Meghan McCain expected Romney to be VP pick, not Palin or Pawlenty

WASHINGTON — At the time, it seemed like John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin to be his running mate was either a well-hidden surprise or a shot in the dark. Almost all the talk then centered around Tim Pawlenty or former GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.

As it turns out, even McCain’s daughter was shocked by the pick. And perhaps a bit disappointed too — she wanted Joe Lieberman instead.

In her new book, Dirty Sexy Politics, Meghan McCain says she wanted Lieberman but went to bed the night before the pick was announced expecting it to go to Romney. Pawlenty was only a “slight possibility” in her mind.

Politically speaking, picking Lieberman seemed like a brilliant move too. He is a former Democrat, and was previously the running mate of Al Gore. I have to admit, I loved the idea of having two independent-leaning politicians on the Republican ticket against the steadily left-leaning Barack Obama. I thought this would pull moderates like me – there were thirty million or more of us floating around the country — in the party’s direction.

But by the time I went to bed on the night of August 28, 2008, I had already been told that Joe Lieberman and Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, hadn’t made the final cut. That left me assuming – to the point of certainty — that Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, would be chosen. There was a slight possibility it could be Tim Pawlenty, who had a great head of hair. But aside from this fact, and that he was the governor of Minnesota, I knew nothing else about him.

Meghan McCain’s book is in stores now.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/31/2010 - 11:03 am.

    Meghan McCain’s big mistake is in believing that her father’s ticket with Romney or Lieberman would be seen as the moderate ticket versus the “left-leaning” one.

    The Obama campaign and their allies in the press painted the democrat ticket as moderate. I mean, how could anyone characterize “hope and change” as anything but. That would have made the race a moderate republican ticket versus a moderate democrat ticket, which, oh by the way, included a historically significant candidate.

    Conservatives saw the republican ticket as Bob Dole redux. Given McCain’s record on campaign finance reform, illegal immigrant amnesty, support of the huge bail out bill, etc., etc., I had planned to stay home.

    When he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, I decided to show up on election day and vote for Palin. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

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