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August 29th, 2008
05:00 PM ET

Meeting Sarah Palin – hockey mom

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/29/art.palin.hockey.jpg caption="Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin standing beside her husband, Todd Palin, in Anchorage, Alaska in October, 2006. "]

David Mattingly
CNN National Correspondent

My interview request with Governor Sarah Palin was last-minute. I had a day in Anchorage while en route home from a shoot in Prince William Sound and wanted to talk with the woman who seemed to be on most GOP short lists for VP. She managed to fit me into her schedule between the time she registered one of her children for school and the time she was due in the office.

She arrived wearing sunglasses and a windbreaker. She drove herself to the interview location in a black SUV. There was no police escort, driver or entourage. She described herself as a "hockey mom" and certainly looked the part.

This was in early August and Palin seemed to believe she was a long shot. She thought Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue would make a good choice, and wrote herself off as someone who was "not one of the movers and shakers in the Republican Party" that would normally be picked.

Looking back, that was probably the main reason Palin was selected. She is a politician with a reputation for reform that was built about as far outside the beltway as you can get.


Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Marsha Terry

    McCain's Mama may just beat Obama. A mother of 5 is more qualified to be President of the United States than any politician period.

    August 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  2. Amy

    For the first time in my life I am so nervous for our Country. I hope voters think with a clear mind when they cast their ballot in November. McCain's choice of VP was very irresponsible. He picked a person he barely knows and who is under investigation in her state which can result in a crimminal prosecution. We as Americans really need to think smarter and stop falling prey to political tactics as such. It doesn't matter if you are democrat or republican, but it matters that your choices make sense. Be honest with yourself – this was clearly a risky/panicky decision by McCain. The main reason this is risky is that McCain were to win the presidency and he died thereafter, Pallin would now become the commander in chief of one of the superpowers in the world. How do you do this with 5 kids and a special needs child? As a working mother of two I can barely keep up with work and all the demands of parenting. Often feeling guilty of shortchanging my kids as I leave them 8 hours a day.

    Finally it appears that the Christian extremists "Evangelicals" are happy with this pick – however Evangelicals are a huge part of the problem in this country because they do not use wisdom and discernment in voting. They vote irrationally. I am a Christian but I can clearly see how dangerous this move is. Obama-Biden are also Christians and as a team are more prepared to run our Country. Dobson and the erratic evangelicals always vote on irrational hot button issues like abortion thus believe this pick of Pallin as a VP is brilliant. (NOT).

    August 31, 2008 at 4:32 am |
  3. Trasa

    Obama isn't going to attack on her experience. He made a statement to the media that this would put rest to the inexperience that McBush has been spouting and was thrilled with the pick. I do agree that McCain shouldn't say anything else about inexperience if this is his pick. I don't have anything personal against her, she will solidfy his conservative base and like the Dems, will bring a new fresh stance to their side. I do however will still disagree with both McBush and her on this issues. For me, this pick only solidfies that they are for big oil and will do nothing in regards to renewable energy. She doesn't believe in climate change which means she won't be a strong advocate when it comes to energy reform. Yes, she is a reformer, when it suits her. All McBush did, was contradict himself spouting inexperience and he does this. I think it's great too, because it just shows that Obama can lead and at least he's been on the national scene to some degree.

    August 31, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  4. Evelyn Meronek

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong choice. That is all i have to say. Don`t need this woman to be vice president if McCain (and i hope he doesn`t) should win.

    August 30, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  5. YS

    Correction: PTA not TPA

    August 30, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  6. YS

    If Palin is McCan's profile of VP, I am sure there are many soccer moms and the head of TPA in a big city could fill a job as VP when given a chance.

    August 30, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  7. Gloria

    Now the whole thing is starting to resemble Gilligan's Island, with Mary Anne (Palin), Mr. Howell (McCain), Mrs. Howell (Mrs. McCain), and on the other side we've got the Professor (Biden) and Gilligan (Obama) and even the Skipper (Ted Kennedy). I suppose it isn't complete without Ginger (Michelle Obama).

    I am a Democrat voting for Obama so I don't think he has anything in common with Gilligan but he is the closest looks-wise of the whole bunch.

    August 30, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  8. larry c

    46 yo white male Topeka Ks. here. This is the first time I have checked on this site. I am a registered Republican that votes the individual and not party lines. George W continues to push me further away from the Republican Party. With due respect to Sen McCain for his service to our country, I am beyond tired of business as usual, (even in my local governments.) Therefore McCain never had my support in the first place. But I am giving the Republicans a second look, based on his surprise pick for VP.
    This VP pick is closer to my age, not a long term career politican, served in local goverments has stood up for whats right and not whats popular. Regardless of gender, this is EXACTLY the type of person that I want to see in government leadership.

    I will still vote Obama. But even if McCains choice isnt serious and only doing this for show, I still give him credit for shocking the party. Maybe this will get some of the hardline Republicans to move toward the middle, and all parties can come together and solve some of the countries problems. ( Not likely,, but no one saw Gov. Palin being picked as a VP either.)

    August 30, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  9. Mary in Canada

    Well, I cannot believe what I see in the above comments by people who want a woman to have all the rights that have been fought for over the years and then to denigrate Sarah Palin for being chosen to run as a vice-presidential running mate simply because she has good moral choices..a mother, a faithful wife, an exellent and influential career on Alaskan politics, etc.etc. Come on. You are all jealous and can't stand someone like her coming in and handing the presidency to John McCain..
    Just remember Ronald Reagan who made a vast difference as President in politics in the USA..and he was an actor..
    King David in the Old Testament was a shepherd when he was annointed as King over Israel..
    Sarah Palin is governor of Alaska..and a wonderful Mom..how utterly astounding is that.. Get over it and vote for the Republicans..

    August 30, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  10. natalie

    To L. E. Burnette who has a problem with the term 'anti abortion movement' I ask you to think about the language used in 'pro life'.

    Anti-abortion movement is actually the most correct and non-emotive term, especially considering abortion is a legal right.

    August 30, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  11. Darcy

    Palin keeps exploiting her son who is going off to Iraq next month. She needs to stop! Not only is it disgusting to exploit your child's military service for political gain, it puts him in harms way. You don't see Joe Biden doing this. McCain exploits his own service every chance he gets, and uses it as an answer to virtually any question no matter what the issue if he is in a tough spot, it's becoming a joke, but at least he didn't exploit his son. Sarah Palin clearly ahs a lot to learn, I understand she is proud of her son, but don't use his service as a political tool, it infuriates me. Let the media point it out, but it makes her look calculating when she does it and she has done it in every speech she has given since being announced as McCain's VP nominee. Also, I respect her heart wrenching decision to not terminate her pregnancy when she was told her child had a birth defect, but she doesn't respect my choice not to do the same. I do not want her or any other member of government telling me what is best for me, my family, and what to do with my body. She and McCain will over turn Roe v Wade, that is not what Hillary Clinton fought for! McCain will not get my vote. He has proven that the far right and Karl Rove are runnling the McCain camp, and I have had enough! McCain is not a moderate, he is not independent, the choice of Sarah Palin should show everyone once and for all he is a Conservative, he picked a conservative as his running mate and he will appoint conservative judges to the supreme court. If he was really a moderate hge would have chosen Tom Ridge, who would have gotten him Pennsylvania, was a veteran, a former governor, and ran Homeland Security. But he chose Palin simply b/c Ridge is pro-choice. Wake up America McCain is not a maverick, he is beholden to the far right of the Republican party, the same people who brought us George W Bush! This woman and Hillary supporter says, No Way, No How, no McCain!

    August 30, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  12. Darcy

    As a Hillary supporter I am disgusted with McCain picking Sarah Pailn. What Hillary stands for is the exact opposite of what Sarah Palin stands for; Hillary was clearly ready to be president. She had informed views, positions and was well informed on issues of national security. In a CNBC interview last month Sarah Palin said she didn't even know what the VP does! This woman is in no way qualified or ready to take over the presidency should John McCain become incapacitated or worse. He is 72 and has had sevral bouts with cancer, and this woman was chosen to make the far right happy. This is a stunt. McCain thinks Hillary supporters and women are so stupid that we would vote for any woman just because she is a woman. Palin seems like a lovely woman, she has a compelling story, but when asked recdently she didn't even know what McCain's position on Iraq was! She must be the only person in America. If McCain thinks this woman is the most qualified to take his place, that she caould faces down Putin and Ahmadinejad he is delusional. Her degree is in Journalism and she almost became a sportscaster for ESPN. At least Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, he taught Constitutional Law, he has traveled the world, has well thought out foreign policy views, and represents a larger and and more diverse constituency than Sarah Palin ever has. Sarah Palin is the best person in the country to replace McCain if G-d forbid something were to happen? This should prove to everyone that Obama has the better judgement, he picked someone who could be President, McCain is playing political games and insulting women's intelligence.

    August 30, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  13. tk

    Puppet Ticket. She was picked to help open the ANWAR oil reserve and to get female votes.
    I am sure that Romney and others are not happy with McBush.

    August 30, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  14. Tony

    look, i may not agree with palin's politics but i think it was a bold move by mccain. As shown at her press conference, she is a well-spoken, attractive and an intelligent candidate who will bring youth and excitement to the ticket. she is a reformer and people will respect her for that. This is a game changer and the stage is set for a exciting presidential race in the weeks ahead.

    August 30, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  15. julia

    McCain's decision to select Gov. Palin outrages me as a woman and terrifies me as an American. With this selection, McCain has shown that he truly is a rebel without a clue. Republicans have tried to "spin" the choice by saying that it is consistent with McCain's history as a risk taker and maverick. Our country is in a time of peril. We are involved in two wars and we are facing staggering debt. We have had 8 years of a President who takes risks and acts impulsively. We cannot afford 4 more years of reckless behavior. While Gov. Palin has many fans, she also has created many enemies in her short time in politics. According to the Anchorage Daily News, upon becoming mayor, she fired the heads of the city departments who had supported her rival. As governor, she fired the chief law enforcement officer because he refused to fire her ex- brother-in-law. She is now facing an ethics investigation for this alleged abuse of power. Since McCain is noted for keeping an "enemies list, " it is perhaps not surprising that he woud be attracted to someone who has polarized her community and created controversy wherever she has served. However, that is definitely not the temperment we should look for in the leader of the Free World. We need leaders, not cowboys (or cowgirls) God help us.

    August 30, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
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