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How McCain Chose Palin:

The Washington Post has an interesting story on how McCain settled on the Palin pick. According to this story, she was on the short-short list ever since McCain first met with her in February, and (contrary to some speculation) she was fully vetted.

UPDATE: Byron York reports on the McCain campaigns fuller explanation of their process.

Dave!:
While it may be comforting to some that she was vetted, I'm still disturbed that *McCain* only met her once--a charge the camp is not disputing.

I interview people I'm hiring to run our *computer systems* at least twice (and that doesn't include having them meet other people in the office). How many times were the poster here interviewed for a teaching position? Is a professorship more important than the vice president???

I don't care how good his "gut" is--only meeting once with the person you are going to put a heartbeat away from the presidency is irresponsible in my view.
8.31.2008 10:30am
JosephSlater (mail):
What Dave! said.
8.31.2008 11:46am
Angus:
I like how McCain in his introduction said "when you get to know her like I do" you'll love her. Made it sound like they'd been best friends for years, when in fact he had met her only twice, with the 2nd meeting coming only the day before.
8.31.2008 12:31pm
Jiffy:
The Post story relies exclusively on McCain aides who have an interest in making it look like it was not an impulsive pick. In contrast, according to the Anchorage Daily News, if there was vetting going on, some key Republicans in Alaska were unaware of it.


The early morning news of McCain's pick sent jaws dropping throughout Alaska, with friends waking up friends with "Oh my God, have you heard?" phone calls.

State House Speaker John Harris, a Republican from Valdez, was astonished at the news. He didn't want to get into the issue of her qualifications.

"She's old enough," Harris said. "She's a U.S. citizen."

Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican political leader who has clashed with Palin in the past, was shocked when she heard the news Friday morning with her husband, Walt.

"I said to Walt, 'This can't be happening, because his advance team didn't come to Alaska to check her out," Phillips said.

Phillips has been active in the Ted Stevens re-election steering committee and remains in close touch with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other party leaders, and she said nobody had heard anything about McCain's people doing research on his prospective running mate.

"We're not a very big state. People I talk to would have heard something."


8.31.2008 12:51pm
Dave N (mail):
Jiffy,

If you have read any of the other articles (I would link them but I actually don't have time right now to do so) I have seen over the past few days, or did a modicum of research (Google is, indeed, your friend), it is quite apparent that Governor Palin has a strained relationship with the Alaska GOP.

Governor Palin is on the particular outs with her state's congressional delegation.
8.31.2008 1:06pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

if there was vetting going on, some key Republicans in Alaska were unaware of it.


Wow. A campaign that manages to maintain OPSEC.

I almost hate to link myself --- only almost --- but see my McCain and OODA piece at American Thinker. I think it would be foolish to assume this was impulsive.
8.31.2008 1:06pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
There's a clear misunderstanding here. Because CNN--and apparently, some of the commenters here--were not pulled into the decision loop, the decision must have been 'precipitous', 'dangerous', 'haphazard'.

"I didn't see it coming" = "OMG! The fix is in!"
8.31.2008 1:29pm
Angus:
My impression that vetting was also supposed to include interviews with those who had worked with a candidate in the past.
8.31.2008 1:37pm
smitty1e:
Charlie:
The 'desperation pick' narrative is as stillborn as the 'faked pregnancy' narrative, and about as fruitful as the rest of the 'change we can believe in' narrative that picked an old DC warhorse for VP.
Some talk; others deliver.
8.31.2008 1:50pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Well, if vetting doesn't include research on political opponents, don't be shocked when the bad stuff comes out.
8.31.2008 2:09pm
J Richardson:
Glenn Reynolds had one of his Insta-Polls on who McCain should pick as VP. He did it on August 15th. The winner by over 500 votes out of 12,000 cast...Sarah Palin. Romney, Lieberman, and Fred Thompson all trailed her in the poll.



It looks like some of us out there had heard of Sarah Palin AND liked her.
8.31.2008 2:20pm
J Richardson:
Since the hot links don't look like they are appearing, here is a cold link to the Insta-Poll of 8-15:

http://www.pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/archives2/022925.php
8.31.2008 2:22pm
David Warner:
"Phillips has been active in the Ted Stevens re-election steering committee and remains in close touch with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other party leaders, and she said nobody had heard anything about McCain's people doing research on his prospective running mate."

You mean the Murkowski machine whose butt she whipped wasn't consulted about whose butt she should whip next? The horror!

"My impression that vetting was also supposed to include interviews with those who had worked with a candidate in the past."

I'm sure the Obama team interviewed, say, McCain and Lieberman re: Biden...
8.31.2008 2:35pm
JosephSlater (mail):
So no denial of the fact that McCain met this person ONCE before picking her. That's just astonishing.

Re desperation, Shannon Coffin of NRO online called the pick "a bit desperate."

Of course the hard-right will go for her. The mistake is thinking she's going to get the dwindingling number of disaffected Hillary voters.
8.31.2008 2:42pm
ResIpsaLoquitur (mail):
People, people, people...

There was an EXTREME surprise element to McCain's pick. Of course they met only twice. If Palin repeatedly flew to the lower 48, or McCain repeatedly flew to Alaska, the media would have known well before last week that she was the pick.

The real question is: how much time did McCain spend talking to Palin on the phone? "Meeting" is irrelevant.
8.31.2008 3:51pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
JosephSlater - I don't care for the opinion of an Obama supporter on McCain's VP pick.
8.31.2008 3:52pm
Jiffy:
Dave N,

I understand that Palin doesn't seem to get along with many members of her own party in Alaska. What does that have to do with my comment, which was directed at whether she'd been vetted in Alaska?
8.31.2008 4:18pm
Dave N (mail):
Jiffy,

Since both of the people quoted in your snippet were anti-Palin Republicans in Alaska, one identified as being closely allied with Ted Stevens, I would say a lot.

There are numerous ways I can think of to vet someone without tipping your hand.
8.31.2008 4:28pm
John from Arizona (mail):
The Republicans think that Joseph Goebbels of the infamous Nazi regime had it right when he instructed that when you tell a lie, tell a big one. If the lie is completely audacious the people just might believe it. Carl Rove and the Republican Party have just packaged up a big pile of manure and are now selling it to the country as a colorful bag of candy. They are actually telling the American people that the Governor from Alaska has more experience than John McCain! Ok, she has been in the office of Governor for 18 months after serving as mayor of a small town in Alaska and has served on the city council. I guess some may think that that is experience enough to hold the most powerful position in the world, negotiate with foreign leaders and fight the threat of global terrorism and other threats to our nation's security. Yes, she's just as qualified as any mayor to hold the position of President of the United States, if you take into account that all small town mayors have more executive experience than John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined. But executive experience is not the issue. The issue is having the qualifications to handle the most powerful office in the world. The Republicans think American people are all a bunch of idiots! However, I am encouraged by the recent poll that indicates that 87% of Americans still have a brain. To the rest of you…Bon Appetit!
8.31.2008 4:32pm
AKD:
Godwin's Law for the win! But do we need another law for linkage to Carl Rove, or is Godwin's Law still appropiate?
8.31.2008 4:44pm
John from Arizona (mail):
I am not tying the Nazi party to the Republicans...only the Nazi propaganda minister's recommendation that if you are going to lie, lie big. This idea was first proposed by Goebbels, and the genesis is stated in my comment to solidify the idea's power. As a reference from history, Joseph Goebbels was right, it works. If you are going to lie, tell a whopper!
8.31.2008 5:06pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
While it may be comforting to some that she was vetted, I'm still disturbed that *McCain* only met her once--a charge the camp is not disputing.
Dave -- they are. It was at least twice. Once in February at the National Governor's meeting, and once last week before she was selected.
8.31.2008 5:22pm
Drill Down (mail):
Mrs. Palin is no fool, a woman of conviction, and courageous. All admirable qualities. As Governor of Alaska she has taken on coruption (probably slipped herself), faced down the oil companies, and increased revenue. If she is correct that drilling in Anwar will affect only 0.1% (20,000 acres out of 20 million acres) that also sounds reasonable. However, Alaska and Wasilla are vastly simpler to run than the USA. These two jurisdictions must be among the simplest constituencies in the country to run. There is no evidence that she has addressed her mind (as Obama has) to the vastly more complex issues facing America, or have come up with proposed solutions. I would say that at age 72 the former fighter pilot has reenlisted as a kamikaze pilot.
8.31.2008 5:25pm
Adam K:

It looks like some of us out there had heard of Sarah Palin AND liked her.


12,000 politics nerds who think there is some point to clicking on an online poll can't be wrong!
8.31.2008 6:12pm
Bandon:
After reading the story on the link supplied, I think the reason behind McCain's selection of Palin is obvious: he's in love. Given John's attraction to younger beauty queens, Cindy McCain should keep close tabs on John for the rest of the campaign and not leave John and Sarah alone together. I'm sure Cindy reads this blog, so she cannot say that she wasn't forewarned.

All in all, McCain's VP pick has had the intended consequence of energizing his campaign. Witness all the media attention and the excitement in the blogosphere.
8.31.2008 7:57pm
Bozo:
Looks like the old guy was told who his mate is. And she is more pro drilling in ANWR then the whole "GOP". Can you spell: EXXON?
8.31.2008 7:59pm
Bill McGonigle (mail) (www):
Wow, all the partisan jabs here sure make somebody standing on the sidelines think the Democrats are scared by this pick!
8.31.2008 8:13pm
Pam:
I think that McCain and Palin might be nice people and better than some republicans, but Republicans in general are too much for the rich, big business, and moral values. They do not seem to really care about all the regular Americans and what we have to do each day to struggle to survive. Moral values are good for people in government to have, but not to force upon others. Moral values do not pay for housing, food, education, health care, etc. which we all need every day. Ultimately each person must answer to God for his/her actions and that is between us and God.

It is sad that McCain is playing politics by just choosing "a woman", hoping that women will vote for her or that all Christians should vote for them. Even Christian believers are all different as individuals and should vote as such. Most of us are middle of the road on most issues, and maybe to the right on some or to the left on some, but no party or no candidate really represents most of us. None of them are perfect, either.

I am a born again, bible believing Christian who is Pro-life, but I love people, animals, the environment, and believe our leaders need to be open-minded and open to change, especially new changes that will help our country and all it's people. I am truly for life and living things which means caring for our planet, not killing animals or people, against wars and violence, and against guns, death penalties, torture, hunting, and fishing for fun or sport.

I am appalled at Republican's bad ethics, uncaring attitudes towards workers, support of record profit-making oil/energy companies, lack of provisions for jobs, healthcare, affordable homes, education, and most of all constitutional and civil liberties violations. Palin supported a cruel measure to kill innocent wolves from airplanes!! These are God's creatures we have to share our world with. She wants to hurt polar bears and allow oil drilling in her own state to ruin a wildlife refuge. We need new forms of energy and research.

Look at the pictures of McCain and Palin yesterday. They look like they were going to a funeral, all dressed in black. Palin is so strict right wing conservative that she even has what, a 1960's old hairdo! This will be a funeral for all of us if they get into office!

We need CHANGE! Change from old blinders on, closed mindedness, right wing conservatives! What is conservative about anyway? Not helping the American people, especially when they are in disasters or losing their homes? A home is not an investment, but a place to live and sleep in and be secure in!

Wake up people! Vote for good reasons and on the important issues that will affect your daily lives! Our two party system is broken! We need leaders who are bipartisan and who will work together for all of us, not the party, and not just supporting/endorsing each other!
8.31.2008 8:35pm
JosephSlater (mail):
David M. Nieporent:

I don't always agree with you, but you seem like a smart and princpled guy. Are you really reassured by the fact that the McCain camp is now claiming he met Palin all of two times? Isn't that rather odd?
8.31.2008 10:10pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Joseph: No; I was just clarifying a particular claim. Although I don't know how many times he has met with Pawlenty or other non-Senators, either. Isn't the real issue here that the media isn't familiar with her?
8.31.2008 10:56pm
daffy (mail):
Judgment? How can McCain pick a VP that he only met one time back in Feb? Yes, she's a Gov, but only for 18-months. Sure, everyone can argue that 18-months as a Gov is more experience than Obama, Biden, and McCain put together, but let's be serious! She has ZERO experience in foreign policy. She just got her US passport last year when she visited Kuwait. Other than her visit in Kuwait, she never traveled anywhere else. After graduating with a Journalism degree, she was offered a job as a sport broadcaster with ESPN, but she turned it down because she didn't want to relocate from Alaska. She only knows Alaska, that's it! Alaska in only big in size, but not in population.
Everyone is saying that people vote for the top ticket, but this election is different. The fact is, if Obama ever gets elected to the white house, there's a very good chance of him to get assassinated (I pray to God that this will never happen, but there are sick people out there who are not ready to have a first black president in the white house!), having Biden as his VP, I'm very comfortable of him taking over. On the other hand, if McCain wins, there's a very good chance that he could drop dead while in office. He's 72-years old with history of cancer. I don't think his VP pick is ready to lead. How can he pick someone with no foreign policy experience, especially when we are at war, that he only met one time, knowing that he may leave millions of family under her care if something ever happens to him? In this election, VP pick is just as important as the candidate that's running for the top ticket!
8.31.2008 11:15pm
TCO:
I think Palin is cool as shit. A gutsy lady. A citizen. Someone who if the world blew up, could get by killing mooses.

But I'm really getting concerned about this baby story. If it turns out that that baby was from her daughter...then Sarah is a liar. And I will have to diss her and go back to voting for Bob Barr. Am really worried by the 4 months for mono and all...
8.31.2008 11:41pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
McCain Camp Didn't Search Palin's Hometown Paper Archives

Some vetting. McCain is impulsive, to say the least.
9.1.2008 12:17am
Greg Morrow (mail):
The Post article appears to cite little more than anonymous quotes from McCain advisors. I suggest that anonymous quotes from people who have a vested interest in making their campaign look good are not particularly credible regarding how long Palin's been on the "short-short" list and how well she was vetted.

Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't, but it's going to take more than anonymous sources with a vested interest to convince me.

Incidentally, isn't it time for the Post to stop granting anonymity to sources who are only saying things that favor their own position?
9.1.2008 1:36am
David M. Nieporent (www):
McCain Camp Didn't Search Palin's Hometown Paper Archives

Some vetting. McCain is impulsive, to say the least.
And if you can't rely upon an anonymous quote from a Democratic operative in the Huffington Post quoting an unknown person at a local newspaper, what can you rely upon?
9.1.2008 1:40am
MarkField (mail):

And if you can't rely upon an anonymous quote from a Democratic operative in the Huffington Post quoting an unknown person at a local newspaper, what can you rely upon?


Ann Coulter?
9.1.2008 12:11pm
David Warner:
MarkField,

You're better than that. Try again.
9.1.2008 3:11pm
MarkField (mail):

MarkField,

You're better than that. Try again.


It's a joke based on a previous thread in which David Bernstein was criticized for relying on Ann Coulter as the source for a factual assertion he made.
9.1.2008 4:22pm
JosephSlater (mail):
David M. Nieporent:

Fair enough, but I guess I would still think it odd if he picked Pawlenty after only meeting him twice. I'm with Dave!'s post (first on this thread). At my current institution, we interview in person pretty much everyone we hire more than it appears McCain did with Palin.

Now, if everything goes smoothly with Palin, that will just be an odd curiousity in the minds of some. If things don't go smoothly with Palin, that will make people wonder why he -- not the media, but McCain himself -- didn't get to know her better.

I'm not sure things have started out all that smoothly, but we'll see.
9.1.2008 5:06pm