August 30th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
6 years ago

First Obama ad on Palin avoids mentioning her at all

Palin makes fewer appearances than Bush in first Obama ad since her pick.
Palin makes fewer appearances than Bush in first Obama ad since her pick.

(CNN) - Since Barack Obama distanced himself from his campaign’s first tough reaction to presumptive Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, his team seems to be figuring out the best way to direct their fire. In the meantime, their ad approach when it comes to the Alaska governor is simple: keep aiming at John McCain.

Obama’s campaign has begun airing its first ad that includes Palin – but never criticizes her, or even mentions her name. The 30-second spot, which started airing Saturday on national cable in advance of next week’s GOP convention, keeps up the line of attack ran through the Democratic convention: that a McCain presidency would mean the continuation of the Bush policy approach. The campaign would not say how extensive the ad buy was.

"Well, he's made his choice," says the announcer in ‘No Change.’ "But, for the rest of us there's still no change. McCain doesn't get it, calling this broken economy 'strong.' Wants to keep spending ten-billion-a-month in Iraq. And votes with George Bush 90 percent of the time.

(Updated with Joe Biden's first general election ad after the jump)

"So, while this may be his running mate..." he continues, over footage of McCain and a smiling Sarah Palin, which shifts to footage of McCain and Bush. "America knows this is John McCain's agenda. And we can't afford four more years of the same."

An Obama spokesman had reacted to the announcement that McCain had tapped Palin as his running mate Friday with a statement that called her "the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience."

Obama, who later complimented Palin in a statement, backed away from the criticism. "I think, you know, campaigns start getting these hair triggers," he told reporters. "And the statement that Joe and I put out reflects our sentiments."

UPDATE: The Obama campaign also released its first ad featuring Joe Biden, which stresses his Scranton, Pennsylvania roots in advance of his Monday visit to the area.

“Scranton’s a place that never leaves you. It becomes part of your heart,” Biden says in the 30-second spot, which is airing in Northeast Pennsylvania. “Barack Obama learned the same lesson while being raised by a single mom and his grandparents.”

The new tagline: "Obama-Biden. For the change we need."

soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. NYC Z

    McCain's bad choice of a VP speaks for itself. What an insult to the women of the US and the choices that he had, which included some very experienced women. Another choice would have shook up the race. Lack of judgement.

    August 30, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Don

    McCain chose someone he has met only once to be his VP

    that's a gut decision and not a thoughtful one, this is the reason he is

    dangerous for the country.

    August 30, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. aughhhh

    Good move. She really is of no consequence. She brings nothing to the table. She attracts the ultra conservative, whose votes would have gone to McCain anyway. Women are not stupid as McCain thinks, they will not vote for an unqualified woman simply because she is a woman. Her views are the exact opposite of Hillary Clinton's and women will see through McCain's agenda.

    August 30, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Jatovi, NC

    This is a good idea, no one knew her before and no one knows her now so why even mention her. Oh wait I was wrong, the Fed's know her since she is under investigation.

    August 30, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Tyrone Brown

    I am following Barack Obama's example and lead on how we move forward – no drama, stick to message and to not take anything for granted.

    Congratulation are in order on the historical VP pick, but beyond that we cannot afford another four years of Bush-McCain politics – No Way, No How, No McCain/Palin.

    Yes! We! Can! Obama/Biden '08

    Tyrone Brown
    Proud Obamacrat
    Seattle, WA

    August 30, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Beauty and the beast.

    McCains first important decison as to who step in if anything should happen to him. What does he do?
    Choose a beautiful woman as usual.
    Beautiful women have saved McCain again and again.
    McCain user of women.
    Stop exploiting women

    August 30, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    I supported HRC because she was the BEST candidate. You all attacked her and hated her for no good reason- and divided the democratic party.

    The disrespect and sexism meted out to HRC is what insulted me.

    I do not expect the republicans to nominate a HRC- why would they? They are Republicans.

    But I did expect my OWN party to nominate the best and most qualified candidate. Instead you installed Obama- no qualifications, no experience, no achievements.

    Criticize Palin on the political issues you disagree on- but do not attack her for her gender, or her experience. She has actually done things and exposes Obama for the empty suit he is.

    NAME ONE THING OBAMA HAS DONE? LIST FOR ME OBAMA'S EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS.

    FURTHERMORE....If women vote for Palin on gender HOW is that any different than all those who voted for Obama based ONLY on his race.

    SHE is actually a qualified representative of HER party- as HRC was for the democrats. Obama is NOT.

    August 30, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. Mckee

    72 year-old man with multi illnesses pick someone one couldn't imagine; as a republican-this a shame and an insult to many many Americans, only two years Gov. of small state, no exposure at all, only met McCain once. A woman that is still baby feeding. McCain where is your straight talk, Country first and judgment.........??

    August 30, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Steve Hill

    I'm still waiting for the Obama campaign to actually share with us his accomplishments. He was a mediocre "community organizer," an undistinguished lawyer, and a liberal partisan as a member of the the Illinois & US Senate. He has never gone against his party nor any liberal special interest group.

    When will someone share his accomplishments that make him qualified to be president?

    August 30, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Chi4Obama

    Obama is smart.

    The best way to hit the GOP about the Palin pick, is to not say "anything" at all. John McCain's stupidity says enough already.

    August 30, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Leslie

    Shocking Choice by John McCain

    WASHINGTON– Senator John McCain just announced his choice for running mate: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. To follow is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

    “Senator McCain’s choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies.

    “Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.

    “This is Senator McCain’s first significant choice in building his executive team and it’s a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain’s commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil.”

    August 30, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. The Oracle

    Lol. I love it!!! This just undercut McCain's best argument. In my opinion why is she qualified to step in in a heartbeat but Obama isn't?? I think she knows herself better than anybody else. So my question is why didn't she run herself?? Could it be because 3 yrs ago she was the mayor of a small town that was mostly populated with polar bears??

    August 30, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. susie

    Obama shouldn't have been such a snob and pick Hillary as his running make.

    August 30, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. McDumb

    seriously and all jokes aside, If this poor judgement of picking a vp to run the country then McWarmonger is definately going to be a worse president than Bush.

    Obama campaign need to continue pounding on these cocroaches now till november since they think he is soft.

    August 30, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Sheryl

    My sentiments exactly Senator Obama.....................

    August 30, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Gregg from El Paso TX

    C'mon people... lay off McCain... he didn't know who he was going to choose until he opened the envelope from the GOP five minutes before he announced 'his' pick. I'm sure as he 'read' her name he was thinking "who the h*** is this"! Do you honestly think he could have done this all by himself, ha! Don't you realize that she drew the "short straw" the same as Jonathan did? I'm sure after McCain watched the end of the DNC he knew all was lost. I suspect his vote will be cast for Barack Obama once behind the curtains.

    August 30, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Chi4Obama

    I'm not surprised that Barack has failed to mention her name.
    Sarah Palin's inexperience, and lack of qualifications speak for themselves.

    Did I also forget to mention that it has been widely reported that McCain had only met Sarah Palin ONE time, before chosing to pick her as VP. It makes me wonder, what type of vetting process did they use for her. Yes, McCain and Palin are virtual strangers.

    August 30, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Denise

    McCain blinked!!! I love it!!! Hypocrite!!! She is as qualified as i am! An Alaka Governor? How many people did she govern? Three? At least Obama was a IL Senator prior to becoming a State Senator.
    She is being used! ust hand the Dems the win!

    August 30, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. The truth hurts

    Hillary Clinton will always have my vote.

    After the travesty of this democratic primary, Hillary is now the only democrat who will ever get my vote.

    McCain choosing Palin doesn't offend me- He is not a member of my party.

    The way Obama, The DNC, and the nasty Obama supporters treated Hillary- NOW THAT OFFENDED ME.

    Treachery from my own party. Intra-party vitriol.

    Stop attacking Palin- she is far superior to Obama in qualifications, achievements and experience.

    If women vote for her on gender- that is no worse than you all voting for Obama based solely on race.

    August 30, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. jrzshor

    for all those ninnies who say how can palin be just a (non heart beat) away from being president with her inexperience. think about this. if the repubs win, then pelosi would be two non heart beats away from being the president. that should soothe dems anxiousness about experience in the white house.

    August 30, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Walt

    As an average, typical American citizen, I find McCain's pick of Sandy Pallink very exciting. It just goes to show that in this country, literally *anybody* can be placed in a position that is a heartbeat away from the presidency, including me. Even when that president is 72 years old, has a history of melanoma! McCain's choice, like me, has virtually no experience in government and while her educational level (a Bachelor's degree in journalism) is different from mine (I hold two Master's degrees-please America, don't hold that against me), I also have the same sort of Commander in Chief experience as she does (I know some people who served in wars.)

    Is McBush kidding? Are Americans so dumb?
    Be afraid Amercia. Be very afraid.

    August 30, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Alex, USMC

    I think they would have been better off just not even showing her. The move of not adding her name was a good touch though. It shows a layer of subtlety to the DNC that has been missing. Generally, it's the GOP that mixes subtle innuendo in with it's statements.

    By not mentioning, this add continues the "who the heck is she" vibe, which I think is very, very smart. Obama may not have been a household name to everyone when he decided to run, but the fact is that after his 2004 speech, a lot of savvy individuals were looking at him as a future POTUS candidate. Sarah Palin is fairly unknown outside of the northwest and among those who follow politics avidly.

    It'll be interesting to see what tactics they take her up on.

    I'd say setting their sights on the key issues of this election would be the best tactic. A few personal ones will be released, obviously, but they need to step lightly. If I were running the show, I'd hit her on the big issues:

    -Abortion rights in America
    -Personal scandals
    -Ties to scandals including the firing of her former brother-in-law
    -The economy, specifically the "bridge to nowhere" support
    -Ties to big oil

    Focusing on experience would just re-fuel the Obama speculations of inexperience. If the Republicans hit them on experience, sure I'd fire right back. But I'd say let the Republicans play that card first.

    The economy is the big issue. Some say she did a phenomenal job balancing Alaska's budget...but they forget that she did that by supporting a bridge paid for by Federal funds and refused to contribute Alaskan funds to the "Bridge to Nowhere" project. It wasn't a matter of not supporting the project, it was not wanting to pay for it. I would hammer away at that point if I were the democrats.

    August 30, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Peter

    How long can Obama keep up his attacks that McCain would exted a Bush presidency? I think it's starting to get old and frankly is quite untrue....It's time to move on Obama.

    August 30, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. independent

    good move to not attack her, but it doesn't matter. it seems the republicans have forgotten that according to recent approval ratings, over 70% of us still have brains.

    August 30, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Bud

    Poor judgement. A heartbeat away from the Presidency and her qualifications are a winning smile and being a hockey mom. What was McCain thinking or is he thinking? Romney or Huckabee were more qualified. Even Lieberman would have been rational. UGH!

    August 30, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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