Palin and Aides Felt Snubbed by McCain in Early 2008

Detroit Free Press/ZUMA Press


In 2008, months before John McCain would pick Sarah Palin to be his running mate, the Alaska governor and her crew felt snubbed by the Arizona senator, according to Palin emails recently released by Alaska in response to an open records request filed by Mother Jones, other news  organizations, and citizen activists.

A second batch of emails released this week by the state covers the last ten months of Palin’s self-abbreviated tenure as governor. But the batch also includes emails left out of the first round of emails made public last year. Several of those emails—full of redactions—refer to efforts of the 2008 Republican presidential contenders to court Palin in advance of the Alaska caucuses, which were held on February 5 that year.

In an email sent that day to Sean Parnell, then the lieutenant governor, Palin noted,

Talked to Romney today! Thank you for hooking that up. Can’t believe he took to the time. Talked to him about women in leadership. He said all the right things.

In a separate email to several of her aides and her husband Todd, Palin reported on her conversation with the former Massachusetts governor:

Romney called. Said good things just like Huck [as in Mike Huckabee, who was also running for the GOP presidential nomination].

In response one of the aides, Kris Perry, wrote back: “Did you ever hear from mccain?”

Palin had a one-word reply: “No.”

Perry responded: “Well, I haven’t been impressed and this is just icing on my cake.”

Palin emailed back: “Yeah, it’s good to know. He’s probably written off AK anyway.”

Alaska ended up not being kind to McCain. He placed fourth in the caucuses there, picking up just three delegates to Mitt Romney’s 12, Huckabee’s six, and Ron Paul’s five. But when he needed a veep nominee half-a-year later, he didn’t hold this against Palin. Nor did she maintain a grudge.

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  • David Corn

    David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief and an on-air analyst for MSNBC. He is the co-author (with Michael Isikoff) of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Showdown, Hubris (with Isikoff), and The Lies of George W. Bush, as well as the e-book, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video that Rocked the 2012 Election. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.