Sarah Palin's Fansite



On August 29, 2008, in Dayton, Ohio, Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced that he had chosen Palin as his running mate.[144] According to Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for John McCain, he first met Palin at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington in February 2008 and came away "extraordinarily impressed." He called Palin on August 24 to discuss the possibility of having her join him on the ticket. On August 27, she visited McCain's vacation home near Sedona, Arizona, where she was offered the position of vice-presidential candidate. Palin was the only prospective running mate who had a face-to-face interview with McCain to discuss joining the ticket that week. Nonetheless, Palin's selection was a surprise to many as speculation had centered on other candidates, such as Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, United States Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

Palin is the first Alaskan and the second woman to run on a major U.S. party ticket. The first woman was Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1984, who ran with former vice-president Walter Mondale. On September 3, 2008, Palin delivered a 40-minute acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention that was well-received and watched by more than 40 million viewers.

Several conservative commentators met Palin in the summer of 2007 when they sailed on cruises that docked in Juneau. Some of them, such as Bill Kristol, urged McCain to pick Palin, arguing that her presence on the ticket would provide a boost in enthusiasm among the religious right wing of the Republican party, while her status as an unknown on the national scene would also be a positive factor for McCain's campaign.

Since Palin was largely unknown outside Alaska before her selection by McCain, her personal life, positions, and political record drew intense media attention and scrutiny. Some Republicans felt that Palin was being subjected to unreasonable media coverage, a sentiment Palin noted in her acceptance speech. A poll taken immediately after the Republican convention found that slightly more than half of Americans believed that the media was "trying to hurt" Palin with negative coverage.

During the campaign, controversy erupted over alleged differences between Palin's positions as a gubernatorial candidate and her position as a vice-presidential candidate. After McCain announced Palin as his running mate, Newsweek and Time put Palin on their magazine covers, as some of the media alleged that McCain's campaign was restricting press access to Palin by allowing only three one-on-one interviews and no press conferences with her. Among the news organizations that criticized the restrictions were Palin's first major interview, with Charles Gibson of ABC News, met with mixed reviews. Her interview five days later with Fox News's Sean Hannity focused on many of the same questions from Gibson's interview. However, Palin's performance in her third interview, with Katie Couric of CBS News, was widely criticized, prompting a decline in her poll numbers, concern among Republicans that she was becoming a political liability, and calls from some conservative commentators for Palin to resign from the Presidential ticket. Other conservatives remained ardent in their support for Palin, accusing the columnists of elitism. Following this interview, some Republicans, including Mitt Romney and Bill Kristol, questioned the McCain campaign's strategy of sheltering Palin from unscripted encounters with the press.

Palin was reported to have prepared intensively for the October 2 vice-presidential debate with Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden at Washington University in St. Louis. Some Republicans suggested that Palin's performance in the interviews would improve public perceptions of her debate performance by lowering expectations. Polling from CNN, Fox and CBS found that while Palin exceeded most voters' expectations, they felt that Biden had won the debate.

Upon returning to the campaign trail after her debate preparation, Palin stepped up her attacks on the Democratic candidate for President, Senator Barack Obama. At a fundraising event, Palin explained her new aggressiveness, saying, "There does come a time when you have to take the gloves off and that time is right now." In a series of campaign rallies, Palin returned to the vice presidential candidate's traditional role of attack dog, lashing out at and criticizing the Democratic ticket.

Palin appeared on the television show Saturday Night Live on October 18. Prior to her appearance on the show, she had been parodied several times by Tina Fey, who was noted for her physical resemblance to the candidate. In the weeks leading up to the election, Palin had also been the subject of numerous other parodies.

The election took place on November 4, and Obama was projected as the winner at 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. In his concession speech McCain thanked Palin, calling her "one of the best campaigners I've ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength."