November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain says Palin has a 'very bright future' as a GOP leader

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain confirmed Tuesday he’s planning to run for a fifth Senate term in 2010."](CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain denied Tuesday that political considerations - a desire to appeal to Clinton supporters - played a role in his selection of running mate Sarah Palin, calling her “an energizing factor” and telling reporters the Alaska governor has a “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”

"She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her,” he said at a press conference in Phoenix, his first since losing to Barack Obama three weeks ago. “It's one of the great pleasures I've had to get to know her and her family, and I think she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.

"....I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me," he added. "Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air."

Taking a look back at the presidential contest, he said his campaign was dealt a fatal blow when public focus shifted from foreign policy to the faltering economy. “The American people - and I respect that decision, I don’t in any way criticize it – [decided] that the economy was of vital importance. And it is,” he said.

He also told reporters: “We worked hard, and we inspired a lot of people, Sarah Palin and I. I think we look back with pride."

The Arizona senator said that he’s planning to run for re-election in two years, and that an official announcement would come “at an appropriate time.” He praised the president-elect for his cabinet picks so far, especially his reported selection of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano – long mentioned as a likely 2010 Senate rival - as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Multiple sources have told CNN that Napolitano is Obama’s top choice for that post.

"I have already talked with her, and look forward to moving her nomination as quickly as possible through the United States Senate," said McCain. He said he is also planning trips in the near future to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even with his stiffest competition is reportedly taking a pass, McCain’s home state has been trending blue - he beat Barack Obama by just 9 points - and the four-term senator told reporters Tuesday he’s expecting a “tough race.”

Filed under: Arizona • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. jeanne


    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Jim D

    So, it's obvious McCain remains as delusional now as he was during the campaign.

    Palin is a stone cold idiot – Gingrich and Co will never let her lead anything significant on the Republican side.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Alex

    McCain should face up to the fact that he lost on the foreign policy front too. Even without a financial crisis in the works, his candidacy offered little other than irrational hawkishness and the fact that he's not Barack Obama, neither of which did anything to secure independent voters for him.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Janice Illinois

    Mr. McCain is a great man but he is so wrong about Mrs. Palin being the future of the GOP. She needs more experience for the first thing, but she seems to be one of those people that people love to hate. If she's not careful right now she will be another Tanya Harding, her only hope is to go back to Alaska, work hard for her state and family, do good things and later make a comeback.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Jeff

    What is he supposed to say? She was his VP choice. I guess he can't very well admit the woman is a ding-dong without admitting his bad judgment in chosing her to begin with.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Leah from FL

    Yes Sarah – run! please!! all of us dem's would love to see another election with you at the top. you bet'cha

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Its over

    W.T.F. the election is over...lets concentrate on solving our current problems with the COUNTRY FIRST then talk about the possibilities of election 4 years from now.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. My two cents

    Fred in SC

    If that were true, you can bet the RNC would have filed a challenge. The internet rumors you're listening to are what's shady, Dude.

    November 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. CanIcallyouJoe

    “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”

    Now this is a spin on "getting my dry-cleaning", "helping me put on my light jacket" and "reminding me where I left things" I have never heard before.

    November 25, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Ray Anderson

    We would love to have Palin run for president in 2012, or any other national office. It would be fantastic to have her up against Democrats. It certainly would make any Democratic candidate a better choice, including independent Mickey Mouse.

    I did not think the Republicans could out-do themselves after Bush and Cheney and Rumsfield. But they have with Palin, who actually is less intelligent than any of them. Of course do not under-estimate the power of her appeal to Joe Six-Pack, Joe the Plumber and Joe the Turkey.....

    November 25, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Andrea

    here's the thing– just because you like someone and they seem like they would be fun to talk to, and they seem like they would be great to have a beer with, doesn't mean you have to elect them president! Isn't Palin kind of the female equivalent of George W. Bush? Likable, gregarious, charming....but not particularly intelligent, intellectual, or curious about the world? We've had enough of the frat boy mentality for the last 8 years, and it just wasn't successful for the country. I like the fact that the incoming president is well-educated, well-read, well-travelled, etc. How sad that somehow being intellectual is spun to be a negative. Let's have a nerd instead of a cowboy for awhile 🙂

    November 25, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Independent

    I suppose the phrase "respect for those you disagree with" means nothing to most people commenting on CNN articles.

    November 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Karen -San Antonio

    Leave John and Sarah alone.. We did what we came to do. Let's get on with the rest!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Dinah

    To JGalt

    I concur with Sue. She is right on the money about Sarah Palin. John McCain put politics first country second. It was very apparent for all to see. Quit spending so much time listening to Ann, Rush and Bill. BTW it is spelled Olbermann.

    November 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Jon

    Washington Observer, what's the point of your post? Your argument is about a month too late, I'm afraid. And I'll watch for what "comes around," thanks for the solid advice.

    November 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Sheri

    Sara Palin is an airbrain.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Elizabeth Renant

    Sure, "most Americans" viewed her as a breath of fresh air. That's why they voted for someone else.

    And that's why you lost – because you're either stupid or a liar or both – and still trying to pretend that up is down and down is up, and insulting our collective intelligence as you do so.

    Goodbye, McCain. Don't the the door hit you on the way out.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    I love you libs. You make no specific statements. She lied, she is a hate monger, she is illiterate, dumb or has no values. Back that up. If one of you has a brain then back up your statement with facts. It will be interesting to how many of you would post lies about her. oops I forgot you are just spineless liberal zealots. none of you would respond if i had not called you a name. I know this b/c I have asked just that many times and none of you ever respond. All you know is that she ran against Obama and that makes her evil.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Speider

    Aside from the negative feelings and blunders of Palin, what does she truly bring to the party? Most compliment her on her conservative views but views and plans and the ability to lead are much different things.

    People loved her "folksy-ness" but that is who she is as a person. People thought her approach to "family values" were her strength. People thought she was a "maverick" to insider politics. As it turns out, however, more people though those were her weak points and flawed in the light of reality.

    The choice of Palin was one of extreme foolishness and if the insider rumors are true, done to thumb a nose at RNC control. I can not believe that the RNC would be foolish enough to think that Palin would outshine Romney or Huckabee or dozens of governors who await their turn in 2012. If Palin truly is pushed as THE candidate and finds her way to the nomination, I will shake my head in disbelief for Americans as functional members in a global community.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |

    That says a lot about the GOP- sad.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Ruby

    the number of times McCain mentioned Palin was a brilliant individual is zero.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. gl, Pittsburgh

    She did a great job of energizing our base and that it. The republicans just don't understand you need more then the base to win. She is a divider and most Americans hate her for that especailly Afraid American becasue she reminder of what Afraid Americans been through.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Tulsa

    I'm really tired of the Republican party pushing these ultra right wing religious zealots as "mainstream" America.
    If you don't understand that creationism is not science, if you think man walked the earth with dinosaurs, if you don't think man has a hand in global climate change...... well, get into religion but stay the heck out of education or politics!
    John, I'm ashamed of you. I thought you really did put your country first.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. J.D.

    "Breath of fresh air" he says. Yeah, fresh air-head that is.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Joe in Austin

    Politics is about more than the base. McCain lost because he was a one-issue candidate, and the issue changed. Worse, a one-issue candidate SHOULD lose. Even worse, he wasn't really qualified on that one issue.

    Sarah's best hope is not to run for office, but to get some "real responsibility", as she likes to say when putting down the work of others, on issues that she cares about. Learn something and contribute something. She would be much more viable in 2016 or 2020 or even 2024 than 2012. To consider 2012 only proves she is a "rock star" trying to capitalize on her celebrity – the same criticism she leveled at Obama.

    But then, she didn't run her campaign on integrity.

    November 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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