! No experience. No accomplishments. Huge ego though. Speaks intelligently. Well, golly, gee, I think he's qualified. You all are loons.

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  24. Closely Watching

    A huge thumbs up and LOL to dbubla! Couldn't have said it better myself brother, or sister, or whatever you are~but your posting hit the nail squarely on the head.

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  25. Elephant eddie

    Someone should ask Bill Clinton who he'd rather HAVE Hillary or Palin.

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
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