August 30th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
10 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. Otis

    I watched Obama's initial reaction to McCain's pick. It was interesting to see that he rolled out criticisms that she was in the pocket of Big Oil and stated that without any conviction...sort of like he wasn't believing what he was saying.

    That's a troubling sign for Democrats if Obama doesn't start laying out what he will be doing for the country and becomes more forceful.

    August 30, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. jp,michigan

    Sarah Palin is a governor with two years of authentic executive experience. This spares this race the specter of an all-senator show. And history shows it's far better preparation for the presidency than other offices. A Governor must execute budgets, pull factions together, compromise on tough issues and make the buck stop there. If Palin's short time as governor call into question her experience, it's still superior to Obama's two years in the U.S. Senate.

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

    Obama haters are trashing Palin now.

    Another great woman who is far superior to their Obama.

    SHE is a conservative folks- she isn't supposed to be a Hillary.

    WE had the opportunity to vote for Hillary. I did. I'm proud of that.
    You haters attacked and ridiculed and insulted her.

    Palin in not in your party. YOU do not have to like her.

    I think she is great and I may overlook the issues and vote gender this year just like my own party overlooked the issues and voted race this year.

    August 30, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Sandy Miller

    I am an army brat living in Germany right now.

    Both my parents and I were stunned when Sarah Palin recklessly endangered the life of her own son when she bragged about that he is going to serve in Iraq.

    Does she not know that this makes him a living target for every Al-Kaida terrorist over there?

    Does she not know that this also endangers the lives of his comrades who accompany him?

    Exactly for that reason Joe Biden does not talk about his own son serving in Iraq because he not only loves his son but because he also cares deeply about the other soldiers in his son´s unit.

    That is how a responsable Vice-President should act!

    However, Sarah Palin is willing to endanger even the life of her own son (not to speak of the soldiers in his unit) for a short-sighted political gain in the polls!

    In now way is someone as irresponsable as that ready to lead our nation!

    She shows the same disregard for the life of our brave men and women in uniform as the Bush administration does!
    How could John McCain pick someone as reckless and stupid as Palin?

    August 30, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Susans pics

    The change is now all the evangelicals who we know only vote on abortion and homosexuality will be back in play now. The re-marketing of the past year of the fact this group also cares about poverty and war and AIDS will be exposed.

    August 30, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Shay

    I could care less about McCain. And even less about his VP choice.

    His choice is questionable. Republicans are shocked, but they will go along with McCain's choice. What else can they do?!

    McCain met Palin once!!! How interesting! Of course she is a "white" woman. So everything about her will come off as being positive. I'm surprised McCain didn't select a blonde blue-eyed woman, especially since Republicans are all about how someone looks.

    I am interested in hearing the "spin" the media and the Republicans will put on this VP choice. FOXNEWS is probably rejoicing! Anything Republicans do is okay with them.

    I have little respect for McCain.

    August 30, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Independent

    Forget experience. This woman has no foreign policy viewpoints at all. This is unacceptable. How can we trust her to step in as president if needed? At this time in world history?

    McCain, you should not put your own electoral interests above the interests of your country.

    August 30, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Fred-1911-.45

    Palin is the best thing McCain could have done! I don't know if he was after the woman vote but he has for sure grabbed and energized the evangelical vote!

    James Dobson came out with a statement the same day saying he is pleased with Palin and will now vote for McCain. And encourage his millions of followers to do the same!

    The right love her, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage and a down home mom! I was going to sit this one out but now with Palin on the ticket McCain/Palin has my vote and the vote of my family including my wife and mother in law!

    August 30, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Concerned Voter

    She adds absolutely nothing to McCain's ticket...she's there to look pretty with him for the ride. We can't afford four more years of the same. NO WAY! NO HOW! NO MCCAIN! VOTE FOR OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!

    August 30, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Addison Pettis

    I just watched a story on Palin and how little experiance she has. Why no mention of how she has a similar amount of experiance to Obama? These traites can't be as negative in a VP as a Presidential candidate can it?

    August 30, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    It's a fine line he has to walk. Although the Republican's won't launch the first attack on experience any more, if the Democrats do, the Republicans will then engage. Meanwhile, the Republicans are being allowed to paint her with more "executive experience than anyone on the ticket". That message is sticking. They should challenge that experience. As CEO of his own remarkable campaign, Obama has more experience than she does managing a state of less than 700,000. While perhaps not appropriate for TV ads, I'm not sure why the Dem spokespeople don't hit back with that experience.

    August 30, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Dr. Earl

    This will not hurt President Obama. It has legs long enough for the Republician Convention and it ends there.

    The debates will certainly be much more interesting.

    August 30, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. carolflowery

    what's wrong dems, has she stolen your golden boy's lusterous halo, give me a freaking break, she's the American i will will support

    August 30, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. We watched in horror

    Obama's fools are out there again.... with vitriolic nasty hate.

    Please do not criticize Palin- with her impressive resume and truckloads of experience and a history of achievements- while voting for Obama.

    You can not get ANY less qualified than Obama. He has NO experience.

    You hypocritical haters.

    Of course she is no HRC- she is a conservative republican- she is not supposed to be a Hillary.

    Guess what? Neither is Obama. That is why I proudly voted for HRC. Do not tempt me to vote on gender just to counterbalance all the voting on race.

    August 30, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Anne

    The expression on her face speaks for me!

    August 30, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |




    August 30, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Monica

    I know this is in poor taste but I thought McCain liked blondes? Well she does look similar to his first wife he lefted for Cindy after she became disfigured in a car accident. He likes the young ones. I guess that makes up for her lack of experience and the fact she is under investigation in her state of Alaska! Way to go McCain good way to show the american people about your judgement. Your personal life is just a reflection of your public life.

    August 30, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. D Jessop

    The divergence of the species has already begun. It does not require a major change in genetic constitution, just catastrophic editing of the American constitution. We have seen the beginning of the not-so-subtle differentiation into two distinct forms of thinking processes that will inevitably test the struggle for survival of the fittest.

    America’s children and grandchildren will serve tea and do laundry for China and India as these emerging superpowers surge way ahead in technology, science and commerce by harnessing rational thought and scientific methodology as America devolves to the 18th century. Who needs alternative energy sources when you can just pray to make your cars, trucks and airplanes go. Gosh, why aren’t we doing this already?

    August 30, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Impressed Dem

    It's So Transparent -> Obama , and his supporters Are so worried That Us (Not Voting For Obama Democrats) 50% of The democratic party , Will fall In love with Sarah Palin . I've only Known she existed about 24 hours ago , And I've got tell ya , there is something special about this woman , I can't wait to see and hear more from her .

    This Democrat is Very Impressed With Sarah Palin
    I Think John McCain Chose A Winner Here ," Congrats Sarah "

    August 30, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Mary, Dallas

    John McCain did a great disservice to the republican party. If he wanted to select a woman, it could have been someone who could step up to be president, like Kay Bailey, Elizabeth Dole or Rice but he chose someone who is in a learning process who would not question his decisions. The should have shown John saying that he would put country first in making his decision for Vice President and then showed the unknown Palin. Ask the question Do you think that he put the country first. Do you want her answering that 3 a.m. phone call.

    August 30, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    My high school had almost as many people s the rinky dink town she "ran".

    Whoop de whoop.

    August 30, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Maurice

    So let me get this straight. Obama is change because "he doesn't look like the other presidents you see on money", but Sarah Palin is no change? I am so sick of Obama and his hypocritical ways. Electing a black man is history making, but electing a woman is not? The media has pitched this guy so many softballs and crammed him down our throats. If I was going to vote for him, CNN being totally in the tank for him, has made that impossible for me.

    August 30, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Independent FMPSC

    As a middle aged, independent Pennsylvanian voter, I have voted both Republican and Democrat in my life, as my interests aligned with the candidates'. In 2000 it began to feel like the Republicans have lost respect for the American citizen as they started feeding us lies and misrepresentations. This pattern of attack on our senses continued unchecked and grew unabashedly worse. The Republicans words say "lower taxes", but the Republicans spent us into the worst deficit in history. It will have to be repaid no matter who is in office in the future, and it is disingenuous to believe it will be paid with anything other than tax dollars. Taxes only have to be raised when we have debt.

    Now, McCain picks Palin. Yikes. As an independent, I was considering voting for McCain becasue he appeared to be a middle-ground Republican. Now, I am fundamentally insulted as a woman. Palin offers nothing to the ticket except her gender. I am not proud of Palin, I do not identify with Palin and she has not showen herself to be wise or in possession of good judgment. McCain is hoping women will vote for her only becasue she is a woman. The strategy is absurd and unforgiveable. McCain – what were you thinking? You made up my mind, Obama/Biden will get my vote.

    August 30, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Stacey (PA)

    I think the Obama camp is too smart to jump right in. She'll prove on her own why she doesn't help McCain. There is little they have to do to show this weakness.

    Personally, I wonder whether McCain chose her specifically for her inexperience. Maybe, in their ONE conversation, McCain realized she'll do whatever he asks her to, whereas someone with more experience may question him. He doesn't like being questioned, so that would make her the right pick.

    Besides, McCain has a thing for beauty queens. She better hope she doesn't wind up in an accident that leaves her shorter and disfigured - then he'll dump her for a different VP candidate like he dumped his first wife. Yeah...McCain sure stands for American ideals...if you're a vain, horrible, deplorable human being.

    McCain is the shallow end of the gene pool and has no respectable moral fiber. He's not good for the U.S., and he's not good for our future.

    As many commentators have suggested, the unfortunate reality of this election is that both presidential nominees have a real chance at not surviving their terms. In that regard, wouldn't you prefer Biden over some person with zero experience (even less than Obama)?!??!

    And I am sorry, but if this pick was a move to gain post-Hillary voters...HAHA. That's just laughable. Yeah, I loved Hillary, and she wasn't that means I'm going to vote for someone who stands AGAINST her major points? What? How stupid does McCain's camp think I am? That's just insulting.

    Obama for our next president is a given. Any other choice is just unintelligent and uninformed.

    August 30, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Riley Krajewski

    Palin was picked because McCain and the republican party are more concerned with winning than what happens next. You can't honestly make me believe that he thinks Palin would do a better job than the list of possibles with legitimate experience. He barely even knows this woman! Obama is hurting in the area where Hillary Clinton's voters stand. Palin is nothing more than an attempt to take them for the win. Politically smart, Yes, but what does this say about McCain? He sacrificed what could have been a great person to have with him in the white house for someone whose sole purpose is to get him there, but again, what happens next? This move is just like everything else coming from the McCain camp... Bush politics. Next comes Bush policies.

    August 30, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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