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. Zion

    Hillary supporters, this same woman said that Hillary was a whiner during the primaries. You don't love Hillary as much as I do. I am going to vote Obama to make sure this woman never sees the executive office. I also believe that some of the Hillary supporters just simply are not going to vote for Obama for whatever reason...By the way, Hillary is going to mop the floor with this woman.

    August 29, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  2. ciara

    3rd party this year. all the way.

    how come this is a 2 party system with everyone else?

    just dumb.

    August 29, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Tom

    This is an insult to EVERYONE!!! It is clear that the McCain only wants the photo ops of her family to gain emotional votes. It is sad and can any one truly say she is ready to be President. She is not. This is sad, sad, sad, sad.

    August 29, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Eileen

    This is ridiculous. As a woman, I am insulted. Who does John McCain think of the women of this country are??? Does he think us so foolish as to vote for anyone simply because she is a woman????? This makes me sick.

    If John McCain wins the election (GOD FORBID) I will leave this country!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. Lori

    John McCain Is insulting! Does he acually think I will support Sarah Pladin because she is a woman? Gender has never been as issue. He is an insult to me as well as the the percentage of 18 Million "Hillary Supporters" that may be women. and support her values and beliefs. I will continue to support Barrak Obama and and those of the democratic system. Sarah is not a placibo for Hillary.
    Go Barack!

    August 29, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. Rob

    I think this woman needs to go to the vet . She's scarey

    August 29, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. Mel

    Palin is the least qualified and inexperienced running mate in the history of the office, having served a total of 20 months in office, and none on the national level.

    Thank you, Senator Mccain, for making it that much more easier for Obama/Biden '08 to become a reality. I am now breathing easier.

    August 29, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  8. ricardo williams

    Not surprising. McCain is looking for a First Lady not a

    August 29, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. Gina

    This is the person that McCain wants a heartbeat from the presidency? A person who confesses to have to no interest in foreign policy, who doesn't know what the VP does, and who only met ONCE. Its an insult to women to suggest they will vote for a woman, no matter how unqualified, solely based on gender. She is ANTI-choice, ANTI-gay rights, ANTI-equal rights for equal pay, and she is the antithesis of all that Clinton stood for. Mr. McCain could have chosen a women with credentials but he chose a women who was mayor of a town the size of my high school and of a state with more moose than people. Shame on anyone who puts this person in a position where she could step into a war that she s not even interested in. Women are capable of voting policy and not pony tails. OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    August 29, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. annie

    dnc was too stupid to let the voters choose the candidate and SELECTED obama. obama was too stupid to pick Hillary as his vp. Hillary was not smart enough to stand up the dnc and go Independent – SO great job McCain! Palin will knock their socks off!

    August 29, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  11. Linda

    I am a republican, what an absolute disgrace!
    You mean this womanis supposed to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.
    Are there no better qualified republican women for this?
    This shows poor decision making skills. I am voing for Obama

    August 29, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  12. Keely

    Just wondering why my comments are still awaiting moderation?

    August 29, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. Registered Democrat

    I am a Democrat Woman, and I am not insulted... I am actually very happy someone is considering a woman for a position other than the missionary.

    A woman far away from Washington politics... Wow, that is really Change We Can Believe in!

    McCain, you old fart did great!... I will no longer be a Democrat!

    August 29, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. Brian Seattle

    She will withdraw before the nomination and one of the good old boys will step in. Great show of judgment McCain, choose for cheap votes not the betterment of the country and leadership.

    John you just lost, you should be able to tell by the seismic thud felt around the country.

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Anyone who claims that Palin is more experienced than Obama is psychotic... not to mention anyone by name... "John from Nebraska".

    August 29, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Keith

    Objectively, I think this may have handed Obama a good chunk of the women vote. Palin is a clueless ditz, I just saw her on a TV interview. She was asked to tell "one thing that no one knows about Sarah Palin" and she said that she didn't understand the question. Are you for real? What's she going to say when someone asks her to comment on the situation in Georgia? I don't understand the question? Sweet god you can't be serious.

    Did I mention her husband is an oil man ? Seriously.

    August 29, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  17. Tony

    I find it depressing that so-called family values voters (those people with the highest divorce rates who teach bigotry to their children) are supposed to be in love with Governor Palin, who instead of caring for her special needs infant will be busy running for and being vice president.

    And it is equally depressing to think that champions of Hillary Clinton, who no doubt cared about her experience level and unique qualities as a leader despite her sex, might flock to McCain just because of the anatomy of his vice president.

    August 29, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. mother of 5 myself

    As a mother of 5 myself, This women is exhausted !!! I think McCain was so busy trying to get the Puma vote that he picked a women that he just met for one day. Thanks Puma voters for making McCain lose the election. Wait a minute was that the plan ?

    August 29, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  19. Shari

    Let's be honest, calling yourself a Hillary supporter and voting for the opposite party just because there is a woman on the ticket seems a little counterintuitive– since Hillary endorses Barack Obama. If you want to back up Hillary DO it. And vote Democratic.

    August 29, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  20. Sue

    Really? How insulting to women can this get? Does the republican party really think that we will swing our votes their way just because a woman is on the ticket. Believe it or not, we do care about our country and where our country is headed! I see a man who is willing to put a "soccer mom" with NO real experience a close step to the office of President.

    August 29, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  21. Brad IL.

    Good call John , you have gained this Democrat's vote. She has more experience than Boorack and just wanting to be VP. Maybe the Democratic Party should have listened to the real voters of there own party and put Nobama in that same spot. At least John McCain got this right . My family will vote for this team this year, thank's John

    August 29, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. sm

    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! Obama is more of a prop, than she may seem. She runs a state, people. Don't you call that experience?

    August 29, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. K

    I like her, she's beautiful, take a chance McCain, you can win her

    August 29, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. Susans pics

    Well, the rest of us better listen to what's really going on here. This is not even a pander to women – HIllary's fans would never follow this woman. Listening to the talking heads, this is a pander to evangelicals, to which she is folklore they've been saying. They love her, and will try to turn this into a one or two social issue election. It's the Rovian way.

    I am just interested to see – the evangelicals have been trying hard to re-market themselves in the past year. "Oh yeah, we care about more than abortion! We care about, uh, war? Poverty? Um, well, uh, AIDS?" I guess we will all see if all this talk has been true. I wouldn't bet on it.

    August 29, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Flo

    Love it! Love it! Love it! Big fish from a tiny little pond – This is the equivalent of putting the family's goldfish in an ocean of sharks and barracudas.

    To compare experience gleaned from one year governing Po-Dunk, Alaska to that gain on the streets of Chicago and four years in Washington, DC is quite a stretch, don't you think?

    August 29, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
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