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. Andrea

    Wowwwww... read Lauren's comment. This is what scares me about right-wingers. It is the 'I'm not racist' in the same breath as 'blacks and their welfare checks'. I understand that the extremes of each party are just that– extreme viewpoints. I'm sure moderates from the right and left could have an intelligent discussion if we could get rid of some of the extreme comments. don't think that's going to happen in this forum though!!!

    November 25, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Ann

    Sarah Palin for entertainment purpses only!!

    November 25, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Tucker B.

    I believe that Sarah Palin could have a good future in the GOP, but I don't think she would be a good presidential candidate in 2012. Please visit my unbiased political blog at

    November 25, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Drumble

    Arlene, you're right.

    I'm what you would call a liberal-minded person, and I am happy that Obama is going to the White House, but I don't think we should be casting either McCain or Palin as pantomime villains, they are simply politicians with different ideals than me, and now that the race is over, I have no animosity towards McCain for running, just relief that he didn't win. Let's not forget that McCain's concession speech was very gracious and that he silenced his own supporters who were trying to be derisive. I think that the term Hater is banded about way too much, from both sides, to mark the other, and it's not productive.

    November 25, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Stu-Florida

    He must still have that s**t he got in Nam. One has to be stoned to have thoughts about Palin, as these!

    I don't understand why he doesn't realize and admit she cost him BIG in this last election.
    I'm soooo glad we chose OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. What A Night

    Palin is America's worst hangover, that just won't go AWAY.

    November 25, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I can't believe he's still defending her after all the stupid comments she's made during the race. We have spoken and decided who isthe better pick for our next president and it wasn't McCain or this IDIOT of palin. They both need to go away!

    November 25, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Nick the Photographer

    My god, won't this woman go away? CNN, I am boycotting you until you can kick this Palin habit. I know it's harsh but I think it's the tough love you need. STOP DOING STORIES ABOUT HER WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH MORE "NEWS" YOU COULD BE COVERING! Seriously, I know this will sit in moderation, but you guy's should be ashamed! 24hrs of news and this is what you run? No wonder newspaper readership is down... the American people are idiots consuming idiotic news!

    November 25, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |

    Okay now I see why he lost. He just doomed whatever future he had!!!

    November 25, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. Derrick

    Hahaha, please let Sarah Palin be a future leader of the GOP!!!

    If she is all they have to offer, the Democrats are SURE to win again in 2012, no questions asked. Not to mention, more gains in the House and Senate for the Democrats too in 2012!!!

    Hey GOP leaders, please keep Sarah Palin as a presidential hopeful!!!!!!!!


    November 25, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Drumble

    I think that L made a good point about intolerance. The race is over, let's not spread the hate around.

    November 25, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Ellen M. Wolfe

    CNN, please listen to me. I don`t ever watch Fox news. So far you are my home page for news, but if you don`t let the Palin stories die a natural death I am going to ask my geek to change that and pick a different news source. The election is over, they lost, and I got my fill of the nasty Republican campaigning. Enough already.

    November 25, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Barry

    I'd much rather have her than Hussein Frobama.

    November 25, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Chuck

    What you are reading in these comments are one of the true differences in the two parties. The viciousness and arrogance of the left wing elite has no limits. Get over yourself. You won. Now you have to govern. It will be very interesting. Obviously the Obama supporters are not hearing his call for a united America. Sarah Palin has a future. If you people screw up it may be a bright one.

    November 25, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Awake in Seattle

    Take heed, Sarah Palin is a mother, a wife, a daughter, sister and most of all a Governor, and I would not say anything bad about her. However the thought of her being a heartbeat away from the presidency was a NIGHTMARE in itself, she was just not ready. Sarah a bit of advice, EDUCATION is THE KEY!

    November 25, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. Richard

    "Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air."

    Yes. Fresh HOT air.

    November 25, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Andrew M

    For the love of baby Jesus, someone please tag Palin and release her back into the wild Alaska. She is a complete disgrace to politics and the epitome of stupidity, hypocracy and ignorance. McCain will never admit that she played a large role in his loss, but everyone (who is not living in denial) knows it. Not that he would have won win anyone else anyway.

    November 25, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Pollywog

    ENOUGH!!! Please focus on tomorrow, not yesterday. We CAN unite to get things done. LET'S GET BUSY!!

    November 25, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. Rick

    Why does anyone care what another nitwit like this has to say. Somewhere in Texas, a village has been missing their idiot for 8 years. At least Wasilla got their's back.

    November 25, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. MrPragmatic

    If Palin represnts a GOP shining star, then the GOP is in much worse shape than any of us thought.

    November 25, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. NAAWP

    Palin's equally as capable as Bobama.

    November 25, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. David

    After Sarah's job as Governor is up...she would be a great spokesperson/ lobbyist for the Turkey Industry.....Off with their heads...

    November 25, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  23. Maurice-canadian thought.

    Is this really the best the GOP have to offer? This woman is another 'dimwit' , just like the lameduck GWB?

    The equivalent of 'dimwit' is 'energizing factor'.

    November 25, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. MK

    CRAZY old man who learned NOTHING from his loss. He lost my vote the second he announced her, I actually laughed out loud when I saw the announcement. He is insane if he thinks she is the future of the GOP unless he thinks the future of the GOP is bleak.

    November 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Randy

    Nobody cares about Mccain or Palin anymore they need to go away far far away

    November 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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