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. aware

    What a team! 🙂

    Biden/Obama are toast!

    August 29, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  2. Tina Hill

    So Mr. Experience knew all along he had his candidate and didn't tell the world. It's kinda ironic his choice. He's definettly a sneaky strategist with no good intentions...doesn't mean he's in touch on what is going on in the real world. His own half-sister in-law says she's voting for Obama. Obviously he's not a real family man outside of his wife and daugher.
    It's ashame the Republican Party always have nominees who are definetly not for the people. Yet they always seem to win the presidential election. Do I smell a conspiracy?

    August 29, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  3. rbp

    what are we all hoping a leading nation work towards a peacefull and happy world? Isn't it. We also know that needs someone with no bias on how things have woked in the past. May be this choice will bring that extreme change that is needed....simple.

    August 29, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |


    August 29, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  5. marta

    they met once !!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  6. Hal Summers

    So McCain only met Palin once before he decided she's be a good VP?

    I guess love at first sight does exist.

    August 29, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  7. Ida

    McCain picked Sarah Palin as a way to gain Hilary's supporters. Why is he always picking beauty queens? His wife was a former beauty queen, and Sarah Palin was also a beauty queen.

    Sarah Palin just had a baby four months ago. This baby has Down's Sydrome. This child will need more time and attention than Sarah will be able to provide if she is jetting around the country. Sarah may be a strong woman, but she is not superwoman.

    Her children need her. Her baby needs her. Her family especially the new baby should take priority in her life and not seeking the VP
    position. Now is not the time for Sarah.

    It is Ok to have a woman as VP, but not this woman.

    August 29, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. GOP for Obama

    If McCain had picked MItt I would have voted for him...but NOW...I'll be voting for Obama ! !

    August 29, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. jun

    I agree that McCain is playing hard ball. That just the point I see it as playing with the US people lives again. I do not believe he is dear and near to the issues of the people, for the people, by the people.

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

    She sounds like someone who has been bought and paid for by the oil industry...

    August 29, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. Isaac


    August 29, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  12. Brian

    McCain is grasping like an octopus at the boner buffet.

    August 29, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. I faced the truth

    People this is just crazy. I'm sure Governor Palin is a fine person, but she doesnt even know how to get around the Nation's capital, and to think that she would a heartbeat from the presidency? Wow.. John McCain cares more about his blind ambition than he does about the people of this country. At least Obama was able to convince the people to give him a chance. America has to trust the judgement of John McCain. Reckless.

    August 29, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. L Reese, NY

    McCain... do you really think the American people (especially women) are that gullible? Shame on you!! I can't understand how some Americans believe this choice is a great tactic. It's do you sleep at night McCain.. knowing you'll try anything to win the white house. Between Bush and yourself, I don't know who's worse, you both are running neck and neck in the arrogance dept!!

    August 29, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    This is a joke, right?.... Is this what american politics have come to? I thought George Bush was Mr. Politics. This takes the cake!

    It REALLY is NO coincidence that McCain and Bush will be together in the TWIN cities!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. tweets

    Awesome choice, go McCain/Palin!!

    August 29, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. Pat

    I'm 70 years old. I've been cynical for so many years and haven't voted. I've watched Obama every time he's on TV. It's about time we can have a super intelligent man who can put us back on the right track. I've listened to all his speechs. He's a man of principle, integrity, great wisdom, and I truly believe he has the right idea regarding our domestic problems, and foreign policy. The last 8 years has cost this country not only billions of dollars of wasted money, it put us in a war with the wrong country causing thousands of our Americans to be maimed or killed, has ruined our enonomy, and we have lost our good standing in the world. And it isn't bad enough that McCain has been Bush's side-kick all these years – now he has named a VP "who he only met once". This is "totally unbelievable!" And just to have a woman so he can get all Hillary's people to vote for him. I think he's already senile!!! I truly hope no one falls for that scenerio. I'm proud to be voting for Barack Obama!!!!

    August 29, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. The winner is

    OH, Good Lord!
    Why not pick ME?

    August 29, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  19. Amaya

    This is a typical example of putting political interest before the interest of the country. I am surprised when her executive experience is blown out of proportion. Alaska has six hundred thousand people and every major city in America has 10 times that population. It is like comparing managing mom and papa shop is the same as managing Boeing or Microsoft. It is like saying they both require the same skill sets. Give me a break. No disrespect to Palin but they are setting her for failure.

    August 29, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    American people!

    Work like slaves to get Obama Biden in the White House. REGISTER AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN! VOLUNTEER! We MUST NOT let this crazy old fool win. Our very lives and our children's lives depend on it. GOD HELP US

    August 29, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  21. 2Nurselady

    We could have had the White House back, but the DNC and Barack Obama blew it!

    Palin is awesome. The Republicans are going to win and we will watch another Presidential term and the White House slip through our fingers – AGAIN.

    Astounding. It is just astounding to me when there is no question we would have won with Hillary.

    August 29, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. V. Whaley

    I think it is time we go back to electing the VP candidates. McCain and Obama both have not listened to the people on their choices. The VP candidates should be the choice of the people not the candidates as they would be President if the President should not be able to finish their term. We would have a true democracy then.

    August 29, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  23. Montgomery, AL

    McCain doesn't even believe men and women should have equal pay, so why would he choose a women as VP? He thinks that this decision will help court Hillary supporters, he is so wrong!!! And he made such a knee-jerk decision after meeting her only ONE time. McCain is and idiot!

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  24. Michael

    Excellent voting record? I don't think so. Voting to keep aerial hunting of wolves going and also to keep polar bears OFF the endangered species list. With her investigation, she fits right in there with the right wing neo-cons. I'd personally find it hilarious if she was indicted only days before the election.

    Inexperience with foreign affairs from both McCain and Palin would be devastating at a moment where we need to raise our standing in the world after the last failed administration.

    And for the Hillacrats out there. How could you follow her if she got the nomination when you can't even follow her advice after Obama's nomination? Voting for McCain/Palin is doing a disservice to women and in fact Americans everywhere as they will either keep us where we're at, or make things worse overall.

    Vote for Americans everywhere
    Vote Obama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  25. Jack Mehoff, Orlando

    Wow-what a pick by McCain-Sarah Palin is the real deal--what a woman--can't wait to vote McCain/Palin-–

    Hillary must be blowing steam out of her ears-after being abused by Obama and further being summarily dismissed by Obama as a possible VP, she now has to watch as another woman takes what Hillary thinks is rightfully hers–sorry Hillary but Obama & Richardson and their buddies are nothing but snake oil salesmen-

    McCain/Palin 08'

    August 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
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