The Washington Post reports the instant liking that John McCain had for Sarah Palin after meeting with her privately in Washington back in February during the National Governors Association meeting.
Reports of the reactions from people in St. Paul preparing for the convention at the time John McCain announced his VP running mate say that the base was "electrified." Reports also show Palin instantly impressed McCain in February after they met.
One adviser tells the Post that McCain spoke well of her after the meeting saying she was impressive and he liked her, but that no one outside his inner circle knew how strong of an impression she made on John McCain.
The Deliberative Process and the Press.
McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis who played point with Washington lawyer A.B. Culvahouse overseeing the vetting process, says Palin went through the same vetting procedures everyone else did with a FBI background check and reviews of financial and other personal data. Then deliberations and discussions ensued with a handful of advisers, where it is said McCain asked a lot of questions but did not tip his hand even to those closest to him about which direction he was leaning.
According to the adviser that spoke to the Post, the campaign basically allowed rampant speculation by the media to go unanswered and allowed them to play themselves against each other with the adviser saying, "It's a little naive on the part of the media to assume because they weren't reporting this [Palin's consideration] for the last few months, there's something up on this. We didn't spend any time saying yes or no to any of the speculation -- just because everyone thought it was going to be Mitt Romney for a month, and then it was going to be Joe Lieberman for a month."
The media played into this by reporting that Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney were sent to the Democratic National Convention as Republican surrogates as "final auditions" for the vice presidential spot on the ticket.
McCain aides scoffed at that characterization, calling it pure coincidence. "These guys are all good surrogates. They've done a thousand hours of surrogate work," one McCain adviser said. "I don't think we needed to audition anybody at the Democratic National Convention a week before ours. It's wonderful to fill cable time with it, but it's just nonsense."
Unknown to reporters that were busy following Romney and Pawlenty at the Democratic Convention and speculating on Ridge and Lieberman as well, McCain called Palin last Sunday, the day before the Democratic Convention, spoke to her at length and invited her to Arizona to meet.
Day Three of the Democratic Convention, Wednesday, while attention was focused elsewhere, Sarah Palin was flown to Flagstaff, Arizona where she met with top McCain officials, Schmidt and Salter.
The next morning she was taken to McCain's retreat in Sedona.
When they arrived, McCain offered Palin some coffee before taking her to a bend in a creek on the property where there are places to sit and a hawk's nest looming above. It is one of McCain's favorite places, and the two talked alone there until they were joined by McCain's wife, Cindy, who is described as having played a key role throughout the selection process.
After about an hour, Palin joined her aide on the deck of McCain's cabin, while the candidate and his wife went for a walk along the creek. When they returned, McCain held one last session with aides Schmidt and Salter. Then he offered Palin the job. The deal was sealed "with a handshake, a pat on the back," one adviser said.
All that was left was one more secretive trip, from Arizona to Dayton, where the announcement was going to be made at a rally at Wright State University. Salter and Schmidt accompanied Palin on that final leg, and her family in Alaska was alerted only at the last minute that a plane was being sent to bring them to Ohio.
McCain aides were forbidden to leak anything on the night of Barack Obama's acceptance speech, but by Friday morning speculation was again running rampant and it wasn't until a couple of hours before the official announcement in Dayton, Ohio, that word started filtering through that it might just be Sarah Palin that would be named as John McCain's vice presidential running mate.
Reaction To The Announcement.
The reaction from the conservative base was immediate and The Politico reports the announcement of Sarah Palin as the chosen VP, "electrified" them. After listening to her speech it is report many became emotional.
The former New Hampshire GOP chairman and top McCain backer, Steve Duprey, was in St. Paul at the time ad he describes the scene, saying, "I was in the Rules Committee with about 150 people in the room. They had TVs set up and we took a break to watch the announcement. For a second after she came out, it was silent. Then there was a gasp and everybody stood up and started cheering and clapping. We stayed standing the whole speech.” He goes on to state, "There were 10 or 12 women, party stalwarts, in tears, using napkins and handkerchiefs.”
Conservative activists, never gung-ho, for McCain and waiting to see if he would disappoint them with his VP choice before solidly uniting behind him, instantly became galvanized after learning that he chose a strict conservative as his running mate. The Politico reports that McCain hasn't just won their approval but has "ignited a wave of elation and emotion that has led some grass-roots activists to weep with joy."
Charmaine Yoest, head of the legislative arm of Americans United for Life, says when she woke up the morning of the announcement as speculation about Palin was filtering through the press, her email was "just going crazy" and that after the announcement was made "it was like you couldn’t breathe.”
Yoest also says that in St. Paul, after hearing the announcement, her and other conservative women were jumping up and down and hugging each other, continuing on to say, "She’s lived it! It’s so satisfying as a conservative woman. When she walked out on that stage there was just this moment. It was really emotional for a lot of us.”
Not only emotional reactions were kicked into high gear, but money started pouring in from online donations, with $7 million online donations within the first 24 hours.
Most importantly for McCain, the two constituencies who are most energized by Palin just happen to be the twin grassroots pillars of the GOP: anti-abortion activists and pro-Second Amendment enthusiasts and sportsmen. Without these two camps making phone calls, stuffing envelopes and knocking on doors, Republican presidential candidates would severely lack for volunteers. They are critical to the health of the conservative coalition that has dominated Republican politics for a generation.
Republicans say the primary source for the passion can be found in Palin’s example and authenticity.
Not only is the 44-year-old governor opposed to abortion rights — but she carried and gave birth to a child with Down syndrome earlier this year, a profound and powerful motivating force to both opponents of abortion rights and the parents and relatives of special needs children.
Reactions from Christian conservatives were not the only reactions that were positive.
Gun enthusiasts, such as Michael Bane, declares, "She's one of us. “FINALLY, we can get 100 percent behind the Republican ticket ... change we can believe in!”
“You know I've had my problems with McCain, but he has reached out a hand to us both at the NRA Annual Meeting [earlier this year] and with the amazing selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate."
The Politico notes many more reactions in their article from a variety of people, showing a base that is finally "electrified" and excited about this election season.
The most satisfying portion of the reactions are those from the left where they have shown they were caught as flatfooted as the media in regards to McCain's VP pick and have let their desperation shine through by attacking not only Palin, but have pathetically gone after Palin's children with nothing more than rumors without any evidence, proof, records or documents.
If they thought women were angry over perceived sexism, just wait until the negative reactions and outrage hit them from woman that find anyone that will deliberately try to destroy a child's life and reputation even more repugnant than those which show evidence of sexism.
They haven't seen women angry yet..... that type of disgusting behavior is guaranteed to rally women and mothers behind Palin at a rapid rate.