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. JP

    How is that experience has become talk of the town lately, it was all judgment, wisdom etc all these days?

    August 29, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. Tom,West Michigan

    Why can't the press bring itself to label McCain's VP decision
    IRRESPONSIBLE? This indicates we could actually go from bad to
    worse with this guy and Palin. His decision is OUTRAGEOUS!

    August 29, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  3. lizzy

    How many of us have seen our parents health decline rapidly when they hit their 70s.....does mcccain actually think that we think he picked the best choice to run our country if he falls ill.......we are smarter than that

    August 29, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  4. Michele, Pittsburgh, PA

    Politically a great choice; it may very well win McCain the election. However, I don't think she has the credentials to be one heartbeat away from leading this country. I"m an Independent who usually votes republican, but this November, I'm probably staying home.

    August 29, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  5. George Sam

    John McCain just shot himself in his foot. Ouch. Instead of putting "Country First", he falls for the Alaskan beauty. No offense to gov Palin, but this decision from McCain shows that he really doesn't have a good judgment. The reasoning to "use" her to get the supposedly Hillary Clinton votes is so shortsighted, it's hard to grasp that the republican base nominated him? From their (Rep) negative attacks it is very evident they are themselves frustrated with McCain.
    Now consider this: he just "aborted" his own chance (or what ever he had) against the tide of change that USA demands.

    August 29, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. O - yeah!

    BREAKING NEWS: Out of touch hockey mom leads us into Afghanastan !

    August 29, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Kathy

    As a life long Dem. They have finally lost me. They couldn't even get thier ticket together. They had their chance but blew it.

    August 29, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  8. jaimito

    mcsame = not qualified to lead because he can't make good decisions.

    what's good of experience if it's the wrong ones?

    age, bad temperament, poor judgment, mcsame is the more dangerous choice. Anyone can do better than Bush, I'd take my chances on the smarter man Obama. Yes, intelligence counts.

    August 29, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. lizzy

    ARe you kidding me any of you believe this is MCCains choice for our potential president..this is alllll politics ...

    August 29, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  10. Jeffer65

    It doesn't say where McCain met her. Was it a Republican party function or a hotel somewhere? Cindy better have her lawyers on standby. McCain and Palin are only figureheads for Bush and Cheney to keep running things. Either that or McCain has really lost it.
    Please HRC supporters don't be fooled by McCain's pandering. Put America first and vote on the issues, not race or gender.

    August 29, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Patti

    Ever interview someone for a job? You know in the first three minutes.

    McCain/ Palin '08!
    Hillary '12!

    I can't wait to see the debates that is if Obama has the guts to finally do a face off with McCain.......Sarah Barracuda against Biden...hee hee...

    August 29, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  12. Not sleeping at the switch

    McCain just lost it for the GOP. Met her ONCE and chose her. He not only lost the election but he has REALLY lost MILLIONS of Women on BOTH sides of the Aisle with this insult.

    August 29, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  13. threedeep

    Two words: Harriet Myers

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. lizzy

    okay ...this election just becomes more of a joke each day...Mccains pick is not only a political ploy , it is irresponsible

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  15. Ethel

    Republican switching to vote for Obama now. What a disservice to women, does McCain think we are all that stupid? Doesn't even know this woman and chose her for VP because she wears a dress and he thinks he can get more votes that way? No way.

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Mike - New Zealand

    From what the pundits are saying, the Democrats have taken change off the table with Biden and the Republicans have taken Commander-in-Chief experience off the table with Palin.

    We poor, dumb voters are now going to have to decide on the basis of substantive issues not campaign slogans. Foreign policy judgment, energy independence, environmental management, jobs, education, health care, women's rights, gun laws, crime, immigration.

    OMG what a disaster!

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. Frances Harper

    Sarah Palin's nomination is a huge slap in the face to our allies throughout the world.
    McCain's first real decision involving foreign policy–Sarah Palin as the potential leader of the Free World!!

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. Tony

    CHANGE??? Did somebody say CHANGE????

    It appears to me that there is only one DC outsider on the ballot in '08. GO PALIN!!!!

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  19. adam

    A horrible choice, McCain would rather win an election than do whats best for the country......

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. aida

    Hillary worked for the issues for over thirty years and that is what made her qualified. There is no way just because Paline is a woman we would just change our party and vote McCaine. No way, no how, NO McCaine!!! This is simply an insult to the women in America.

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. Chris- SF

    Lol, I'm on a role with you guys (the mods) not deeming my comments acceptable, which I find funny as they are always tame as tame can be in content compared to almost every other comment on this board. And if you were curious what my last non-posted comment was about it was about how sexism and racist shouldn't play a role in how people vote or politics. Not really the hate filled rhetoric you usually here on these boards, although I guess that's what they (the mods) are going for.

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  22. Independent in NC

    What does Palin being in a beauty pageant in 1984 have to do with anything? She is unqualified to lead because of it? That is ludicrous. Almost as ludricrous as the comments about how she can run for/be VP when she has small children at home. I have never seen anyone ask a male candidate how he can spend months campaigning or be in political office when he has young children. The worst part is that the people making these comments are the same ones who have been so vocal about equal pay and women's rights.

    August 29, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  23. No Hillary = No Obama

    Hey Obama – John McCain gets it – you don't.

    August 29, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  24. Edie Browning

    Palin is an avid hunter, a sport completely alien to most women. I am a woman so I know this. We may respect a man who hunts but rarely a woman doing the same. Most of us would be vegetarians rathan than kill our own meat. I think appointing her to this position is an insult to accomplished, professional women . Her qualifictions are way too thin. Even her appearance is unprofessional, the hair, wearing black to accept an honor, the teenage inflections in her voice
    Selecting her was a bad idea, very very bad.

    August 29, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  25. Sally, Fairbanks, AL

    I'm an independent who was for Clinton. I am not an Obama supporter and was going to vote for McCain. His choice, however, leaves me no choice but to vote Democratic this fall. To select a VP you've met once tells me all I need to know about his judgment. Why didn't he pick Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina?

    Further, why is Phyllis Schlafly so excited? Does she really think it's a conservative woman's role to leave her 4 young children at home to be raised by others while she works 60-80 hour weeks?

    August 29, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
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