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. Egregious

    Oh my goodness. How could anybody put a person with that amount of experience next in line to be president of the US! Oh wait, people are already gonna vote for a person with arguably the same amount of experience with fewer accomplishments to be first in line for the Presidency.

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


    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. LJW

    You have got to be kidding me! SO ridiculous and irresponsible of John McCain. As if she is ready to be President if something were to happen to him.
    Once again , John McCain has shown that he truly is OUT OF TOUCH!

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden have my vote!!!!!

    Joebama '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. Lisa

    For all those so-called die hard democrats that are now voting for Mccain because he has a woman on the ticket, you were never democrat to begin with. If you would vote for someone like this who goes against everything Hillary Clinton has fought for & support Mccain, you can have it. As for me & my family, Barack Obama has our vote.
    People are so stupid to let the fact that a woman is on Mccain's ticket sway your vote. I guess some Hillary supporters are people that arent educated because anyone who can read knows she's against a woman's right to choose.
    If Mccain wins in November, I hope you get what you asked for.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. mary

    What has happen to John McCain?For 4 or more Months He had the short list vp at his ranch more than twice. They have campainged for and with him across the country. it seems to me he has forgotten their names and his campaign message. he is flip flopping all over the place.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. Jaz

    Election or Pageant??

    She better hope that the Miss America organizers are coming up with the questions for the VP debate.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. M in MN

    – A degree in journalism??
    – Miss Wasilla (Miss Who??)
    – Runner up Miss Alaska
    – Sports reporter on a local TV station
    – City Council/Mayor of the tiny burg (pop. 7,000) of Wasilla – her hometown (remember, she WAS Miss Wasilla!)
    – Gov. of Alaska for a whopping 19 months – a state with the population of Dayton, Ohio
    – No foreign policy experience; no foreign experience whatsoever – spent her entire life (minus college years) in Alaska – has she ever even been outside the country?
    – And I almost forgot to mention that she is under review by the Ethics Committee for abuse of power. Seems she'll fit right in with the Republicans.

    But hey, she's a woman, and clearly McCain thinks that fact alone will get other women to vote for her. Not this woman!
    So why did he meet her only once???

    Because his other choices TURNED HIM DOWN – not a single one of them wanted to derail their political careers by being tied to THAT sinking ship.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. NOVA Independent

    I found this while looking through comments, what he said sparked my interest:

    Don't be surprised if in about 3-4 weeks she pulls out of the race, citing the need to care for her new child. This will have accomplished a number of things;

    1. The spotlight quickly went from the Democratic Convention to McCain which he desperately needed
    2. McCain will have shown his willingness to run with a woman
    3. The Evangelicals will be satisfied that he does hold their values
    4. She will be able to walk away with dignity and respect because she is doing it for the good of her family
    5. McCain will get the running mate he really wants
    6. Joe Biden will be prepping to debate her and at the last minute he will have to face somebody else (Pawlenty?)
    7. Whoever replaces her will be prepping the entire time to face Joe Biden.

    I know this sounds very Machiavellian, but it is a possibility the Obama camp needs to be prepared for.

    Nick A, Aptos, CA

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. juana phx, az

    I am so sorry for Democrats all they have is Obama, his wife, and Biden. As a woman am very proud McCain choosing a gutsy young mother of five children to be his VP. Too bad the Democrats did not have the balls to choose Hillary as VP, she just was not good enough for them, so they stripped off her good attributes, they made fun of her, her daughter, husband, everything they say they stood for as Democrats, and pushed her aside for two politicos (men), part of the same corrupt Washington insiders who are in the pockets of the lobbyists and other self-intrest groups. As for those women who feel INSULTED by Ms Palin, I feel insulted you did not lift a finger to help Hillary and now you turn against a woman that is your equal, what do you do? You demonize her, and insult her, calling her names the ways you did to Hillary. Shame on you!

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Dom, western PA

    Yikes, Palin is actually under criminal investigation in Alaska for allegedly attempting to get a police officer fired...who just by some chance happened to be her SISTER'S EX-HUSBAND.

    google it folks....i'm not kidding. This story broke last week, but is not national because of how little-known she is...for now.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Latasha

    This is definitely a desperate cry for HELP on McCains behalf. How insulting to WOMAN that supported Hilary!!! Come on this is no Hilary Clinton, how dare McCain pull this on America!! Great for the Democrates, all the talk about Obama's experience just flew out of the window. We must be careful he just celebrated a birthday today, could she really be CIC !! We have only 67 days to discover who this lady is! Atleast Obama's been around for the past 18 months, and we have learned quite a bit about him. Be AWARE ALL REPUBLICIANS 67 days and counting!!!!!!! What skeletons does she have in her closet!!! Obama is much smarter chosing someone with lots of experience is what a smart person does!!!

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Best of two evils.

    I like her alot, I do not like her pro life stance at all, I do think we should use our natural resources and also go green. Please no fur.
    I can't say she is an ideal choice but she does seem very commited, vibrant and accomplished.
    I'm far from excited about being shoved into this situation. I will vote for McCain and I hope he wins. With the Democrats in the senate and house hopefully nothing will get done and we can get Hillary in 2012 if we are lucky.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. W O W WO W

    A ---D A Y----H I S T O R Y--W A S---M A D E

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. Jamila Malluf

    Oh my Gwad! G I Joe and Barbie have come to life and are sharng a brain cell... quick close the toy box!

    Please people do not overlook the fact that this lady mis used her office by having her brother in law fired from his job to aid her sister in gaining custody of their children. Really can you get in any lower... but wait that aint all. when somebody stood up against this in justis they too were fired by her... Her kind of misuse of power fits right in with Bush and company

    Ahhhhh~!!! YUCK!

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Kim

    Please take Campbell Brown off this story....she is coming unraveled.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Lee in Ohio

    Experience! Who's kidding Who? I would take Palin for President over Obama. We are voting for President AND VP...McCain-Palin is the perfect balance.

    McCain may be the oldest President for first term at 72, but this is 2008. Lincoln was 51 when first elected 148 years ago. But, what was the average life expectancy in 1860? I think McCain will make it through 4 years with or without skin cancer.

    All the experience on the Democratic ticket can't match that of McCain. Let's take the proven America, John McCain.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Rachel1976

    I was a Dem for Hillary, Now I am a Republican for Sarah, no more shutting out the women........(obama should have picked Hillary) now he is going Down..............GO REPS

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. maxtee

    John macain show America that he have no ways of winning this election,but to choose a women on his ticket ,to get haillary voters.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. Voter

    McCain and his staff do not know anything about the women who supported Hillary. We vote issues. Selecting a woman that he has me face to face only once shows how shallow his choice was. She is no Hillary.

    She is an interesting person and I hope that she soes move into national politics at some other level.

    I do admire her pro choice commitment and having her son after testing revealed that he had downs syndrome.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Ken, LA California

    We all know MaCTemper, he was looking for a puppet on a string, she fits the bill, I I was Cindy I would be wondering if this was her replacement, we cant afford to have a trigger happy old guy in the whitehouse, with a toothless vice president.

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. Truth

    Everyone is talking about pro life issues and she unites the party with her hard stance. Republicans act like they actually stopped abortion. Last time I checked thousands of children are dying everyday. They talk about the Democrats are just talk but the other party has been using something that realisticly they can't stop in the house as there ground to stand on. So just because you can voice your oppinioin about pro life merrits you the VP office.

    It is all just election talk to get the Christians to vote for them. God gives people choice and you live with the choice. So how can Republicans be harder on people than God.

    I am actually pro life but I believe that you need to make more than pro life your meat and bones to win votes. It's about the people .

    August 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. Ralph

    All the talk about McCain having only known her a short time. Obama has known people over 20 years and did not know them?

    August 29, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. lynn

    i just can't believe politics in america have come to this!

    August 29, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Antique and shiny design.

    McCain is the beast while Sara is the beauty.

    August 29, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. stacy adams the third

    McCain is trying his best. He deserves an "A" for effort.

    August 29, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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