Republican Party vice presidential candidate selection, 2008
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.
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." 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.
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. 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) 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. 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. Over two dozen names had been offered as viable potential running mates by the Kansas City Star, the Salt Lake Tribune, the New York Sun, the Indianapolis Star, the Saint Louis Post Dispatch, the Times of India, and the Globe and Mail. This list includes both names that had been mentioned in several sources and some much less likely candidates:
- Sam Brownback - Senior U.S. Senator from Kansas, 2008 presidential candidate
- Lindsey Graham - Senior U.S. Senator from South Carolina and long time McCain friend
- Lisa Murkowski - Junior U.S. Senator from Alaska
- Olympia Snowe - Senior U.S. Senator from Maine
- John E. Sununu - Junior U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
- John Thune - Junior U.S. Senator from South Dakota, endorsed McCain
- Joe Lieberman - Junior U.S. Senator from Connecticut Lieberman was an independent who caucused with the Democrats. He was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000.
- Haley Barbour - Governor of Mississippi
- Matt Blunt - Governor of Missouri
- Charlie Crist - Governor of Florida
- Bobby Jindal - Governor of Louisiana
- Sarah Palin - Governor of Alaska. Sarah Palin became the GOP Vice-Presidential nominee in 2008.
- Tim Pawlenty - Governor of Minnesota and Co-Chair of McCain for President
- Mark Sanford - Governor of South Carolina
- Rick Perry - Governor of Texas
- Mike Huckabee - former Governor of Arkansas, 2008 presidential candidate
- Mitt Romney - former Governor of Massachusetts, 2008 presidential candidate and 2012 Republican presidential nominee
- Tom Ridge - former Governor of Pennsylvania and former Homeland Security Secretary
- Christine Todd Whitman - former Governor of New Jersey 
- Carly Fiorina - former Hewlett Packard CEO
- Tommy Franks - former U.S. Army General and former Commander of United States Central Command
- James L. Jones - former Supreme Commander of NATO and Commandant of U.S. Marine Corps
- David Petraeus - former Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq; Commander of the United States Central Command
- Rob Portman - former U.S. congressman from Ohio, former Budget Director and U.S. Trade Representative
- Meg Whitman - former eBay CEO
- Michael Bloomberg - Mayor of New York City
- Kay Bailey Hutchison - Senior U.S. Senator from Texas
- Bobby Jindal - Governor of Louisiana for only a year, who said he wants to complete two terms
- Condoleezza Rice - U.S. Secretary of State
- Colin Powell - former United States Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Powell later endorsed Democratic Nominee Barack Obama
- Republican Party presidential candidates, 2008
- Democratic Party vice presidential candidate selection, 2008
- Republican Party vice presidential candidates, 2012
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- Bosman, Juilie; Jeff Zeleny (2008-02-09). "Dems stump hard, McCain talks running mate". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Hillyer, Quin (2008-02-14). "Who Wants to Be a Vice President?". The American Spectator. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-15. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "Hillyer" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
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- McCain Easing Into Role of GOP Leader
- "Who should be McCain's running mate?". Kansas City Star. 2008-02-13. Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
- Burr, Thomas; Matt Canham (2008-03-02). "Could dogged devotion earn guv a VP spot?". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- Geraghty, Jim (2006-12-06). "McCain Hints Minn. Governor May Be His Running Mate". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
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