August 29th, 2008
02:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Dems say Palin is 'risky,' could be a disaster

Clyburn said the choice of Palin is risky.
Clyburn said the choice of Palin is risky.

(CNN) – A leading House Democrat said Friday John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a "risky" move that could ultimately prove disastrous to the Republican prospects in November.

Meanwhile, a top Senate Democrat said the pick is a "Hail Mary pass" and a "roll of the dice," in what is the initial reactions from McCain's rival party.

Watch: Palin accepts VP offer

Speaking to South Carolina ETV Radio, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn likened the choice of Palin to Walter Mondale's choice of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and George H.W. Bush's pick of Dan Quayle in 1988. Both picks - relatively unknown political figures at the time - generated initial excitement but were ultimately deemed poor choices by many political observers.

"I think (her selection) would be something similar to Dan Quayle - Dan Quayle proved to be sort of an embarrassment as a campaigner, being thrust on a national stage like that could be very tough," Clyburn said. "Now Mondale tried to shake things up by going with Geraldine Ferraro, she proved to be a disaster as a running mate. And as a campaigner, she was absolutely awful."

"And so I just think that it is very risky for McCain to do this, but it may be all he has left," Clyburn also said.

In an issued statement, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Palin is significantly mismatched to Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden and said the prospect of her becoming president is "troubling."

"It is a real role of the dice and shows how John McCain, Karl Rove et al realize what a strong position the Obama-Biden team and Democrats in general are in in this election," Schumer said. "Certainly the choice of Palin puts to rest any argument about inexperience on the Democratic team and while Palin is a fine person, her lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling. I particularly look forward to the Biden-Palin debate in Missouri.”

The Obama campaign also told CNN Friday the choice of Palin takes the question of experience "off the table."

"Experience is being taken off the table considering you're putting someone within a heartbeat of the presidency with the thinnest foreign policy experience in history," spokesman Bill Burton said.

Update:
Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the 4th ranking House Democrat, said in a statement the choice of Palin "shows political panic."

"Is this really who the Republican Party wants to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency? Given Sarah Palin's lack of experience on every front and on nearly every issue, this Vice Presidential pick doesn't show judgment: it shows political panic," he said.


Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Dan in Philly

    The wrong choice, of course. In addition to killing his 'inexperience' argument, there's also the little problem of the firing scandal she claims she knew nothing about (and reminiscent of the federal attorney firings, a similarity I'm sure Obama/Biden will point out.) She's also admitted to smoking pot and has been quoted as saying she cannot pull a Bill Clinton and say she never inhaled. Biden will beat her in the debates, too.

    I think he's miscalculated. The HillBillies wanted Hillary to not only get there, but be the first. Many of them are not likely to give another woman the chance to be president.

    Obama/Biden '08, '12 for Change

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Bruce

    Well the choice may not be about "WOMEN" there is OIL in the equation.

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. JOE, NYC

    bad choice for MCBush

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Ex-PUMA 4 Obama

    I thought for sure that he would pick Romney or Pawlenty. Um......strange.

    Wow McCain, I can see not chosing Romney because of the Hillary ads you put out with Hillary slamming Obama for lack of experience. But why not Pawlenty?

    The Republican Convention will be interesting...especially with McBushRove speaking on the first night.

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Christina P., Buffalo NY

    @Souza writes: I was just still wonder why would Obama not pick Hillary? This election would have been a slam dunk. What reason could be more important than winning? Instead Biden got 8,000 votes and Hillary 18 million. What is wrong with this picture?

    Answer: It's not about JUST winning (except for the repugs) – it's about WINNING with all of the necessary pieces in place to ensure REAL CHANGE!!! (Being able to work his plan) Hillary, I'm sure will have a nice cozy cabinet position ... yet when Hillary promised us 200,000 jobs in Buffalo NY – she didn't have the pieces in place to fulfill that promise – she admitted it in a national debate!! Obama is a master organizer!!! He plans his work – and works his plan!!! That's how experience works!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Kevin,FL

    "thinnest foreign policy experience in history" The Obama Camp shouldn't be talking about foreign policy. Obama got None

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. PUMA IS A KARL ROVE DIRTY TRICK AND A MYTH..

    LETS ALL SEE HOW LONG THE "OBMA SHOULD HAVE PICKED HILLARY" NOTES CONTINUE TO APPEAR NOW THAT UNITY HAS BEEN ACHIEVED....

    PUMA IS A KARL ROVE DIVIDE AND CONQUER TRICK..

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. anon

    If experience is now off the table, then I guess "change" is also off the table.

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Tennessee Mike

    No more risky that the Democratic presidential candidate who has absolutely no "REAL" experience!

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. RRRrrrr

    Mc same only picked palin because he's a big fan of big oil companies and this will put him closer to anwr.. he and the GOP have never done a single thing for women, and now he picks one that 2 years ago was mayor of a town the size of my back yard and is now the governor of one of the least populated states? WOW..... they could have at least picked a strong woman with some REAL leadership skills, but im sure gramps doesn't want her to break a nail... a woman that isnt even for women....

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. ryan

    wow i am a republuican but this was not good what about romney this could have lost it all this is crazy i hope it help but dont see it thanks mccain for making republicans scratch there head.this was a mistake.

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Wonder what PUMA folks will think when Palin and Clinton go toe to toe and Palin trashes Hillary.

    Will they still vote for McCain?

    Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.

    Palin is in way over her head! We will find out soon enough.

    Thanks McCain for not picking Pawlenty! He was the only guy I was worried about. YOU BLEW IT!

    BAD JUDGEMENT AGAIN.

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. arun

    After the current president, using the "governor / executive experience" is probably not a smart move. As we have seen, being governor does not preclude you from being a disaster. Point is what are your views on the issues that face this nation. Are we whiners ? Do we have universal health care a.k.a. run to the emergency ?

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Abby :)

    You know why I think this is a mistake, if Hillary doesn’t want an incumbent woman running against her in 2012, she is going to be working her heart out for Obama. I think they just reenergized Hillary. Very nice.

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. jimmy

    DEMOCRATS , OBAMA AND HIS CAMP IGNORED , TREATED HILLARY CLINTON BADLY AND THEY NOW SHOW CONTEMPT
    FOR AN HONEST WOMAN VP CHOICE OF MCCAIN AND THE GOP..
    CLYBURN (WHO THE HECK IS HE) CALLS HER RISKY ????
    NOT ANYMORE RISKY THAN OBAMA THE DEMS NOMINEE FOR PREZ. AMERICAN WOMEN NOW HAVE A VOICE IN VOTING FOR MCCAIN AND PALIN WHO DEFEATED HER OWN PARTY'S
    POLITICIANS. SHE IS AN ENERGY AND OIL DRILLING ADVOCATE
    AND SHE HAS FOUND HER VOICE ON THE AMERICAN POLITICAL LANDSCAPE ....THE OIL RICH ALASKAN LANDSCAPE
    THAT IS. WE WILL NOW BE ABLE TO TAP THE LARGEEST OIL RESOURCES WE HAVE IN ALASKA AS WELL AS OFF SHORE DRILLING.. BEST OF ALL HILLARY'S SUPPORTERS AMERICAN WOMEN HAVE A VOICE AND CANNOT NOT BE IGNORED AS HILLARY WAS BY THE DEMOCRATS LED BY OBAMA AND CAMP.

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Lou - NH

    A republican VP from Alaska?!?!?! The oil companies must be drooooling!

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. EBC

    John McCain has just INSULTED women and their intelligence in this country with his blatant "pandering" of his VP Pick.

    I mean come on, as a WOMAN, does John McCain THINK that we women are that daft in voting for him because he picked "a woman"? I mean, does he really think we women supported HIllary Clinton just because she was just "A" woman"? NOT!!!!

    The audacity in thinking we woman are that STUPID and that quick to SELL OUT THEIR VOTES and DISHONOR Sen. Clinton's 35+ years of dedication to this country as a PROUD AMERICAN and DEMOCRAT, over his silly pandering of Gov. Palin!!!! He's sorely mistaken!!!

    WOMEN -– ARE WE THAT STUPID????

    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. John McShame Dont Get it!

    this is a awful pick!

    I'm appaled that McShame will pick a non-starter!

    this woman is NOT even worth the sand Hillary walk on....PAWLENTY would have been a better choice!

    the republicans will be scratchinh their head...what's wrong with John McShame?!

    to have a woman with zero-experience a heartbeat away from the presidency and you John McShame is 72yrs old and may leave the stage anytime soon; THAT'S SCARY!

    America is DOOMED with the republican choice!

    Welcome President Barack Obama!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Speider

    I'm shocked by this news. Of all the experienced people that could and should have been picked, this is a very questionable move. I do have to agree with most that this seems to be a desperate move to lure Clinton's hardcore PUMA supporters, yet they, for the most part, heeded Senator Clinton's call for party unity. I just can't fathom what the RNC is thinking beyond that.

    What truly frightens me is that she is next in line if something were to happen to McCain. What experience could she bring to the table of world and national politics?

    This truly is an historic election. Future generations will look back on this and wonder what their fore bearers were thinking and if we were neanderthals.

    August 29, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Sue

    This is a great disaster in the making. What poor judgement on McCain's part – does McCain understand the risks faced by this country to elect Palin?

    I'm just disappointed!

    August 29, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. linda

    Given McCain's age and health history there is a good chance she could be President. No way.

    August 29, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Barb

    Well that makes her and Obama equals, both don’t have any foreign policy experience since calling a whirlwind trip around a few countries can hardly be called foreign policy experience. Also she is not running for the top spot. Unlike Obama she worked in the last year and half in the position she was elected into and even accomplished a few things – hmmmmm.

    August 29, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Lesley, Lighthouse Point, FL

    The women who supported Hilary are feminists. They are a smart group of women and will not fall for this gimick. Sarah Palin is not pro women's issues. It's more than just being female, it's about promoting women in this country. Typical neanderthal attitudes coming from this party.

    August 29, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Spencer from VA

    Look at the McCain supporters trying to use our slogans. No originality. So lame JC.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    August 29, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. David

    Hillary is going to rip this woman to pieces. She is going to be like a little girl and go cry – hahaha. Seriously – her entire state has a population just slightly bigger than my metro area. For experience, give me a politician who has worked the Chicago machine all the way up to the nomination over some backwater unknown any day. Otherwise, I think I'll go be mayor of a town of about 6000, become gov, and then I can also be a VP!

    August 29, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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