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. No Longer Amused, Las Vegas

    Well, the Republicans have really hamstrung themselves on attacking Obama for "lack of experience".

    I can't wait to see the VP debate.

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Clinton Fringer

    "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.

    Are they talking about themselves? She is running for VP with the experience being on the top of the ticket as it should be not the experiece being Biden as the VP. Hahahahahaha...........they know this is a choice that is going to make the Obama lives much more difficult. Honestly............a gun toting, feminist, pro-life, life long NRA member. Dang........you really don't get much better of a Republican resume.

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. whotoo

    This is the time to question the issue of experince and inexperience. The time to question the issue of who makes the right judgement.
    This is the time for voters to examine their emotions. Are women anxious to see an experience woman in the White House? Or are they anxious to just see a woman with a little experience on national issues in the White House?

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. georgia

    Mac flip-flops once again ! Now inexperience is a plus ???
    Not to mention ethics:like ordering the firing of state trooper bro-in-law because he's feuding w/your sister !
    Great choice Mac........ NOT !!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Kijanna

    Whatever happend to calls for experience from more of the same camp? Wow, she gained experience leading a town of 5000 people, plus polar bears?

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Geri Hall

    McCain is definitely on the defensive. He seems unable to come up with fresh ideas, so he copies George W. Bush's policies and tries to grab the spotlight from Obama by choosing an inexperienced woman as a running mate. Poor John! Do we want a copy cat as president?

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. vvv

    it will be disaster, ah, I dont think so. Sarah Palin will be a good VP. We need a woman to do the job. It is perfect for her.

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. NY4Obama

    Palin – Ready to Lead a village..not the Nation. Has his Governor ever been to Washington? Is she 'Ready to Lead' how is her 'JUDGMENT" and what does this say about his? She's merely been picked to be a figurehead..it's ridiculous, to say it's Laughable is an understatement.

    The John McCain Comedy Tour – coming to a city near you.

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Denise

    Agreed....Obama/Biden all the way.

    And by the way.....I'm offended that McCan would think he would get my vote by selecting any old female to run with. This woman is opposite of what Hillary stands for and it's Obvious - McCain just don't get it. And he won't get the Presidency.

    August 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. James

    I'm sure she is smart and intelligent.

    But it is going to be hillarious to listen to Rush, Hannity, Larson, FOX commentators in general try to justify and applaud this decision.

    The Conservative movement is dead and this is another nail in the coffin.

    This is laughable.

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Barbara Gooch

    Ah! quit crying it would not of mattered who he picked there would be the Dem. crying. The only better choice would have been Condolisa Rice. She has as much experience as Obama and probably a lot smarter. So you Dem. give it up.

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. RRE

    If any one is risky it's OBAMA.... GO MCCAIN/PALIN.....

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Spencer from VA

    Joe Biden is going to rip her a new one. Welcome to the big league little lady.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Greg

    Clyburn is right.

    Palin is risky for her party and for the country.

    McCain would be the oldest President ever if elected, and he just chose the most inexperienced VP ever. She was running a town with a population of only 5,400 and has only been governor of Alaska for a year.

    That's not experience we can believe in....

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Joe in NJ

    "I can't wait to see Hillary Clinton tear her apart."

    And why would Hillary do that? Who cares what Hillary has to say at this point? She's over. And as far as Palin not being Hillary, good because we don't want Hillary!

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

    Not the best choice, unknown VP candidate, how will that win more votes?? Obama new he need some experience, Biden. Is McCain just reaching to get the Hillary votes?

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Obama Supporter VA

    I think it is a hoax.....

    I think durign the convention she will decline and he will pick another person.

    McCain wants a moment in the media spotlight...,.stir up the female votes

    and Clyburn played right into McCain's plan just like Bill was accused of the race card.

    Obama stay above this and make no rash statements about this lady until after the Republican convention.

    The Republicans flow in confusion, division and fear! What better way then to get African Americans and Women polarized against each other.

    Democrats unite and do no be tricket

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Obama-Junkie, IL

    This is very risky for McCain. With all the talk from my fellow bloggers, a simple but powerful thing can happen which will destroy McCain's chances in the general election and he just reinforced it. If between now and Nov. 4th, McCain tests positive for more cancer his choice of Palin reinforces the "ready to be president" argument within his own party.

    And when voters take a look at a McCain/Palin ticket compared to an Obama/Biden ticket, the choice will be either Obama/Biden or stay home and not vote! Oh Yeah! I forgot about Bob Barr, the spoiler for McCain.

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

    McCain has to be crazy! Does he think he can choose this inexperienced woman from Alaska and believe he can win over all the Hillary supporters? No one has ever even heard of this woman. What an insult to women everywhere who believed in and fought for Hillary. Obama has my vote. I will work for and do everything I can to see that he is elected! Go Obama/Biden!

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Amy Holmes just said that if Biden goes tough on her in the VP debate he'll be perceived as a bully. So Biden is supposed to be soft because she's a woman! Please. What an insult to women that we can't hold our own and you better be nice to us? Or we'll cry?

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Peggy Schettini

    I am not American but I went to college in the States. I always thought that Americans respect women but it looks like I made a mistake. What a sexist thing to say. Now I realize that people all over the world are the same even if their country has the " best " universities in the world. That reminds me of a French man who heard my mom and I talk about soccer and who said :"now women think they are experts, they talk about soccer"

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. Jen, Gainesville

    McCain is a gambler and has poor judgment. This is another proof.

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. peg

    smart move for mccain. just sealed my vote. republican for the first time. what is so risky about this move. she has more excutive experience than obama and biden

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Jeff

    Kick butt SARAH!

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Dave

    Love how all the equal rights Dems are claiming McCain just picked a woman to sway Hillary supporters. Hypocrites! Maybe you should learn something about the candidate before you make your sexist comments.

    August 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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