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. Dora

    Let's not mistake one day of utter shock over John McCain's VP "pick"
    as upstaging Senator Obama.

    August 29, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. democrats cry and complain way to much

    wow democrats whining right and left,

    thats one of the reasons i am a republican,

    I think this is an excellent choice. all she handles and still able to be a public servant is great. running a family seems to help her keep away from corrupt politics and remember what we need to fight for. Fifth child has down syndrome definitley shows she has her priniciples right and cares for human life.

    Keep whining democrats, it keeps republicans like me remember why i am republican.

    August 29, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  3. Voting for Obama

    wow this says it all.... Crazy McShame

    Obama/Biden 2008!!!

    August 29, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. john

    this is reckless. The old idiot is going crazy. America save your self. You have no respect in the world.

    August 29, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. anne

    Why is everyone making such a big deal about the fact that this she has 5 kids??? Does this woman hasveso little real experience that they have to hightlight her proclivity for pro-creation in order to boost her credibility?

    August 29, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. mckenzie

    I feel so exploited, so used...If McCain somehow wins this election and somehow dies, we are going to have HER as president? How could he put our lives at risk like this. McCain doesn't even know her! He met her once! I wouldn't even let someone babysit for my son if I only met them once, even with good references!

    August 29, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. Mike from Texas


    August 29, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    to :Eve from New York" Oh puuuulease with that "we are so insulted " act. And then saying he chose Palin because of her anatomy???? What kind of sexist statement is THAT, coming from a group of women? Give me a big. big break! I'm sure he didn't choose her to attract women like you. HER ANATOMY????? What about what she has accomplished as Governor? That's one big thing I've noticed about this election. Women can definitely be as sexist towards their own sex as men can. I read it again and again when Hillary was running and now I'm reading it again. It;s a better pick than Obamas "good ol boy, Biden. I thought his was a message of change, What a joke. When are people ever gonna see that we would be better off throwing every entrenched politician out of office and replacing them all with 'Hockey Moms." Instead they keep putting back the same tired old political squatters and then wonder why nothing changes.

    August 29, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  9. Janet WV for Obama

    I didn't know whether to faint or laugh. This proves that McCain 's judgement is terribly flawed. He is DANGEROUS! This pick is also a terrible insult to more qualified Republicans like Romney, Huckabee, or Pawlenty. At any rate I thank McCain. It's all over but the shouting for us Democrats.

    August 29, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  10. chong cha

    I love MCcain!!!! He is the right person to run our country. Obama is by far the wrong person. I am a Demorcratic but will never ever vote for Obama. He is not ready and a liar. He is very good at painting an image for the people of America. Macain has years of experiece and will get the job done correctly. I love his pick also. He is a smart man.

    August 29, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. Happy in Oregon

    He met her once and she's now his VP choice? The old guy dies she is President. Does he get the fact that she has zippo experience in anything! My God, he really thinks female voters are stupid. And she's Pro-Life and anti-gay! Wow he really thinks the religious right is the total voting base of this country. I hope they get crushed in November.

    August 29, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  12. Apalled!!

    McCain has just signed his own death warrant for the Office of the President of USA! How can he, or anybody for that matter, even remotely believe that just by putting a woman on his ticket..... he can dupe American women into believing that she can then be American women's substitute for Hilary Clinton! NOT by a mile! Sorry, it's NOT by a million miles! How irresponsible, how reckless and how very selfish can someone be to try to subject his own whole country to be risk of having a Commander in Chief who obviously is not qualified......just to try to secure his ticket to the oval office. This is McCain's biggest INSULT to the American people and to all American women!! Obama/Biden has my wholehearted support and vote100%

    August 29, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. Patriot

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    Biggest insult not only to women but to the American people as a hold.
    I know the Republicans believe we are pretty stupid and easy manipulated, but please. Even my 14 year old daughter is asking me "
    Daddy, why do people think that just because she is a women, all women will vote for her; or just because Mr. McCain has been around a longtime that he's a good leader? What has he really done in all that time, that we are still where we are today?" You're right dear I said, you are absolutely right!

    August 29, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  14. Monty

    Well, Eve From NY, its quite apparent you weren't exactly going to vote on the issues now were you? You were only going to vote for McCain because a man won the Primary from (oh my gosh) a female.... lame excuse.

    August 29, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  15. Charlotte, NC

    I do not understand why people are upset with Palin not having experience, when the democrats are expecting to give us the #1 spot and he does not have experience. How someone is even considering voting for Obama is beyond me. He appears to have his OWN agenda, appears to be a dictator, and appears to think that he is better or smarter than everyone. History will definately be made IF obama is elected, but the history will be from lack of experience.

    August 29, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. Alison, FL


    August 29, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Obama, whether inexeperienced or not, was chosen by the democratic people and was voted for. Palin was picked by McSame. Bad bad choice. No Way, No How No McSame.

    August 29, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Dem women aren't STUPID

    Who is she? One of Cindy's BFF's or something??

    You can't replace one woman for the other. Republican women will vote republican - that's a given. But Dem women won't fall for this.

    Being a mother of 5 only qualifies you to be a mother - not to run a country. I guess experience is out the window and off the table in the debates. THANK GOD that was getting pretty old. What a FLIP FLOPPER!!

    August 29, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. Here's a thought that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside lol

    I wonder what the Democrats on these blogs will say if/when Palin happens to wipe the floor with Biden in the debates.....It could happen!
    Especially since that seems to be the only thing they are hanging on to in securing their candidate.

    August 29, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. bob

    bad choice

    August 29, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  21. Ann Ramsay

    McCain's VP choice is a decoy. The governor is under investigation. She will resign over this (as always intended) then McCain will choose who he intended to choose from day one and will be given credit for trying with the conservative base. He also derailed today's discussion about Obama and the Democrats successful convention. The engineer? You guess it, Karl Rove

    August 29, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  22. PoliticoMike

    I don't know how Palin feels honored to be pick. This was a last min act of desperation. The man saw the Obama speech last night and was like: "Oh crap, what do I do"!!
    I will hand it to him, that is a slick move to pull. Let's just hope these Hillary supporters don't fall for this con. If you do, you're just idiots and you were never in it for Hilliary to begin with.

    August 29, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  23. Kurt Matheson

    McCain chose her because he thinks American women are stupid. He is right, this was a brilliant move. Dumb American women everywhere, especially discouraged Clinton supporters, will vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. American "soccer moms" will eat this up. They won't care about the issues. Trust me.

    August 29, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. Jason D

    People, please move beyond the control of biased media outlets and do some of your own research. Who cares if he met her once. Do you need to have multiple dinners with your surgeon before you trust him/her to work on you? NO, you pick the one you are confident in considering the information available to you. Look beyond race, sex and the talking heads. Research the candidates yourselves (voting records, state news, length of service, programs, etc.).

    August 29, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. A mother view

    As a mother to a smart and talented young daughter, I have taught her to use could I teach her now:woman are replaceable and not unique. Replace Clinton with McCanes trophy vp canidate and when you marry watch out any female can replace you????

    August 29, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
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