(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.
This was absolutely a poor choice. Sen. McCain – what are you thinking... this is clearly a defensive decision and truly re-actionary.
I'm sorry... You needed more balance on the ticket. No disrespect to Gov. Palin, but who is she... She only has two years of experience. She's not ready to be Commander in Chief.
Your best argument against Sen. Obama was his not being ready... You negated your argument, and if most of the country being concerned about your age and health... This selection was NOT a good decision... This is an example of your poor judgment...
I can't support this ticket...
WOMEN WILL NOT VOTE FOR THIS WOMAN BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN. I AM INSULTED AS A WOMAN THAT MCCAIN WOULD GET A WOMAN TO USE WOMEN TO VOTE FOR HIM.
THIS IS A MAJOR DIASTER AND I AM TRULY INSULTED BY MCCAIN BEING A WOMAN, THIS IS THE MENTALITY OF A SLICK PIMP.
SHE IS NOT HILLARY.
oh hush man. We know why you say what you say.
Great choice, GOP. Alaska is well known for the billions of Pork Barrel dollars they've scammed from the taxpayers. Can anyone say, "VP to Nowhere?"
Cue up the Benny Hill music!
considering obama's own lack of foreign affairs experience, i think burton would be wise to shut his mouth
Can someone tell me what Palin's accomplishments have been while she has served as mayor or Governor?.
Somebody…. Anybody…..Still waiting..
great surprise...if Obama wanted to hit the ball out of the park he would have chose Hillary...This will swing 5 to 10 percent of the electorate to Sen McCain...What a Maverick...
John McCain – you are going to have to work very hard for my vote. The majority of your supporters (myself included – a 44 year old mother of four) wanted you to select Romney, or maybe even Pawlenty. I'll withhold judgment until after the convention, but I think this might be the first time in my life I stay home in November.
So much for "Country First."
The result of John McCain's highly anticipated V.P. pick goes to show what I've suspected all along...The shallowness of his claim to put "country first" ahead of any political scheme or reward.
How are we to believe that his selection of Sarah Palin for the number two spot in line to the presidency of the United States was made because he, John McCain, sees her as what America needs as a potential President?
I get the fact that there are still many women voters out there who are disappointed, and indeed heartbroken, about the fact that Senator Clinton is not the nominee of the Democratic party, but there's a reason they followed Hillary. It had to do with more than the simple fact that she was a woman. Hillary, in my mind, represents what all fathers of daughters, conservative or liberal, hope their little girls grow up to be. Not to take anything away from the good governor of Alaska, but she's no Hillary Clinton, and she's got a heck of a way to go before even catching up with the foot prints that Clinton has left behind.
does the McCain campaign listen to him?
"With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he's been a governor for three years, he's been able but undistinguished. I don't think people could really name a big, important thing that he's done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it's smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; north Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It's not a big town."
–Karl Rove, August 10, "Face the Nation"
Tim Kaine's service as governor: three years
Sarah Palin's service as governor: twenty months
Population, Richmond, VA: 200,123
Population, Wasilla, AK: 9,780
Ha, ha....this pick is a joke on soooo many levels!
McBush, thank you for officially handing the Presidency to Obama on 8/29/08!
So it looks like the great swing state of Alaska will go RED in the General Election LOL.
This is amazing.....let's pick a woman so we can try and get Hillary's
voters.......that says a lot what he thinks of women.....USE HER then
send her back to Alaska in Nov. ....that a boy McWar
HE'S USING HER......now what will Hillary's gals say about that?
He couldn't give a rats butt about her......only him and Cindy.
She's under investigation, plus her husband works for BP.....
SOUND FAMILIAR?...I have to say one thing for McWar!!!!
THIS WILL BE THE THIRD WOMAN YOU'VE USED IN YOUR LIFETIME
WOMAN USER....YOU'LL DO ANYTHING .....Is Cindy happy?....Not
McCain made a really bad choice. The experience argument is out the window. He is so desperate to try and gain the Hillary vote he has hung his campaign out to dry. He is old enough to conceivably die in office and leave the White House to a mayor. I don't see that going over big with the electorate. This isn't being a maverick. It's being stupid and using real bad judgement. This is the kind of judgement he will bring to the White House.
Strong conservative. Base is going to be excited by Palin.
Dem nightmare after not giving Hillary the nod.
Was going to hold my nose and vote for Barry. No more.
Well don't forget that McCain is running for President. He is a maverick so it shouldn't be so surprising!
She is gutsy and strong and a GREAT CHOICE. Sarah Palin rocks !!!!
Please tell me that at least she stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
"Risky , could be a disaster." - sounds like a description of Barack Obama.
Give me a break! Sarah is NOT Hillary and yes, we've seen now that a seventy-two person can be senile.
<== STILL LAUGHING!
DEMS IN 08!
GOV. SARAH PALIN, I KNOW HILLARY CLINTON, HILLARY CLINTON HAS 35 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, HILLARY CLINTON IS THE CHAMPION FOR WOMEN EVERYWHERE, YOU SARAH PALIN ARE NO HILLARY CLINTON!
Another notch on McCain’s barrel for a trophy woman. What an insults.
What was McCain thinking? Never mind he doesn’t think, the GOP hacks do that for him, I am beginning to believe him from yesterday when he said he doesn’t know who his VP will be.
I guess McCain can stop talking about Barack Obama's lack of experience. I hope McCain doesn't think people will vote for McCain simply because his VP is a woman. If so that's really disrespectful to women. I think what he doesn't understand is that the vast majority of men and women voted for Hillary Clinton because she was Hillary Clinton, and not simply because she was a woman.