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. Brad

    Is this actually relavent news? The last three stories in the ticker had "Palin" in the headline. Next election for anything is in 2 years, can we worry about this crap then?

    November 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. frombelair

    you need a hot chocolate with a shot of hazelnut and some whiped cream senator.

    November 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Film Professor

    Unless she is reading from a teleprompter, Palin leaves the impression that she is uneducated and doesn't understand any of the major issues facing the world today.

    Someone like this just cannot talk on the same level as other world leaders.

    Republicans would do much better to look to someone like Bobby Jindal if they ever hope to expand the party beyond the core base of right wing yahoos.

    November 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Sue

    JGalt says "Sue, your comments sound like the real hate inciting moron". Please don't malign the great Ayn Rand and the iconic John Galt by using that screenname, and failing to check your grammar. Poor form, my friend. And thanks!! Olbermann rules. PS- congratulations to you and all the other McCain voters. You won on November 4th as well. You just don't know it yet.

    November 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Tom

    hiros – You ignorant racist sob!

    November 25, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. GOP=Epic Fail


    from one McLoser to another....

    November 25, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. carmen

    "A breath of fresh air" coming from a breath of hot air. She definitely "energized" the possible swing vote to run away from her and her party in digust and disbelief. The base was always there and would never in a million years voted otherwise or made a difference in the outcome. If McCain and Palin have any doubts about this, they should check the Nov. 4th results- THEY LOST.

    November 25, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. mike jones

    Sarah Palin is a breat of fresh air, and the people that think othewise are ones that are stuck in the "good ol boys" mode. She is honest, not afraid to go against her own party or anyone else when she thinks she is right, and she has more legislative experience than Obama. It's easy to sit back and make snide remarks about someone when you don't know what else to do. Over the next four years I'm sure she will become more knowledgable in foreign affairs, etc so she will be even more qualified to rpresent the Republican (conservative) Party.

    November 25, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Norm'

    Bush, May 2006 Arizona

    "Thanks to being the most productive workforce in America, and I might say, thanks to good policies, this economy is strong and it's getting stronger," Bush told supporters.

    Noting that 68 percent of Americans own their own homes, Bush said, "Home sales were the highest ever recently. That's exciting news for the country."

    November 25, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. carol

    "Obama is not eligible to hold office of President" that old story still out there, where do all these folks come from that want to believe that is true?
    They must be wishing and hoping like hell for that to be they not think if that were the case, wouldn't it be head line news everyday and why do we not hear about it????
    Time to wake up from your dream and come back to reality.....McCain will not be President and Obama will, simple as that!!

    November 25, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Bubba

    He also thinks the fundamentals of the economy are sound and the Earth is six thousand years old. She energized his base all right – they showed up at Party Rallies with their hoods on, burning crosses and yelling racist threats. The GOP will never recover from what future generations may call the Palin Revelation.

    November 25, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Jim Jones

    I'm curious how McCain thinks most Americans viewed Palin as a "breath of fresh air." I found her stagnating, and the public opinion polls suggest I was not alone, not by a long shot.

    I'm also still curious how McCain considers himself the better when it comes to national security issues. Last time I read the news, most experts agreed with Obama's stances, and even the Bush administration is finally starting to lean that way, with a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, actually having low-level talks with Iran, etc.

    As for the future of the GOP, go ahead and let Palin lead. What better party for her to head than the one that is fading into obscurity, just like she eventually will?

    November 25, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Craeg fr Canada

    People might consider that the distain people have for Palin is pretty well founded. The verdict on the Bush asmin. and the policies that the Republicans supported created a crisis on many levels in the US. People are angry that someone even more Bushy was presented as a potential leader of your great country, and they are angry that this highly unimformed person allowed herself to be in such a position. The anger toward Palin is rational. The anger toward Obama is based on false information, fear, racism and something else abour human nature that is difficult to explain.

    November 25, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. PG

    Is McCain still off his meds?

    November 25, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Ken

    Well, there's a reason he and the [R]'s lost. Your choice; either: (1) she obviously is a horrible choice as a GOP leader, and McCain's word just highlite his continuing disconnect from reality that started when he veered right and kssed G. Bush's rump to gain the [R] nomination; OR (2) her obvious intellectual shortfalls continue to be irrelevant to the [R] true-believers who let her be their fearless leader, and thereby lock-in their irrelevancy to America's near-term future.

    November 25, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Patrick

    For Mike Snyder – a soldier or sailor's heroism in war is not related to political opinions of the war. So whatever John McCain did in Vietnam (and yes, it absolutely was heroic) should not be tainted, regardless of what you think of the war. He fought for the country, his fellow military men, and for American honor. Show him some respect – at least for that.

    And when I read some of the posts about Sarah Palin, calling into question her basic intellect, I'd sure like to see them written in a way that indicates the writer has some intellect. She's clearly leagues ahead of most of you emotional liberals out there.

    November 25, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Jason

    Keith Oberman a liberal hater? Why is it that if a Repub shouts their oppinion they are "strong" and "forceful" and "sounding of authority" and if in the Repub view a Dem does the same thing they are a
    "Hater"? Ms. Palin has one huge mark against her – she really isn't very bright and she mocks those who are. We have just seen the result of 8 years of too dumb to do the job. We can't afford that ever again.

    November 25, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Greed is not good

    I hope she will spell doom for the GOP if so.

    November 25, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Adriana

    This is the month of November, 2008! Give me a break - and I mean A BREAK FROM SARA PALIN! Many of us could care less what McCain's opinion is of her! And the majority of us are NOT focused on 2012!! The Republicans have tanked it for this year! Maybe John and Cindy McCain could "migrate" to Russia (via. Sara Palin's house)!! They could ride a Canadian Goose from Canada right to Sara Palin's front door! Cheap transportation that would be, and definitely "a breath of fresh air!

    November 25, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Jason

    I see that the "Straight Talk Express" still has no idea where its going.

    November 25, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. William Christensen

    It takes more than "energy" to be a leader. It takes sound judgement and intellegence. Two qualities both Sarah Palin and George Bush lack.

    November 25, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Film Professor

    Hey Washington Observer,

    You forgot to mention that Rick Davis, McCain's Campaign Manager, received more lobbying money from Fannie Mae than all of the Democrats you mentioned combined (including twice as much as Obama received)

    November 25, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Erik from Real PA

    Just more evidence of how out-of-touch old man McCain is, and how fortunate we are that he is not to become our President. The woman is a loon.

    November 25, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. j williamson

    MCCain should have been more concerned with the Republican moderates – a good many of whom stayed home and cost him the election.

    November 25, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Charles

    If the Republican Party banks on Palin they are truly bankrupt and delusional. The US needs substance and leadership–not fluff and buff. That's why they chose Obama-Biden over McCain-Palin. Once again the Republicans just don't get. And they're revving up the very same way for 2012. Duh...

    November 25, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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