November 12th, 2008
09:11 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain: Palin will play a 'big role' in the future


Watch McCain on Jay Leno Tuesday night.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Tuesday he "couldn't be happier" with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, despite polls suggesting she was a drag on the Republican ticket.

In his first television interview since the election, the Arizona senator said he was proud to have had Palin as his presidential running mate and grateful that she agreed to run.

"She inspired people. She still does. And look, I'm - I couldn't be happier with Sarah Palin. And she's going back to be a great governor, and I think she will play a big role in the future of this country," he told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released the weekend before the election indicated that Palin's unfavorable ratings had doubled since McCain picked her, and 57 percent of Americans believed she didn't have the personal qualities a president needed.

As for the future, the poll indicated that only four in 10 voters would support Palin if she chooses to run for president in 2012. Among Republicans, however, 77 percent said they would support a Palin candidacy in four years.

McCain said Tuesday night that his party "has a lot of work to do," and he predicted that new leaders like Palin would help carry the party into the future.

"I really believe that Sarah Palin is amongst some, like Tim Pawlenty and Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, there's a group of young Republican governors and - mainly governors, but also some in the Senate - that I think are the next generation of leadership of our party," he said.

Asked if he'd be up for another presidential run, the 72-year-old senator seemed doubtful.

"I wouldn't think so, my friend," he said. "It's been a great experience, and, you know, we're going to have another generation of leaders come along, and I'll hope that I can continue to contribute."

This was McCain's 14th appearance on "The Tonight Show." The former Navy aviator's appearance was scheduled to coincide with Veterans Day.

Today Alaska Governor Palin sits down for a one on one interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. The interview will appear on the Situation Room starting at 4pm ET. Palin will also appear tonight on Larry King Live at 9 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. KLEE

    unqualified – no matter what "persona" she chooses to use today – her views are too narrow to take on the diversity of this country – you must not be exclusive you must be inclusive.

    November 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Dan

    Gary, I would say spell check, but I'm afraid that isn't enough! Palin would look like a good pick to you.

    November 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Film Professor

    Picking Palin was the single dumbest political move I have seen since Bush 41 picked Dan Quayle. McCain is an honorable man who let himself be surrounded this year by some really dumb political hacks, who were listening way too much to people like Limbaugh and Hannity.

    Palin is an ambitious woman who speaks only in jingoistic cliches, and doesn't even do that in ways that make her sound coherent. That McCain picked her spoke to his diminshed judgment, and the Republicans will surely go down in even bigger flames in 2012 if they choose her as the candidate to challenge Obama.

    November 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Vern

    Governor Palin has about as much chance of getting elected President in 2012 as Dan Quayle.

    November 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Pat F

    For intelligent analysis of this issue (and not just the dumb sexist personal attacks on this blog), see the Wall St. Journal article from Saturday entitled "The Perils of Populist Chic".

    Palin was the latest (and hopefully the last) gasp of the anti-intellectual movement in conservative politics.

    November 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Palin/Hilton

    I think Palin has a good shot at the presidency in 2012. All she needs to do now is get Paris Hilton as her running mate, and WATCH OUT DEMOCRATS hahaha

    November 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. FN Wright

    To all Palin supporters:
    What is it about her that you think is Presidential? Is it the childish name-calling, finger-pointing and blaming of others, or the total and complete lack of dignity? This is what I'm reading from those who like her - she calls people names and takes no personal responsibility for anything. NOT leadership qualities! Even Reagan, if you want to go there, managed to appear dignified while he was calling people out.

    THIS is why the Republican party has fallen so low - it has become the incarnation of nastiness, divisiveness and spite. NOT what made America great in the first place, NOT what America needs right now and NOT what America should ever become in the future.

    November 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. BOB

    If Obama does good job in these four year... which am sure he will... there is no way a republican can think of precidency in 2012

    November 12, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Jeff from Atlanta

    Obama won. Not through any of my help, but let's see what he does as president. I think it's notable that his ever so brief history gives a clearer indication of what he is going to do rather than the multitude of promises he won't keep, as it has already started.

    I am willing to give him a chance, frankly because I have no other choice. Hopefully he succeeds and I will have to admit he was a good choice. I just hope he doesn't go the Clinton route and look good because he sacrificed the country's future with his great economy stoked by the Fannie Mae debacle that greatly increased housing and loans and the economy knowing it would blow up in our faces after he left office. But hey, he looked good and that's all that mattered to him.

    Does sound a lot like Obama.

    November 12, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Kris

    sarah palin is horrifying. Stop insulting our intelligence by pretending that she is leader material. This woman as president would be a huge step backward. Lets keep this woman where she belongs...up in Alaska...those poor Alaskans

    November 12, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Larry

    I hope she is a big part of the future GOP(greedy old party) that will insure the democrats more victories in the future

    November 12, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Pack It Up

    goD help us if she does. Few choices could be worse or more divisive for America or the world. mCcain is an idiot for picking her and should be condemned for putting her in the spotlight and exposing America to the threat of her having more power than she already does. Luckily, America won't bite her hook or the corruption that defines Alaskan politics, so she is a safe bet as an opponent to Obama in '12. Betweenher, Young and Stevens as well as likely voter fraud (lower turnout than in '04????, some precincts reporting over 100% turnout) Alaskans are pathetic.

    November 12, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I'd love to see Sarah Palin run for senator. This way, John McCain can get all Mavericky and become her opposition!

    I wonder which one Joe the Plumber will support?

    November 12, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Jack Carlson

    Palin for Pres in 2012, Palwenty for Vice Pres and Jindahl for Attorney General.
    We'll miss Bush by 2012.
    Former Dem for 30 yrs, scary they are now and gone we are.
    Jack Carlson
    Seatlle WA

    November 12, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. CR

    Why are we even talking about McCain's predictions for Palin? He's a loser; she's a loser. End of story. Find something else to write about.

    November 12, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. facts are facts

    You can say what you want but anyone dismissing science by thinking and supporting the ridiculous belief the world is only 6,000 years old has some serious mental deficiencies.

    November 12, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. KJL

    Poor John is in love. What do you want to bet the McCain marriage is history?

    November 12, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Sanity has been restored

    Americans are into enquirer type stories, stupid reality shows and beauty queens. Doesn't surprise me that the media is panting after her like a dog in heat. After the way she trashed the press, I wouldn't give her the time of day or at best, would be charging her if she wants to do an interview. Good luck Alaska..

    November 12, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Fritz

    It will be a sad day for our country if Sarah Palin plays a big role in the future of our country. This would be scary. Except for the second amendment, I don't think she fully understands the constitution and the rights and the people that it serves to protect.

    Listening to her followers and supporters and the mind-set that she attracts and panders to, I can't help but think of the charismatic agitator who replaced commonsense intellect with populist rhetoric and how quickly he rose within the ranks and emerged as a leader of his party, and sadly, of his country. Hitler too used fear and convinced "real [pure] Germans" that they needed protection from from those who are different. Just listening to Palin speak about protecting the "real Americans" –you know the Plumber Joes and Builder Titos–from the "elites" who want to turn them into socialists and communists sends a cold chill of the past up and down my spine.

    November 12, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Shaun

    Folks, the media didn't make Palin look like a fool. She did that all by herself.

    November 12, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. Lucy Windy Chicago, IL

    If he doesn't he should. But after all he picked her so what does it say about his judgement. It would foolish to say now that he regrets it.

    I wish the media would quit giving her air time. Sarah, if your reading please quit talking. We have had enough!

    November 12, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Sylvia

    You made a whopping mistake Senator McCain, you know it – but it would make your judgment questionable if you admitted it.

    November 12, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Woman Against Palin

    Why is this woman still in the news? She can't even speak in a complete, coherent sentence. If she runs, Obama will beat her even more than he did McCain.

    November 12, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. outraged

    I am outraged with all the Palin bashing. If people will just open their minds and watch her on all the interviews that she has been doing, rather than focusing on one bad interview that was looped and relooped. Many of you just might come to like her. Oh, maybe that is what is happening, and you do not like that idea because you enjoy dividing the country and bullying others. Perhaps, you are beginning to see that she is inteligent and capable of running for President. After all, Obama was only a US Senator for 2 years before running for president. He had many, many gaffs and bad interviews and debates. He also had the media protecting him and helping him get elected. The double standard and the unfair, bias, partisan attacks on Sarah Palin are disgusting.

    November 12, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. NO PALIN

    MEDIA - Get this woman off the airwaves. Don't you get that we are not interested in her? Geez.

    November 12, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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