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. Joe from Georgia

    How can the woman run for national office again with all this bad press?........(pause)........ Hey, way to go! The TV show, Jeopardy, should sponsor a "Politicians Week". Sarah and John and Joe and Barack should be the first guests. The results will be predictable but interesting. The first clue should be to name the three branches of the federal government. The second, is Africa a nation or a continent?

    November 12, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. joeb

    And that, sir, is why you lost the election!

    November 12, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Gloria - Minnesota

    Oh, and another thing: I notice that whenever Sarah Palin is being interviewed, when the camera shifts to the interviewer, they all seem to have the same perplexed, awestruck look on their faces that this woman could have even been considered for such a high office, let alone a candidate! Whether it is Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson, Greta Van Susteran (I saw outtakes from that interview last night), Matt Lauer, etc., their appearances are similar! I give them credit for remaining as professional and objective as they do.

    Have fun with your interview with Sarah Palin today, Wolf!! Good luck!

    November 12, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Irma in North Carolina

    I dont think we need her here with the hate rallys she put on and endangered Obamas life. It was a scary thought when she was running that she could be president of the usa, but it was a task from god to not let this happen. You just ought go to the anchorage daily news and you can see what they think of her up there, I dont see how she even became governor of that state. It cracks me up that she thought the vp gave a concession speech, thank god the mccain did not let her do this, it would of been a hate speech. If she gets anywhere near the republican ticket in 20012 i will become and independent. The republican party has become a disastor and they are now still going to try and work against Obama on every thing.

    November 12, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Bayo

    2012 is a long way away. Palin would need to learn a lot between now and then. First, she needs to stay out of the media for a while to school herself in national and international politics. Improve her public speaking and empty her closet of skeletons....
    Who knows...she just might have a chance.

    November 12, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Ed

    If she's going to play a big role in the republican party, the party is truly dead. The repubs want someone that's ignorant, misleads the American people, has little knowledge and has extremely religious views as their idol and savior? How pathetic a party. I'm glad the democrats are in control.

    November 12, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Fran

    John, I think you are a little confused about Sarah Palin. She needs to go back to school to learn a few things, mainly how to answer a few questions, and stop talking about nothing.........She would confuse a duck......

    November 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. JIM...TX

    Jindal besides others(not Palin) would be a wise pick for the Republicans to hitch their wagon to. However with their history of EXCLUSION of minorities and others not far far right that probably won't happen.

    November 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Ron

    Sarah Palin is like a train wreck. It's an ugly spectacle but people can't stop watching.

    November 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. patricia from germany

    Sarah Palin was used and abused buy the GOP. I'm glad that John McCain isn't throwing her under the bus like some of his advisors. She may not have been competent to be VP but she is still a human being. Let's get civil people.

    November 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Dexter Skagway

    Sarah Palin, like Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith, is a truly modern celebrity, free of all achievement and talent, wildly egotistical, and of no benefit to society whatsoever. Maybe she should be Paris Hilton's new BFF and do that "two stupid women" show with her. Palin can blurt out unintentionally hilarious moronic comments with the best of them!

    November 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Lyle

    One of the saddest results of this election is that, once again, women were “kept in their place”. The difference this time around is that women did it to themselves. Women voters allowed Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin to be attacked because of their gender. Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were dismissed as nothing more than women, and reminded that they should not attempt to get above their station.

    Hillary Clinton should, of course, have been the Democratic nominee. With more accomplishments and qualifications for office than Mr. Obama, the only thing which prevented her from winning the nomination was her gender. Sarah Palin, a strong, self-made woman with a huge list of achievements, was dismissed by women overwhelmingly as nothing more than a beauty queen.

    Women are the real losers in this election. Conservative, Liberal or Moderate, all women and all of America would have benefited from having a woman in the White House.

    November 12, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Thomas Dolby

    I am hoping to the Pope, and praying that Palin runs again. If this is the best that the Republicans have to offer, then it will be a long time before there is a Republican in the White House

    Palin-Keyes 2012!!

    November 12, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. J. Sully, New York

    Puleeez Sarah stay in Alaska with your kids!!! Jeesh. Enough is enough. What a poser!!!

    November 12, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. SD,Michigan

    She's got no shot fighting the GOP heavyweights in the pursuit of the Presidential nomination. It's NOT gonna be her. And there'll be no other fool to pick her as VP either. Which I think it's great. I want her gone TODAY. I've had so much of her, now I skip the channel when I hear that voice on TV. Enough. GOP has lots of viable candidates to choose from and I hope they'll treat this "reorganizing" in a serious manner.

    November 12, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Judy

    Sarah was the perfect pick for the Republican ticket. They had no intention or desire to win this election and inherit the mess that Bush created. With Sarah being delusional and egotistical (G-d forgive me but its true), they knew she would take the ball and run with it, making it appear that they were trying to win. If they really wanted to win this Presidency, they could have selected a competent woman of color who would have covered all the bases and would have afforded the Republican ticket a chance to win. IMHO, in four years when the Republicans will want to win after Obama makes a dent in the mess he inherited, Palin will not have any part in the GOP lineup.

    November 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. KMAN

    GARY ... you are illiterate ... which area of Alaska are you from?

    November 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    To say anything else would be admitting he had no control of his campaign, which he didn't.

    Sarah Palin is nothing but a younger version of the same lying, divisive, hate mongering GOP.

    November 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Marianne Smith

    Palin is incompetent. Would you rather have a hate mongering Paris Hilton run this country. If yes, elect Sarah Palin.

    November 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. Ralph

    I can't believe 77% of Republicans and 40% of Americans support a candidacy of Palin. That's scary how that many people can't see through her. Maybe a lot are Dems hoping for another sweep.

    I think the Republican Party would be smart to hang its hat on Bobby Jindal, not Palin. He is a strong leader who would give Obama a run for his money.

    November 12, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. Todd

    Is Palin's 15 minutes of fame almost over? She lost in a landslide. It is doubtful that she'll win a second term as Governor, and it will be virtually impossible for her to win her party's nomination in 2012.

    Please report some real news and let this silliness go already.

    November 12, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. That Other Jerry

    I am amazed at how the very mention of Sarah Palin seems to bring out some folks' inner playground bully. The childishness of the remarks on here take me back to at least third grade. McCain's mistake was in not grooming her for about six months before making his choice public. She probably wasn't ready for the job, but that's not the same thing as being not capable. It would be fun to see her take Stevens' Senate seat and spend the next eight years becoming a force to be reckoned with in Washington. Then run like mad in '16 and totally confound the idiots who love to hate her.

    November 12, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Truth

    Typical conservative. Can't admit a mistake when he makes one. Just ignores it and hope it goes away.

    November 12, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. BECKY

    I wonder who the real John McCain is...Is he is the one in 2000 who proclaimed that the Sarah Palins of the world agents of intolerance or is he this 2008 opportunistic gambler who bent over in front of those same folks?

    Either way as a Dem I hope they put all their eggs in the Sarah Palin basket because we will have a Democratic dynasty if they keep thinking this is the 1970's, 80's or even 90's....We will fight them back this time and we will win. THE CULTURE WAR WILL BE OVER.

    November 12, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. LOL


    November 12, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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