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. Cori from Colorado

    McCain's mind is going, going, gone!

    November 25, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Dave in Houston

    Someone needs to let the old guy know that the election is over (you don't have to tell him that he lost), so he can stop lying.

    Sarah Palin's radical right-wing views are going to look even more bat-guano crazy after four years of President Obama's centrist governing.

    November 25, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Remy

    McCain words confirm more dissaters in the future as well!

    November 25, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. BobC

    Oh, and speaking of either senility or delusional: Fred in SC sounds like both. Love to Ethel, Fred!!

    November 25, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Pat W

    A bright future as what? Village Idiot? It was a bad choice McCain, denial does'nt suit you. Please just make her go away...please, please, please...Stop the madness!

    November 25, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. freespeech101

    Even though I am a Democrat to the heart, I must admit Sarah was the most entertaining candidate!!!! LOL LOL

    I'm still playing back those interviews!!!! LOL LOL

    November 25, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Bloomfield NJ


    November 25, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Charlie

    McCain cannot admit that Palin is a complete disaster. It would shatter what's left of his reputation, because he is the one who pick her to be his running mate. To CHRIS. You must be looking for something that is simply not there about Obama. He is an AMERICAN CITIZEN, period!!!!! Do you actually believe he could get the necessary security clearance, to be briefed on security issues, since he has been elected? Try to find something that is legitimate and present a VALID point.

    November 25, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Debbie

    Palin – McCain's revenge.

    November 25, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. TLC

    McCain, your party should have been prepared to handle any major issue that the american people wanted to know about. Palin was one of the major reasons you didnt get elected. The other was your own wayward thoughts. You claim you were close to Palin but during your debate with Obama, you stated twice, not once but twice, that Palin's son had autism. News Flash. He has down syndrome. Oh, and no socks.

    November 25, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    People talk about the Democrats and the left bashing Gov Palin? The last I saw it was her OWN people that were trashing her so the left didn't have to do it. I guess it's true that the GOP "eats its' own young". I like Sen McCain and always will, but he made a bad choice and now has to live with it. It seems that WE have to live with it too because Gov. Palin just won't go away.

    November 25, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. political junkie

    BJ – this 'junior senator with no experience' is a smart, Harvard & Columibia educated man. Palin (who I believe had a BA in Journalism) needs to GO BACK TO SCHOOL !!!
    Bush nearly flunked out of Yale with a 'C' average, Clinton is a
    Rhodes Scholar....see a pattern here?????????????????

    November 25, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Obama Disses Rachel Maddow

    According to Obama, Rachel Maddow, being gay, has no right to marry and as such is less than human--

    Afterall he did not come out against Prop 8 and was silent as gays marched for their rights–

    Too bad for Rachel--

    November 25, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. eddy


    November 25, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    Palin has a very bright future as a GOP leader??? I sure hope not! If she does, then this country is either in deep trouble or, more likely, the dems have a very long future in power!!

    Get Palin OFF the stage already. I don't ever want to see or hear her again!

    November 25, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. sandee in Portland

    I would have more respect for McCain if he would just admit he made a mistake. Palin's energizing the base (far, right wing evangelicals) wasn't enough, and if the republican party hasn't learned that they need to step up to the 21st century, they are a goner. Having been a republican my entire life, I have voted for them in the past because they were the fiscally responsible party, but no more. They are now the borrow and spend party. Their party is either made up of extremely wealthy and extremely uneducated people. The party has to learn to be centrist and not let the far right wing control it anymore. Their base is outdated for today's world along with more of their politicians. I will never vote for a republican again until they move more to the center.

    November 25, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Bryce B.

    Yeah man, she was totally a breath of fresh air. Intoxicating even... intoxicatingly asinine.

    November 25, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Al

    Does anyone else find McCain's comments about Palin to be a bit sexist/patronizing? He is proud of her? What is she his teenage daughter?

    November 25, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. High stakes gambler

    Next thing you know we'll be electing a freshman senator with no executive experience...


    November 25, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. agnes

    She did a great job of alienating Democrats and Independents and thankfully giving Obama the election. McCain was a fatally flawed candidate whose party forced him to pick a shrill, right-wing wingnut like Palin. The Republican party needs to stop being so anti-intellectual. Comparisons of Reagan and Palin being similar are an insult to Reagan.

    November 25, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Cristine C.

    Seriously, what is the man going to say? "She's a complete train wreck and I realize now what a colossal mistake I made"? The man is gracious, I will give him that...

    November 25, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Maggie

    I guess McCain didn't take his medication today. He's having delusions and hallucinations.

    November 25, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Brent

    I have to admit that I read every Palin story that I come across because I can't wait for the next gaffe. So I'm very interested but I think it would be more appropriate under the "Entertainment" headlines.

    November 25, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Jerome

    This is the height of stupidity.

    This woman is not a leader...she's a nut case.

    McCain's support of her attests to the reason why he never came close to being President.

    November 25, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Johny

    To all the people on this blog calling Mrs. Palin stupid and dumb, you may want to check your spelling and grammar before posting your comments. Otherwise you just look stupid yourself.

    November 25, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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