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Republican Party vice presidential candidate selection, 2008

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Title: Republican Party vice presidential candidate selection, 2008  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Democratic Party vice presidential candidate selection, 2008, John McCain presidential campaign, 2008, Sarah Palin, John McCain, Alyson Kennedy
Collection: John McCain, John McCain Presidential Campaign, 2008, Sarah Palin, Vice Presidency of the United States
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Republican Party vice presidential candidate selection, 2008

Then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was formally nominated for vice president at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

This article lists those who were potential candidates for the Republican nomination for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 election. On March 4, 2008, Senator John McCain of Arizona won a majority of pledged delegates for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, and became the presumptive nominee.

McCain held an event with Alaska governor Sarah Palin, revealing her as his vice-presidential running mate on August 29, 2008 (the date coinciding both with McCain's 72nd birthday and the Palins' 20th wedding anniversary), at the Ervin J. Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio, the day after Barack Obama's acceptance speech.[1]


  • Selection process 1
  • Media speculation on John McCain's possible running-mates 2
    • U.S. Senators 2.1
    • U.S. Representatives 2.2
    • Governors 2.3
    • Former governors 2.4
    • Others 2.5
    • Denied interest 2.6
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Selection process

Sarah Palin was the GOP choice for Vice President. At a speech in Norfolk, Virginia, McCain told supporters that regional considerations would have less bearing on his decision than the candidate's perceived ability to take over the office of the presidency–and the candidate's "values, principles, philosophy, and priorities."[2] One factor that McCain had to consider, more so than did his opponent, was age. Had McCain won in 2008, he would have (on January 20, 2009) been the oldest person to assume the Presidency in U.S. history at initial ascension to office, being 72 years old. Other factors to be considered were shoring up the conservative base, choosing someone with executive experience, expertise in domestic policy (to complement McCain's foreign policy focus), and electoral college calculations.[3]

On McCain's shortlist was Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Sarah Palin of Alaska, and Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.[4] McCain initially wished to choose Lieberman, his close friend and the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, as his running mate; however, Lieberman's liberal record (voting with Democrats 86.9% of the time in the 110th Congress)[5] and pro-choice stance led McCain's aides to veto the choice. Close aide Mark Salter preferred Pawlenty, while the campaign manager Steven Schmidt preferred Palin. By picking Palin, Schmidt argued, McCain could snatch the "change" mantle away from Obama.[4] McCain, rejecting 'safer' choices such as Pawlenty or Romney, instead chose Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Media speculation on John McCain's possible running-mates

After his selection by Republican primary voters as presumptive presidential nominee, news sources and political pundits began to speculate on whom McCain would or should choose, based on the candidates' ability to enhance the Republican ticket, personality (ability to work well with McCain), and preparedness for assuming the office of the presidency. The Associated Press reported that McCain had composed a list of 20 or so potential running mates.[6] Over two dozen names had been offered as viable potential running mates by the Kansas City Star,[7] the Salt Lake Tribune,[8] the New York Sun,[9] the Indianapolis Star,[10] the Saint Louis Post Dispatch,[11] the Times of India,[12] and the Globe and Mail.[13] This list includes both names that had been mentioned in several sources and some much less likely candidates:

U.S. Senators

U.S. Representatives


Former governors


Denied interest

See also


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  6. ^ McCain Easing Into Role of GOP Leader
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  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i
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  19. ^ a b c d e f
  20. ^ a b c d
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  22. ^ McCain Vets Cantor as Running Mate Wall Street Journal, by Susan Davis August 5, 2008, p. A6.
  23. ^ a b c d e
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  27. ^ Sanford, McCain appearance fuel VP question The State (SC) August 18, 2008.
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