It is the first time the odd couple of political and personal contrasts has campaigned together since the presidential race of 2008.
McCain plucked Palin out of the political obscurity of the Alaska statehouse and gave her a platform that turned her into a media star and darling of conservatives across the nation.
Palin Friday gave McCain what he wanted in a fiery introduction that emphasized his conservative credentials and his standing as an anti-Washington maverick who opposed health care overhaul and supported fiscal restraint and small government.
"Those issues are at the heart of a conservative movement that is sweeping this country," Palin said. "It's a beautiful grass-roots movement that is putting government back on the side of the people. Some parts of this is the tea party movement.
"I want to clear the air right now," she said to cheers, calling the tea party movement, "a beautiful movement. Everybody here today supporting John McCain, we're all part of that tea party movement."
McCain applauded and in his comments predicted that the recently passed health care insurance overhaul will be overturned by the courts. "Repeal and replace," he said, using what has become the GOP rallying cry for the midterm election cycle.
The intervening months haven't been as kind to McCain, 73, as they have been to Palin, who quit as governor to become the author of a bestselling book, a television commentator and a political powerhouse.
By contrast, McCain is fighting for his political life as he faces a primary from the right in his bid for a fifth term in the Senate.