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. HF from PA

    fansten your seatbelts....going to get bumpy...experience is a wash now....its all about the platform and the economy stupid

    August 29, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. ck

    AWESOME!!

    August 29, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. John

    George H.W. Bush's pick of Dan Quayle in 1988? Bush became the president in 1988!

    Speaking on a South Carolina radio station, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn likened the choice of Palin to Walter Mondale's choice of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 ...

    If Bill Clinton was racist, shouldn't you call this sexist?

    August 29, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Mike

    Great pick... This woman is going to surprise a lot of you just like Clinton did in the primary!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. So...

    let me get this straight, McCain criticizes Obama for his lack of experience and then picks Palin?! HAHAHA...Obama picked a senator with about 35 years of experience who is ready to step in as President should anything happen to Obama and the best McCain can do is a governor who has barely completed two years in office?!

    No Way, No How, No McBush!

    Obama/Biden – 2008

    August 29, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. d

    I can't believe the PUMAS and Mccain supporters trying to say she has more expereinced than obama because she has EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE.

    Guess what, Hillary and mcCain has only been Senators as well, NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE.

    If you believe Palin is more expereinced than Obama, than using that logic she is more expereinced than McCain and Clinton.

    Obamas Campaign that he has run excellent over the last year is more involved with people, money, and probably has a larger budget then friggin Alaska

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Ready for Change

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    PUMA!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. georgia

    Agnew,Quayle Palin...??
    Another great Repugnant VP choice !

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    The fact that she's from Alaska will be a nice subliminal reminder of another corrupt Republican, Mister Bridge-toNowhere: Ted Stevens!

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Kathleen Kourie

    McCain's pick of Palin as VP says a few things to me. He plans to have Alaska's oil resources fully exploited as payback for this nod. Before any alternative sources of energy are serious explored, the oil industry and the politicians in their pockets want to squeeze every last drop of our oil sold at record profits in the name of "helping" the American people. If this wasn't transparent enough, McCain feels he has the experience needed on every issue to be president and won't have to listen to a VP with virtually no experience at the national level. Having a woman will also pander to the Hillary voters who just wanted a woman in the White House.

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Ian

    I'm sure the conservative base will be real happy with a woman. Nice job John, I think you just PO'ed a lot of "Christians".

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Jeffer65

    I think she will be a good campaigner, but her lack of experience and inability to actually be president if something happens to McCain will ruin the Republicans chances of being elected. Bad choice.

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Andy

    Considering she has never appeared on a national stage, never given a major speech, and probably never even given the federal government a second thought, this was a risky, and purely political, move.

    McCain has no idea how she'll perform. It smacks of desperation.

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Joseph in Dallas

    Okay...God Forbid something happen to McCain(if he gets elected president)....while he's in office....do we REALLY want this woman running the country?

    August 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. JLM

    Attention Hillary supporters (and all women for that matter): 3 out of the 4 liberal judges currently sitting on the Supreme Court will likely be retiring during the next president's term. McCain and Palin want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and if they are elected, it could very likely happen. Some states would then make abortion illegal, eliminating choice for women. Please do not be tricked into voting for McCain just because he picked a woman.

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

    the DMC convention was amazing from top to bottom....this VP choice shows the desperation of the Republican party but also shows that McCain is in no way in charge of his campaign...72 today, well John happy birthday,our gift to you will be your retirement.

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. David in Los Angeles

    Clearly Palin is the most qualified candidate in the field, more so than Obama, Biden or McCain, she has extensive executive experience (2 years) as Governor of a large state with national security implications (Alaska) and she has additional executive experience as Mayor of a now prominent municipality (Wasilia City). What is there not to like about this? I'm really surprised she did not run for the Presidency herself. I say Palin for President, forget McCain!

    P.S. my meds have not been working well lately. :)

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. B. Edwards

    It would appear that Barack's charge that McCain has poor judgement
    is correct. He picks a person with MUCH LESS experience than Obama to be president. He has one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel and this is who he leaves to face Putin and Bin Ladin.

    Gov. Palin's husband works for an oil company B/P petroleum and
    she is under investigation. IS SHE THE FEMALE CLONE OF CHENEY OR WHAT.?

    This is a change alright. Its musical chairs. The same group running round and round the White House

    GOD HELP AMERICA!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. 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 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. Matt, Pittsburgh

    She's no Hillary!!

    Is that all the higher you libs have set the bar??

    Great. I wouldn't want Hillary. Hillary is just another democrat who never lets the truth get in her way. Whitewater, Rose Law firm billing, whitehouse travel office... and this was all before she held any public office.

    I was hoping for Pawlenty. But if this upsets liberals/socialists so much, it must a really good decision.

    McCain/Pallin '08
    Pallin/Pawlenty '12

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Brad - Washington State

    Great ploy and ruse McCain. Have America spend the next month and a half focusing on who and what Palin is all about so they're not looking at your record. Shame on you!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Cranston Snort

    It may be true that in the future this may be a bad move, but for the present it was brilliant...has completely dimmed the shooting star of last night.

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Female Hillary Supporter NOT Interested in Sarah Palin

    I am NOT a PUMA, but I am an older white female who was early on turned off by Obama.

    However, I love Joe Biden, so I will vote for Joe–Obama will be a tag-along.

    It is LUDICROUS that Democratic women would switch to the Republican party and its platform just to get a female vice president.

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. georgia independent

    This only proves that McCain doesn't get it. And McShame should be ashamed of himself to put this lady in this situation.

    Biden will grind her up. It will be sad.

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. simp

    barry c
    your 5 to 10% swing to mclame is not going to happen, are you serious? Obama did hit the ball out of the park, are you on another planet? even if you didn't see his speech i know you heard about it. Hillary was not the choice and frankly I'm very glad she isn't.

    all you haters who are trying to still say Obama has no experience, you are laughable. Regardless of who this old geeser picked, Obama and Biden will kick their BUTTS. LOL

    Obama/Biden

    August 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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