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. sara

    ...and now were hearing from the Republican pundits that we're sexist and divisive for criticizing her. WOW....it's so nice to see how compassionate they are now......where was all that compassion when they were trashing HIllary the last 16 years. The fundamentalists are elated.....that should scare everyone.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  2. Jerome Johnson

    Again the McCain clan under estimates the inteligence of women and the American public. How dare they assume that women would allow themselves to be used by such a transparent ploy to deliver their votes just because the Republican vice-president is a woman. Women are not that shallow

    August 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  3. TW (Texas)

    We the people are tired of politicians. Clinton, Bush, Obama and Biden.

    Palin is a fresh face for Washington who will be able to relate to the every day American. I think she would be a great president. and I'm a man. It is time for a fresh change and even better that she is a woman.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  4. barb bear

    Unbelievable. I love my country, but this is terrifying thought!!!
    If anyone who supported Hillary supports Palin,
    I would be shocked and awed. One heartbeat away from the Presidency.....frightening. Alaska's governor is NOT ready for primetime, will NEVER be ready. This is a small town woman, smart, although misguided, nice, conservative, pretty. She does not represent any Democratic woman I have EVER known.
    Mr. McCain obviously believes in the OLD, OLD adage, win at any cost.
    His judgement is way off kilter to have picked such a running mate.I hope to God that McCain does not win, as many of us will want to try for dual citizenship.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  5. lampe

    OH! and by the way. What the hell has Obama, ever run? Please don't say a great campaign, because we all know Axelrod, and Michelle runs that. And don't even try his home, because Michelle wears the pants in that family. I won't vote for him to run for DOG-CATCHER.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Jan Raimer-Cunitz

    I'm an independent female catholic voter and I am ecstatic about this choice. Up to now, I had thought I would be voting independent in the upcoming election. After today, I'm comfortable that Palin will solidify the pro-life stance that many of us feel is still an issue worth fighting for.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Abby

    Go, right ahead, John. We're not that dumb.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  8. daryl

    I'm a republican and I'm going to change my status first thing tomorrow morning if I can. I think McCain has lost his marbles. This woman is nobody of substance and if I wanted to vote for nobody, I would vote for Obama. At least he talks the talk and walks the walk. McCain is acting very much insane to have a strange woman in place to become a president that nobody knows, not even himself. It shows just how much he cares about America when he can do something like this. I'm ashamed of being a republican. My heart is very heavy after bush blew it and McCain has gone crazy. Wow!

    August 29, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  9. lampe

    For all you women, making these evil comments about a woman, what in The Hell Gives You That Right. I don't care if you won't vote for her. You just go right on sitting on your hands, and waiting for The Dnc, to think you are worthy of running in any Presidential Campaign. What they did to HRC, was a disgrace, if that is how you want your daughters and granddaughters to grow-up thinking their not good enough, then you go right ahead and vote for The DNC Chosen-One. If The Republican are ready to give any woman a chance, then dammit I'm going to be on that train. EJ (USA), the only reason you don't like her is because you have a big-– on for Michelle NOBAMA.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  10. Susan Long

    I am the older suburban independent mom and I don't think Palin is qualified to be VP ( the potential to be commander-in-chief). I am definitely voting for Obama now

    August 29, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  11. KJ

    Wow..... I did not realize that the Dem.'s were so scared of a beautiful, smart young woman. I think their strong reactions show their weakness.

    Cracks in the glass ceiling are getting larger.

    My state traditional goes Dem. but my state also voted very strongly for Hillary Clinton........... it will be nice to see this state possible become a toss up state.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  12. Angela Lund - New Hampshire

    The one thing that I am seeing on tv that is really really angering me about the coverage of Sarah Palin is: Can you see her as President of the United States? She's the MOTHER of 5 CHILDREN.... my answer to that question is a RESOUNDING YES... I don't know much about her other then what we are hearing today... but I am a mother of 4... Bill Cosby said it best in his 'Himself" video... Its much more challenging if you are the parent of more then one child... if something is broken in a room the one child is the only one in the room, duh ...that child did it!! Try that with 2 or more suspects.

    I seriously asked myself this question I am a first time voter at 44 yrs of age... I asked myself could I run the country.... honestly I feel that I could. The economy is basically money coming in and money going out.... we do that daily with our checkbooks (on a shoestring I might add) Could we deal with foreign problems? Well Russia needs a verbal spanking obviously. Add in some incentive to behave (taking away privileges works very well in children) I feel I could do that. National security would be a problem for me... however isn't that why they have advisors who are 4 star Generals? Isnt that what they are for? Anyway I think a mother of 5 kids is eminently qualified to run a country! I am still undecided on who I am voting for... Obama got to me last night I will admit.... But now with Mccain choosing this particular woman and the more I learn about her the more intrigued I become.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  13. T. Tsuji

    This is the first I've been excited about the Presidential campaign at all! McCain could not have made a better choice. Liberals are just in the "sour grapes" mode right now.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  14. gretchen

    i am voting for McCain..why? because experience DOES matter. and now his choice for VP has even more experience than Obama..gotta love it ! watching all those old boys on CNN..spinning their wheels..OMG! he picked a woman.* quick..find dirt on her ! anything..find something!* lmao and voting for the Presidential candidate with the most experience !! McCain !!

    August 29, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  15. George

    How many people voted for Mrs Palin in the Alaskan election? How many people voted for Obama plus Clinton? How many people selected Mrs. Pain?

    August 29, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  16. Jonah

    she's spunky. she's perky. Biden, you 2-faced wimp, watch out. Sarah's gonna each your lunch. Obama's speech last night, who cares?

    August 29, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  17. Mike in NYC

    Maureen M wrote:

    "I am tired of white men in power doing nothing...."

    Palin would probably take exception to that statement. She's white herself and, I would guess, proud of it, unlike liberal whites. Not being an embittered feminist, she probably wouldn't think much of gratuitous male-bashing, either.

    I like her because she's a strong white woman!

    August 29, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  18. Mike

    Governor of a state with less populace than the city of Los Angeles. Best choice for V.P. HELL NO!!

    August 29, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  19. KJ

    To DAisy: To answer your question- I would take Palin- everytime!

    And right back at you.............its 3AM and we are under attack... who do I want answering that phone call-

    Well......I wanted Hillary but I will take McCain or Palin over Obama.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  20. Mark

    Who the hell is Sarah Palin?

    August 29, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  21. Jo

    I was totally shocked with McCains pick of desperation. If Palin has all these polical aspirations she should have thought of that before she had five kids. You CAN NOT run this country and raise five kids. What a stupid decision on the part of McCain and Palin. Americans don't let her do this to her kids.

    August 29, 2008 at 9:52 pm |
  22. Ann

    What a hypocrite!!!

    After month's of slamming Obama's for his "lack of experience", this is the best that McCain could come up with for a VP candidate. Is he serious???

    What an insult to all women! Is this his idea of a shell game? Swap out Hillary and you get Palin?

    His candidacy is precarious at best due to his age and medical record. Is this country to rest easy knowing Palin is a heartbeat away from becoming President? No way!

    P.S. As a mother of 4, it is very saddening to me that Palin thinks it even appropriate to take on a role such as VP with a newborn with special needs.

    August 29, 2008 at 9:52 pm |
  23. Baxter

    Yes McCain has to be a puppet! who for meeting a person one time in ones life you can remember? They think that women are stupid! Women voted for Hillary because of her husband and her being a first lady! they are trying to steal votes by playing on the emotions of women! Ladies don't fall for it! your smarter and stronger then that!

    August 29, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  24. Jessica

    If you are a Hillary supporter and you think the selection of Pralin is brilliant and you like what Pralin stands for !! Then you must be an idiot because she does not stand for anything that Hillary stands for. What an idiotic statement.

    August 29, 2008 at 9:36 pm |
  25. Sue

    After being a republican for 25 years, I am so glad that I am supporting Obama! The pick by McCain today was an embarrassment to the party. So many qualified picks and he choses this person??? Is this a joke?
    Obama/Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  26. Jessica

    Let's put this in perspective. Alaska's population of 670,000 is that of an urban city like Austin, TX or Memphis. The whole state of Alaska pales in size to cities like New York which has over 8 million or cities like Chicago which has almost 3 million. So Alaska is comparable to a small city and Pralin is comparable to a small city mayor. Great Judgment John McCain/Karl Rove!

    August 29, 2008 at 9:27 pm |
  27. EJ (USA)

    This pick by McCain is just hilarious. A wee bit desperate and an obvious insult to many Hillary supporters. Palin over Romney, Ridge, and Huckabee? Yeah right.

    Romney is probably beside himself. He was probably the best pick – but hey – I am 100% for Obama so McCain's pandering terrible pick is only good for Obama & Biden.

    August 29, 2008 at 9:27 pm |
  28. shenygirl

    As a Hillary supporter and now a strong supporter of Obama, McCain and his followers need to know that women voters are intelligent and informed on the issues. Most of the women I know would not be interested in anyone, male or female who is opposed to women's rights, namely, a person who is anti-abortion, and opposed to gun control.

    I would like to know how the family values crew, who incourage stay-at-home moms, are able to justify a mother of five with a baby that has DS, traveling all over the country campaigning. Is this a good example of family values?

    A Michigan Democrat

    August 29, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  29. Deanna-California

    You’re kidding me…McCain, I'm a woman that would never vote for Patlin who is a beauty pageant with no brains, just cutie pie smiles and phony beliefs...and his wife was a beauty pageant winner, and he picked one for his running mate! He is a dirty old man!!! She has no qualifications, but she's cute, that all and that's why he picked her! We're not stupid McCain! You Hillary people should see through this!!!

    I want honest people for my choice, no window dressing, like they always do…GO_OBAMA/BIDEN! Take the idiot McCainaics and trash them!

    August 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  30. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Not really knowing much about Sarah Palin, I read what some of the Alaska newspaper blogs said about her, as well as some of their articles.

    For a woman who has been a governor for a short period of time, she certainly seems like a woman of action. Palin has signed into legislation to use a share of the profits that Alaska has received from the tax paid by the oil companies to issue $1200 energy rebate checks to its citizens. Have any of your governors done that?

    Palin is also suspending the state gasoline tax of 8 cents per gallon for the next year. Palin has also pushed through the legislation to get the Natural Gas pipeline built, which will help create a lot of jobs in Alaska.

    Regarding her lack of national security background, I checked the bios of Gov. Mitt Romney and Huckabee, who each ran for president and they don't have any experience in those areas. I checked the bio of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, one of the media's picks for McCain's VP nominee, and couldn't find any national security experience in his bio.
    The fact is, it is very RARE for any governor to have national security experience (example: Richardson).

    And for those who think this is McCain's bidding to win over some Clinton supporters, more power to him. Why should the Grand Old Party be a boy's club in this day and age?

    I think this political race just got a whole lot more interesting.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  31. Joanne Hagen

    Would fishing rights be different if Todd Palin was 1/4 Native American as opposed to 1/8? There is a discrepancy. I know he based his commercial fishing business around the rights of Native Americans.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:52 pm |
  32. kld

    We need someone like her to make things happen. No ties to DC! That is an asset in my opinion. No more talk Obama! McCain will make change happen. As for everyone who thinks she cannot handle it if something happens to McCain. She is a mom of 5 kids, do not underestimate the power of a working mother.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:51 pm |
  33. Will in California

    Now there is finally a person with governing experience on any ticket. A youthful, gun-toting, former beauty queen, and successful soccer mom-type who leads an entire state, not to mention being a conservative who believes in the core, wholesome values that has helped build America, yet still is tough enough to stand up against big government and special interest groups. Is she the modern-day Annie Oakley of government who, with Maverick McCain, will help reform the government and establish fiscal responsibility in the government finally? At the DNC convention, speakers stated about working from the top up, instead from working from the top down. Why then, is the Illinois senator, with no governing experience, a presidential nominee, when Sarah Palin has successfully lead an important state, fought against the bullies of special interest and reduced wasteful spending? Being governor is more credible and qualified to be president than a single term senator. Just look at how many governors and senators were president. Whites who vote for a black man for president due to some sense of white guilt, while blacks vote for people of the same color, is more insulting to intellectuals than women voting for a woman for president.
    Some Democratic presidential nominee, why is he afraid to debate with McCain? After loosing to Hillary in debate and dropping in the polls and loosing important states to her, the Illinois senator then avoided debates with the better reasoner to cowardly win his presidential nomination, can you say CHICKEN? It reminds me of Rocky chasing that chicken around a pen. Don’t forget that Hillary was robbed of delegates in Michigan.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:43 pm |
  34. Rose from Southern California

    I don't want to be mean but Sarah Palin needs to go back home to Alaska. Being a Governor for almost two years doesn't make her more experience then Obama. And being a women doesn't make any differents either... Hillary Clinton has more experience in one little figure then Sarah Palin have in all her hands and feets and then some. Oh, by the way I am a Hillary supporter and I will be voting for Obama for sure now! Sorry, McCain I think you blow this vote.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:31 pm |
  35. Crystal , Mississippi

    I find it very insulting that Mccain would chose a women just on the fact of gaining Hillary supporters. The one problem being that these women voted for a message that they believe in not the women. They may have been upset that she didn't win, but to pick a woman just because is sad. 🙁

    August 29, 2008 at 8:21 pm |
  36. Linda Jassim

    As a strong Hillary supporter, I was shocked to hear a woman's name this morning for GOP V.P. It just got me mad because it felt so manipulative as a way to get Hillary Dem votes – I was for Hillary because of her lifelong policies and the issues she stands for. When I read about Palin's policies I was sick – what a reactionary – sorry John, won't get my vote!

    August 29, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  37. Maria

    I have been a registered Republican for over 37 years; however, I am smart enough to know when it is time to wake up and make a change. For the first time I have watched the Democratic convention and was inspired about what Barak Obama had to say. Although to many he does not have the experience, he is the first candidate in a very long time who can actually relate to the real people, not the ones with a silver spoon still hanging from their mouths. All politicians make promises, but few hit home with their words. I personally had my reservations about Mr. Obama, but when I listen to him speak I hear someone who is sincere about the words coming out of his mouth. When he shakes someone's hand and speaks, he demonstrates honesty. I am tired of listening to people who don't have a clue about the real people who are actually going through difficult times. Barak Obama may not have the experience in Washington that McCain may have, but he has experienced with what truly matters, REAL LIFE. Just because you have a masters degree it does not get you common sense and in the real world you need it. People need to start realizing that life is not just about the talk, you better start walking. What impresses me is not how many years of experience you have, is what you have done in the time you have devoted to the public. When I researched Mr. Obama, I see someone who has worked hard to make a difference not just talk hot air. Let all of us remember that action speaks louder than words and the real experience is about real life issues. We have big problems at home and we need to start here. The combined experience of Obama and Biden is exactly what we need. When I look at Obama, I see an energetic person full of life and ready to tackle the world. That's what we need in the White House, someone who is going to rolled up their sleeves and get to work. Someone who may not have the years of experience, but has the determination to make it happen. I have worked in the professional field for many years and have met so called professionals with many years of experience who can't take a walk to the corner without making huge mistakes. Let's understand the difference, just because you have the experience it does not make you an expert. Obama has what it take to make it happen and that's why for the first time I am voting Democrat because I see something in Obama that I have not seen in politics in a very long time.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  38. Chandra

    Jason M.

    I agree. I think McCain would have been a better choice in 2000 as well.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  39. Chandra

    If Palin is campainging for the VP who is keeping her kids? If my 4 month baby had downe syndrome I would be spending time with my baby.

    The good ole boy system is alive and well in both parties. And this selection of VP did not solidify anything. It just proves the McCain is an old senile coot.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  40. Chandra

    I love the comment Jodi Franks made. You hit the nail on the head. If they are letting anyone run for VP of the US I would like to put my bid in. What I don't understand is why people like McCain and Palin aginst abortion but for guns? Doesn't that sound hipocrital? We don't want precious life to die but we want a gun to kill someone.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  41. shenygirl

    I was appalled by Palin's disingenuous comments regarding Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro. Was she actually trying to compare herself to these women? I don't see Palin as a role model for women or women's rights. Her minimal experience is questionable and I have also noticed that nothing has been mentioned about her educational background. She obviously does not have a law degree or I am sure that would have been mentioned.

    Does this women and the Repugs actually think that the Hillary supporters are going to jump on the bandwagon for McCain because of Ms. Palin? I never thought that being a "Hockey Mom' would quality a women to be Vice President and or President of the United States.
    I see a fiesty, pushy woman who will be turning many voters off. McCain just gave the Democrats an early Christman gift.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  42. Anika Eden Chant

    Sarah Palin is cute!! But is she ready to lead or breast feed?

    It's like John McCain fell asleep, like Adam, and when he woke up, there was Sarah Palin. Remember it was Eve that got the whole world in trouble.

    She "is" a soccer mom. Bless her heart. She has 5 children. So, can she handle the weight of the free world as VP and then as President if it came to that and still mother her small children? Where will she pump her milk?

    What is the rationale behind this choice? Is Senator McCain trying that hard to win or trying that hard to give the election away? I'm confused.

    Is he trying that hard to duplicate Barack? Well, imitation “is” the highest form of flattery. And by the way, Hillary Clinton’s people wanted Hillary not a substitute.

    Is it that Senator McCain is so set on the "win" that he's forgetting the purpose? People's lives are at stake.

    Well, we are still scratching our heads over this one. I guess a POW, with all of his due respectful high honor, does not a president make.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  43. Maureen M

    I have been impressed with Palin since seeing her interviewed on tv several months ago. I didn't know she was being considered as VP, but think it is a positive choice. I am tired of white men in power doing nothing or making idiotic laws. This women has intelligence and a ton of common sense. This country needs more of that. And if you think McCain would make this choice just to get female votes, I think that you are wrong. Kudos to McCain. I keep an open mind until election day. I hope everyone can do the same. Especially the chauvanistic pigs who refer to her as a soccer mom.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  44. liz ny

    McCain did this only to win Hillary supporters. David it's interesting you got to interview her before her knowing she was the VP pick. Bet there are many more interviews to come

    August 29, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  45. ADaniel

    I totally agree with KJ's Western, MA post and apparently Hiliary Clinton does too. While Hiliary notes she doesn't think the
    McCain ticket will take the country in the right direction, she did state the first nomination of a woman to a republican vp slot is historic and is progress for women across the country. More importantly Sarah Palin has proven she can take on good ole' boy politics. Excellent choice John McCain!

    August 29, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  46. Brenda Harris

    WOW with Palin we will turn the whitehouse into the roomper room and a convalescent home for Mccain all at the same time.
    either her baby will be nelected or her job will be.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  47. Bobby

    This is the first thing that McCain has done right. With his selection of Gov. Pallin, he just put himself in the White House. Congratualations Mr. President.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  48. lampe

    David and Jodi: I hate to inform you, but this is not a slap in the face of the HRC Supporters. We already got a real big one from Obama and The DNC. I think McCain, is showing everyone just how he is going to change the way things run in Washington. I think she is a wonderful pick. Since the Dems. can't seem to get their heads out of their asses. I think McCain, has opened the door for women, to break right threw that glass ceiling. I was and will always be a Clinton Supporter, but this year, I will vote for the only Party that respects the accomplishments of women. McCain\Pa;in 2008 The Only Party of Unity.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  49. Juan Ortez

    An excellent choice by Sen. McCain. Gov. Palin is a formidable vice president candidate.

    Gov. Palin has not just talked about alternative energy, she has acted by advancing a natural gas pipeline. Gov. Palin has more executive experience then Sen. Obama and Sen Biden combined. Gov. Palin has demonstrated true change to government ethics and status quo, not just lip service. Gov. Palin has a history of standing firm on moral issues.
    As a working class American veteran, it is refreshing to see a truely blue collar root candidate with a son who is an enlisted man, not an officer, in the US Army!
    It is refreshing to see a vice presidential candidate who can be a tough executive but at the same time be a mother and wife.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  50. Anne C

    Meant to say DO NOT speak first and get facts later.

    August 29, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
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