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. Agnes

    and this man is supposed to lead? to what, more of destruction?!
    I may be a Clinton supporter, but I and many others love her not because she is a woman, it's because she is a great candidate.... I heard on the radio, that Palin will bring "charm" to the campaign, well we had about 8 "charming" years that "magically" distorted the economy and position of this fantastic country!
    I love Hilary, and she will always have my vote, but Obama is a great choice too.
    He learns qiuck, and that's what we need, not a McLame who only reacts to what will get him elected....




    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. Anne

    I think he picked her because they both have the same jaw line. Not flattering in a woman I may add. As one person mentioned earlier Michael Palin has better credentials

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. Diana

    Please this is about oil, oil , oil!!!!!!! This woman approves of drilling in the national wildlife refuge.. We are not going to make any steps toward alternative energy use. I just got back from Alaska and we do not need this woman as VP. I am one woman who John McCain just lost from the republic state of Indiana.. This choice scares the hell out of me.

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  4. RD

    having only met her once before offering her the job.nobody else wanted to be on a sinking ship

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. American woman for Obama/Biden

    While I am pleased that there is a woman on the ticket, I can't help but feel there is more of a motive on McCains part then just trying to get women voters won over. Didn't he leave his first wife for Cindy, a multi-millionaire? Now he has chosen a very attractive woman who is also in the oil business to be his VP. I think he is mostly thinking with his groin more then winning women voters, If I were Cindy, I would keep a very close eye on hubby Mc Cain, I am voting for Obama/Biden and all other Dems this election, I mean this country can't possibly survive another 4 years of the Repubs destroying it piece by piece,.

    August 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  6. sky

    can she spell potato

    August 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. KC

    Isn't the title on the first page misleading? DIdn't they actually meet twice. Not an argument for her nomination, but seems like odd wording on CNN's part.

    August 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. Paula

    Thanks, SS, for the Defenders of Life website info-OMG!
    I hope Gore rips her to shreds.

    August 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  9. John from LA

    CNN-REALLY NOW-do the Dems want to get into a pissing match with who is LESS QUALIFIED!!!-this woman just may be the ticket!!!

    Only time will tell-By the way Campbell Brown is tres biased-as is all the newscasters on CNN-Watch PBS-quite balanced and fair.

    August 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  10. jeri

    Nobody can replace Hillary. Stupid DNC & Oba-media do need replaced. This McCain/Palin ticket just highlights how wrong the Obama/Biden ticket is. It should have been Clinton/Obama (or at least Obama/Clinton) and the whole country knows it. Egomania is NOT the kind of change we need!

    I will vote for McCain because he is not sexist, or narcissistic, or an INexperienced #1 on the ticket! I will give Sara Palin a fair chance, unlike the chance given to Hillary (BY HER OWN PARTY! – which I am through with)

    No, I won't forget the strong-arming done by Obama & the DNC to keep Hillary from getting the nomination.

    August 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. maryfromtexas

    Insult to women? Insult to women? That's not what you would have said had Hillary been nominated, is it? Now it's an insult for a woman to be nominated for vice president? Why did it change from being an honor to an insult? You have extremely short and selective memories, my dears, you liberal women whose brains are only one dimensional. I guess it's a good thing Hillary didn't get nominated. What an insult that would have been!

    August 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Closely Watching

    I am still guffawing at your posting dbubla. I worked my butt off today and that was priceless, simply priceless!

    August 29, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |

    This is funny. McShane is crazy as...... Good job!!! Everyone on the Rep. ticket thinks she is so great because she does not believe in abortion, for starters. lol Republicans are sooo stupid to fall for that trick again, and again. McShane and Bush are twins. They like to make people think they are going to stop abortion. lol Bush, has been in office for 8 years and abortion is still rising at alarming numbers, so when is that going to change, never. Let's talk about things that can be changed, like the economy. lol Keep another Republican like Bush in the set and it will change, for the worse. The only thing that is hurting Obama is his skin tone. This country is soooo racist, McShane my win the election. There is no reason for McCain to be elected, other than race.

    August 29, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. M. ELIAS

    RIGHT TO CHOICE....................

    August 29, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. EAM

    you know what DEMS stands for?

    Dumb Extremely Moronic & Sexists.

    man you people are so insecure can't have a woman take control my

    penis might shrink and my husband might get upset.

    August 29, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  16. Cheryl

    This is pathetic!!! Please GOD IN HEAVEN, deliver us from McInsane!!! This carrot to the extreme right will be this country's downfall if this senile fart wins the election.


    August 29, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. Willa

    Just saw a PUMA person on Chris Matthews, forgot her name already…looked like a real bitter sour puss, if her face looked any more stearn she would have broken the camara lenses…pathetic...and voting for McCain and his VP is against everything Clinton was stupid!!!!!

    This is still a free country as far as I know, free speech and all, so, post this...truth hurts unfortunately.

    August 29, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. gl

    McCain have flip flop on everything and this time the most important decision like the VP choice. She represent everything McShame complaint about Obama. lack of experience, a celebrity, and Obama ties with disonest people and Obama rather win then but the country first.

    McShame VP choice was in a beauty pagant, she is being investigated, lack of experience and he made his choice to win and not put the country first. A 72 year old man with cancer needed to pick someone that is readlly to serve the country if something happen to him. Very bad move and once again experience but bad judgement!

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. Geroge NOBAMA

    Where is lil bro George ??

    We dont know about Obama yet.

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  20. giovanna


    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  21. maryfromtexas

    Has anyone ever hired an executive for their company after only one interview! - Neil

    There goes the hypocracy again. You could say the same thing about Obama if you would only use your brain more than the 1% it's capable of.

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. Karen Swetman

    Is it just me, or does Sarah Palin remind anyone else of "Karen" from Will and Grace. I will have a hard time taking this woman seriously....honestly Mr. McCain what were you thinking?

    Dublin, Georgia, U.S.A.

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. This woman was used as meat and don't even know it...

    It is a sad day in history when a women is blatantly used for the pleasure of one man wanting to win the presidency so bad! Palin is obviously one tough dummy! Too all my ladies out there (mainly bitter Hillary supporters), if you THINK that voting for the McCain/Palin ticket is the answer to your bitterness then you are CRAZY. McCain is doesn't give a hoot about anyone but himself. Oh my gosh, please American do not vote for this ticket. I don't care what party you are part of (i'm a republican), but this is absolutely a election of logic vs. insane! Wow....a sad day to be a republican:(

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. Sariena

    I am not a Republican, but stupid do they think we are?

    Pick a woman, gain Hillary's supporters?

    I just received this from a Wilderness organization I belong to–if you are at all about what happens to generations ahead, please DO NOT vote for this pair of twins. If there is even a faint remnant of anger over Obama's nomination, work to disseminate it. The Obama/Biden ticket is strong, and dedicated. It reflects what America is yearning for-respect from the world, competitiveness, and strength/prosperity within our own nation. And If you are a Democrat and a woman, as I am (no matter your age), support Hilary indirectly by supporting what she stands for as part of the Democratic party. Don't abandon future generations, simply by voting for this woman.

    I just received this from a Nature Organization. This woman could care less about what matters. Take a close look from various sources–she is more of the same and in my opinion was picked to placate conservatives and women–

    "Shocking Choice by John McCain
    WASHINGTON– Senator John McCain just announced his choice for running mate: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. To follow is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

    “Senator McCain’s choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies.

    “Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.

    “This is Senator McCain’s first significant choice in building his executive team and it’s a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain’s commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil.”

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  25. Pa Girl

    Just wanted all you PUMAS to know that McCain's VP nominee Sarah Palin called Hillary a"whiner" in an online Newsweek article.Think long and hard before voting for her and McCain.

    August 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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