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. JOE KILOZ

    I F,,,,,,,,,,I ,,,,,,,,,,,,W A S,,,,,,,,,,,A ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,M A J O R I T Y,,,,,,,,,W H I P,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    I ' D,,,,,,,,,,,,,B E,,,,,,,,,,,,,W E L C O M I N G,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,D I V E R S E,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    P O I N T S,,,,,,,,,,,,,O F,,,,,,,,,,,,,,V I E W,,,,,,,,I N T O,,,,,,,,T H E,,,,,,,,,,F R A Y

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

    To me this seems like a completely calculated, transparent, reactive, and uninspired pick by the McCain campaign. They are trying to court the Hillary Clinton votes. If she bombs in the debates, there is NO WAY McCain wins this election.

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

    from the comments from the usual suspects...

    it seems McCain could have chosen his pet rock from his p.o.w. days as running mate, and you would be hailing it as the best decision in history.

    you guys are sooooooo transparent.

    this is the biggest pander in the history of mankind.

    period. go ahead right wing... fox news... SPIN AWAY...

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. not chuckling

    forgot to change name title, its not funny in the least

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. ObamaAllTheWay

    Al Gore: I like recycling but this is riducous
    I like woman but this is ridculous,absurd,preposterous, and laughable to try to appeal to women by picking woman as a V.P.
    this woman is unknown she is not hillary clinton, this is the end of
    GOP( white party).

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. misterd

    I love how JB proclaims that She was Govenor (for less than 2 years) and she was a Mayor. You know, he's right. Being a Mayor of a small Alaska town, and govenor of a state with huge natural resources but an extremely small population is just like being the leader of the most powerful nation in the world! My first reaction was...WHO??? Then I started thinking of the simple fact that John McCain is at an age where the Vice President may need to step in and run our country. They can hammer away at Obama's experience but it is on the national level and he has Biden who has TONS of experience. This woman is very confusing because in reality, she has basically NO experience that is relevant to being a leader of the United States especially in a time when the complexities of the office are so incredibly great.

    All I am left saying is..."what are they thinking???"

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Nicole

    Let me get this straight and when I say this I am not trying to be funny or issue an attack to McCain but we are all aware of McCain age and previous health issues so his VP choice is very critical because they could very well have to step in and be President. You mean to tell me that he is so desperate to get Clinton supporters that he picked a VP with no experience whatsoever on National Security when we are facing threats now more than ever.

    You really think that we Hillary supporters are so stuid and irrational to not see that you only picked this woman because of her gender. This is a insult to me and all the other woman that I know.

    This woman ain't no Hillary Clinton!

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. lovable liberal

    How will Palin respond when some clueless person asks, "Hey, is that your dad?"

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. konjit

    ok this really scares me! Biden is going to tear her apart during a debate. What is McCain thinking????

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Obama/Biden 08

    He definitely has a great point there.

    Moreover, McCain, as we all have seen, is not making this campaign about issues. He is making it by exploiting people's fears and by attempting to sway women by promising them history. I hope that Hillary supporters soon realize that Sarah Palin has almost nothing in common with Hillary Clinton besides her gender.

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Maria D.

    At least Ms. Palin has worked as governor for two years – the 2 years Mr. Obama has been in the Senate all he has done is campaign – I think that her foreign policy experience is the same as Obama – traveling to a few foreign countries does not an expert make – I'd rather the VP have less experience than the President – it seems the DNC has their ticket all upside down . . .

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. J.C.

    I would worry more about their performance in the White House than on the campaign trail. I don't think McCain chose Palin just because she is a woman.

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. petra

    Here we go again, the whiny democrats out in full force...

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. KC

    Let's see she has a degree in Journalism, was Miss Alaska, Miss Congeniality, the first thing she did out of college was to elope with a oil man, she was a sports reporter and she eats moose. McCain is 72 yrs old, is this who you want in 2nd? not me.

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Linda

    Does anyone know where Palin stands on abortion and reproductive rights? Just because she's a woman doesn't mean she's for women!

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

    Want to bet he forgets he made this coice in the morning? He has until Tuesday to change his mind.

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. S. Bird

    I don't understand what she adds to the ticket. If the concern w/ McCain is his age (whether a legitimate concern or not), then as a voter, I would like to see someone with a lot more experience as the #2. From a review of her background, I'm unimpressed and will now seriously consider voting for the other side. Note: as a female voter, the choice of what appears to be a VP candidate w/out much experience won't gain my vote.

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Tony

    Are you better off now than you were 8 years ago then you make more than $200,000 a year and voted republican. I on the other hand made less than $100,000 and need a break. If yoou want 4 more years of the same bs then go and waste your vote for Mc. But if you want change then its Obama.

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Veteran for McCain

    This is such a great pick.....

    I love the DEMS faulty thinking here:

    She has little experience so she is a bad choice.... So Obama has little experience but he is a good choice? I would take a one term governor over a one term senator anyday.

    It's our term to shine now!!! Move over DEMS, you have been forgotten!

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Sam Rose

    McCain has just put our country at risk by this stupid decision–
    as much as I do not like McCain and Romney-at least
    I would have confidence that Romney could run the country-should something happen to McCain-

    --I am really scared by this decision should he be elected--

    He has put us at risk-NO WAY NO HOW-McCAIN-PALIN

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Oregon calling

    Things that make you go hmmmmm, or more importantly, what was he thinking? You think that this will get the Hillary supporters? No Way, No How, NO McCain! There goes your "Lack of experience argument.
    Some have said that you can tell what type of leader you will be getting by how they run their campaign, hands down Obama has run a stellar one!

    Obama / Biden 08

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Margaret McTighe

    I think McCain just lost the election with his VP pick. Those of us who are tired of religion influencing our policies, now know McCain will Indeed be a continuation of the Bush whitehouse. Pro-Life and Anti-gay sentiments are the Only Things she Brings to McCain.

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. JC

    What an outstanding selection. For those chanting the experience mantra – Vice Presidents don't need much experience (unless of course the President has none). Vice Presidents normally go off on their own and work on a few pet projects while they get their feet wet and get experience. Obama would have been a great VP pick. Palin is a great VP pick. I am so excited!

    No Way, No How, No Obama!

    McCain/Palin – 2008

    August 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Franky

    Man, she better get ready for this game. That's all I gotta say. Ohhh man, this is gonna be exciting....

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Hana

    Not so intelligent pick for Mccain...Gov Palin is under investigation on corruption by the state of Alaska.

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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