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. Buddy

    She has more experience than Obama. Comment by a Bitter, Bible,Gun carrying Red Neck.

    August 29, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Ruben V. from La Mierta, California

    I watched the DNC on CNN last night with the family. It seems the world supports Senator Obama. Senator McCain has his work cut out for him.

    August 29, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Erni

    Just disgusting. McCain did not choose the best political candidate for his campaign, but instead picked a woman with little or no experience, who could very easily become president considering McCains's age. As a woman, I am insulted. Our only hope is Obama and Biden. God help us.

    August 29, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Deb, IN

    As a former Hillary supporter, McCain already had my vote before he made his VP choice.

    All you peolpe saying she doesn't have enough experience ask yourself this, would you rather have inexperience at the top or the bottom of the ticket?

    August 29, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. ed

    this shows what mcain thinks of women,insulting the of women

    August 29, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. Shannon in California

    I have just a few words about McCain and his choice for VP. I think this clearly shows McCain is a reckless decision maker who is gambling with this countries future. If he wins the election Palin will be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Please remember McCain is 72 years old. Also, how is Palin going to care for her 5 children, one of whom has Down's Syndrome, and campaign for VP.

    This choice is also an insult to women, McCain thinks women just wanted a woman to be a president, Hillary received 18 mil voters, not Palin. McCain is also pandering to women, and has shown very poor presidential decision making skills.

    I think he clearly blew it on his first major decision. He clearly is gambling and if this is how he would run his presidency then we are in big trouble if he should win. He will simply roll the dice and make his decision that way.

    August 29, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |




    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. Bonnie

    This woman will make a criminal of victims of rape and incest who need an abortion. She is oblivious on Iraq. There is no way in HELL I as a woman will vote for this ticket. She is under investigation, turned her 6,500 population town into a gravel pit, and has 18 months as a governor of one of the least populated states. Who are they kidding? What an insult to even compare her to Hillary. She even called Hillary a whiner.

    Obama/Biden is the only choice left for those of us that don't want to return to a depression and no rights for women.

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Independent voter

    Just a couple of observations:
    1) So I guess that John McCain is conceding the economic aspect of the election!
    2) John McCain thinks that Hillary women will vote for him now because he has a woman on his ticket
    3) I wonder how the GOP plan on using the inexperience of Obama to their favor now
    4) Didn't we say many of the same things about GWB that we are saying about Palin back in 2000?
    5) What is it saying about McCain that with his first major decision as a canidate he chose someone that undermines his only effective beef with Obama?
    6) Why would you select someone with an ongoing investigation for corruption?

    I look at all of these observations and say: Wow all that experience has done him well!

    I can now say that I will vote for OBAMA/BIDEN

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. sharon walker

    Dear Friends:
    A Hard Campaign Trail To Follow! John McCAIN!

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Concerned Voter

    What happened to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Romney, Lieberman, Ridge?

    Is he serious?

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Peggy

    The choice is shocking in its contempt for the country and the office of president and vice-president. McCain's judgment is seriously impaired; his cynicism is controlling him. He's not even taking this position seriously. Shame on you, McCain.

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. alex

    this is a joke, the biggest joke ever in my life time... picking a VP like that.

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. California Voter

    Well, I guess this is the maverick side of McCain finally showing it's face.
    I love it! Now both tickets have individuals on them that have little Washington insider experience. We're having fun now.

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. Dori in AZ

    Considering that there were many FAR better qualified, well-informed, well-versed Republican female and male options for the position of VP, my best guesses for this selection are that:

    1) not a single one of them was willing to stand up with this man, one who is so completely out of touch with our nation that he would put a relative novice in place to pinch hit when he a) gets sick, b) strokes out, 3) has a heart attack, 4) cancer returns full force.... and put our entire United States in dire jeopardy! (That's my 80+ yo mother's opinion!)

    2) he met her in February, couldn't get her out of his dreams, and saw her again yesterday after a few phone calls – you know, puppy love!

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. JT

    Sarah Palin was a great pick. Picking the governor of a state so dependent on oil revenue is a clear signal to Big Oil about where McCain really stands.

    August 29, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. Duop Chak, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Very conflicting choice and this might backfire.

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. Corrie

    > I think it may work to some degree however just because people won't know what to make of her.

    TRUST ME – you will know what to make of her before the election – all the facts and information you need will be presented. And that's not going to be good for her.

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. darl

    What an insult..McDaddy Cain is now pimping for women votes.
    Go McDaddy....

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. Denise

    The country should not come before her down syndrome child. This is unfair to her 4 month old baby. Her attention should not be split at this time.

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Jeffrey

    Has a very "Oh what the hell, I'm going to lose anyway" kinda mentality to this. "O honey... I'm going to the grocery store...get some apples, bread, and a VP while I'm at it..."

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. Robin

    McCain's not paving a way for women he's using them for his own political gain. Disgusting!

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. me

    Campbell Brown JUST ADMITTED that OBAMA HAS LITTLE EXPERIENCE!!!! She was sooooooo upset at the idea of Palin, she's lost it!!!!!
    Sam, you are soooooo correct about Campbell Brown....SHE IS SCARED!!!!!!!!
    The democrats doth protest too much, methinks!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. Michael

    McCain has lost his mind, he expects the American People to believe this lady has the experience on day 2 should something happen to McCain. She has absolutely no Foreign Policy experience, very little executive experience and does not even know the roll of the Vice President. The Republicans want to argue executive experience, Bush was the Governor of Texas, he had executive experience and look what that got us.

    Give me a break, at least with Obama, if something happens to him we can know that Biden has the experience and the judgement to step in on day 2. He knows the roll of the Vice President, he knows how Foreign Policy works, he has faced down Dictators. I cannot believe he would disrespect the Hillary Clinton supporters by picking a woman with no experience and who is a polar opposite to Hillary Clinton and called her a whiner. Yea this election is a no brainer and it is not McCain.

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. Edward from Wilmington

    Maryfrom texas – just what is it you think Barack Obama is hiding? If you can't answer that then you have no basis for saying he's hiding anything. You are one of those people looking for things that are not there; perpetuating the same lies not because of what he says but who he is.

    Woman need to take a long hard look at Palin. She is not in favor of protecting your rights. She wants you to be subject to the whims of the right wing anti-abortionists, which is not the same as being pro-life.

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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