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. Matt

    Almost all of the comments here are more observant that the article itself. The silence about Palin was symbolic - she's a non-entity, not even worth mentioning - not due to uneasiness about how to respond to her nomination. At least this article attempts analysis, though. CNN's political coverage has sunken to an abysmal low; no analysis, just reproduction of talking points and restating both campaigns' ads. I'd like to see you hire an actual reporter.

    August 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Concerned Voter


    I challenge someone to find an article where a so called democratic woman doesn't comment on how much they dislike Obama and how quickly they want to destroy the democrat's chances.

    I don't think it can be done. Even if the article is on Susie's cat that's stuck in a tree.

    One point for proof that a vocal minority can have a huge impact.

    One point for proof that America's civil rights and economy are slowly disintegrating.

    Except for Gun Laws, I guess...THANK GOD!

    August 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. No Nonsense

    Most of you have got to be kidding. McCain absolutely picked perfectly. He picked a Washington outsider. Isn't Obama's message that we should end the Washington insiders grip on Washington. What better way but to bring someone from the outside. A woman that represents the struggle of most mom's. Helk she is a better example than HRC. She is actually a slice of America. What are you all worried about that she has no experience. I hate to break it to you but neither does Obama. Obama's camp has been touting that she has no foreign policy experience. Obama's experience is limited to shaking hands and speaking at a rally in Germany. So What....
    I will listen to anyone who can tell me why Obama is so much better than Palin. I see them both as equal. The only difference, when it comes to experience, is that I think the order in the Rep ticket is more appropriate. The Dem. should consider swapping the ticket and making it Biden/Obama.

    August 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Michael-New Orlean

    McCAIN has made a wise decision, Palin is intelligent, qualified, and I think she has been a proud American all of her life. I would much raher have Palin in the white house than that beastial and radical whtey hater michelle obama. Jump obama , your ship is sinking...

    August 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Kellen

    Oh I don't know. I'm not totally decided yet, but personally I have a gut feeling that Palin brings a heck of a lot more to the table that meets the eye. I think in the next few weeks we may see what I think.

    August 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Grandma

    Is there any chance of Hillary Clinton having a debate with Sarah
    what's her name?

    Hillary would clean her clock!

    Woman to woman...what life experience does this polar bear hater
    bring to the national scene? She proudly exhibits her no abortion
    stance by showing off her Down's Syndrome baby as if it were a
    trophy for her belief. She's well past 40...didn't she know the dangers?

    McCaine is a dirty old man, and the two of them together on camera
    will tell the whole story. Besides, it was Limbaugh that suggested this to McCaine. in the first place...can McCaine take it back?

    August 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Kentuckywoman

    What is historic about her selection? The Democrats chose Geraldine Ferraro as their VPOTUS nominee 24 years ago. Maybe what's historic is that after a generation populated by experienced Republican women such as Dole and Rice, the GOP finally decided to open their doors just a little, to someone who, less than a month ago, had no idea what a "VP does".

    August 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Linda

    I guess the Dems are all just a bunch of sexists...they refused to nominate the best candidate for thier party, and now upset because John McCain has the balls to put a strong christian pro-life WOMAN on his ticket. By the way...did any of you notice Palin happens to be the only one with ANY executive experience?

    August 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Shannon

    as a resident of MN, I always thought I would protest the Republican convention. Instead I find myself giving McCain a second look. My party, or my former party seems to hold women in such disdain. The DNC and Obama slandered Hillary Clinton during the primaries, even going so far as to label her a racist, they prevented the votes in FL and MI from being counted, and Obama has flip flopped on every issue. He doesn't represent me, with his vote for FISA and his vote for big oil tax breaks, he certainly doesn't represent me with his constant race baiting, I know he says he doesn't do that, strange how it keeps coming up though, and as a woman, I think I will be giving McCain my vote. Obama voted present eight times on issues pertaining to a woman's right to choose, and recently praised a decision putting limits on abortion rights for women. Obama is no friend to women, so that argument is moot.

    August 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Scott Tucson

    Bye bye Obama/Biden. Hillary can try taking on VP Palin in 2012.

    August 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Tyler in Raleigh

    The difference in Palin and Obama.

    Americans had a choice with Obama. He was vetted and 50% of voters in the Democratic Primary thought he was good enough to be President. May not be right, but we had a choice.

    Palin was appointed by McCain. 70% of Americans in a poll said they had no clue who she was last week. No one in the public vetted or had the chance to weigh in on the decision.

    It is the sort of arrogant, celebrity gimmick that McCain claims Obama does. He basically just said that a woman is a woman, its all the same.... get any woman on there and Clinton voters will go for her regardless of her stance on abortion, gun rights, Iraq (we dont know her stance on this, she doesn't have one since it wasn't important enough to her in Alaska).

    Its sad and disrespectful to women, minorities and all Americans that someone get promoted based on gender alone.

    August 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Josh W Honolulu, HI

    Obama is nervous about this pick. He didn't expect McCain to choose a woman. He filled the gap that Obama should have had he chose Hillary. Palin is a lot more refreshing than the dinosaur that Obama chose. McCain/Palin will pull this one out.

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Swing voter

    Sarah who?
    Good grief.

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. S. T. Agnew

    From McCain's past are two facts voters should think about before voting for him. Be cautious BECAUSE he was a prisoner of war for 5 years in a camp strictly administered over by angry North Vietnamese adept at domination through torture. We're talking about involuntary re-channeled brainwaves to the tune of 7% of this man's entire life and 10% of his adult life. Could there be loose parts rattling around upstairs? Look carefully at him, this so-called maverick, before we hire him to run our nation; indeed, consider whether he uses maverick-ism as a defense to justify bizarre choices. What can you really expect John McCain to do, except surprise us?

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Kay

    Myself, coworkers, friends and family all applaud McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as VP candidate. Finally, someone who has not been corrupted by "experience" in Washington. She has more than proven her capability to lead and her ability to learn quickly. She has a moral stance that has not been seen in politics in a long time. I can't imagine a better choice to represent America at this stage. Good job McCain.

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Terrell

    You HRC supporters are killing me! I'm getting tired of hearing howing Hilary was mistreated and shouting "sexism" against Obama and the media.

    Where was the protest of mistreatment and sexism in the beginning when Hilary was winning (Don't worry – I'll wait)?

    So now you're willing to jeopardize EVERYTHING you fought for simply beause your candidate didn't get the nomination?

    McCain, once again, shows us his judgement! He picked a VP that not only America doesn't know, but who he doesn't know! Palin even admitted herself that she doesn't know what a VP does!

    This presidency will come down to judgment – not experience. No one has enough experience to be president; especially what wer'e facing today.

    This is not a game! Our troops dying is not a game! This economy is not a game! My life is not a game! Another four years of this administration and policies are not an option!

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Moe

    McCain only met her once - Enough said. Seriously - he chose the possible second in line to be the leader of the free world one time.

    Who cares about her qualifications. She may turn out to be a strong leader. The point is..what does it say about McCain's judgement that in a time of war the person he chose to be his second he had just met in Feb.

    He she was a serious candidate why did he not spend time with her on the campaign trail? Why did he not take her on a world tour to test her knowledge and capabilities?

    Again, this isn't a knock on Palin but an example of poor judgement of McCain.

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. john saunders

    The first post-Palin add is a bad sign for the Democrats. They want to play nice, pretend that Palin will go away. McCain understands what the Democrats don't: play very, very hard ball. I fear we Dems are headed for another Swift Boat defeat.

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Kathy in Oregon

    BRILLIANT pick by McCain.

    After HRC was eliminated by the "super" delegates, this race became boring - just a bunch of men = NO change at all.

    McCain's choice of a woman not only highlights the fact that Hillary was dissed by Obama (he should have picked her), the selection of Palin adds some excitement back into the campaign.

    I quit listening to the Dems long before their over-hyped convention. But I'm definitely going to tune IN to watch McCain/Palin - a surprisingly more INCLUSIVE ticket!!

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. YakRob

    JP in Michigan – are you nuts? Experience as Governor of Texas is exactly what GW had before becoming President of the United States? And this is a good reason to support the choice of Governor Pallin of Alaska as VP? We have such short attention spans in this country. Think people, think! The change McCain has offered you in this decision is anti-womens right to choose, anti-equal rights, anti-environment, and anti-anbody that gets in her way. Sound familiar? Like that? Then vote for a McSame corrupt administration.

    August 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Monch

    First, Repubs are out posing as Dems. Be conscious of it. Repubs are Rats!

    I have some criticism about Palin & the Repub rhetoric

    1. The presumption that being a governor of a state will prepare you to be President is wrong. Bush was governor of Texas. Texas is far bigger, with a far bigger economy than Alaska. And Bush brought our country to ruins.

    2. Is Palin willing to put the needs of America before the needs of her newborn? Being governor of Alaska permitted her the ability to keep her children by her side. That will not be the case in Washington.

    3. One commentor pointed out Palin's gaffe that the media overlooked. She said that her son is in the military and where and when he will be dispatched. By doing so, she is putting her son's life in jeorpardy, unless she was lying. Evidently, she doesn't grasp the full consequences of her actions.

    4. Although she appears to be a genuinely nice mother, and she is cute (McCain loves his models), she lacks the sophistication and political savvy Obama, Biden, or the Clintons possess. She quit an Ethics Committee because she couldn't end "corruption." She couldn't build the coalition needed to create change. She might be a maverick like McCain. But she doesn't have the disposition to bring people of differing views and stances together. And that's what's needed to creat real change.

    5. The best ways of determining how a candidate will be he/she as president is to look at his/her stances on the issues, the plans and policies that he/she will enact, and the advisors he/she surrounds herself with. Palin: strongly opposed to abortion, believes in creationsim being taught in schools, and pro-gun (NRA will love her). It sounds like she is pro-Bush like McCain. Where's the change at?

    6. McCain picked her not because he thinks Palin is the best vp, or that he even gets along with her. He picked her as a strategic political move to try to attract Hillary supporters and to hold her up as a mirror to Obama.

    a. The Repubs don't respect nor appreciate who Hillary is. To think that they can pick any woman to get women votes is insulting. That's tantamount to picking Alan Keyes to try to get Black votes. The Repub Rats just don't get it!! No way! No how! No McCain.

    b. Comparing Palin to Obama is absurd. From Obama's experience as a Senator creating policies to better America, to his ability to build coalitions (not just in America but abroad), to his ability to bring dignity and respect back to the Presidency after GWB's horrible presidency, to his disposition in dealing with crisis that arise, which is far better than off-the-cuff McCain. Palin only knows Alaska.

    7. Palin is a hypocrite. She says that her and McCain are the same: Maverick kindred spirits. McCain voted along party lines over 90% of the time. Meaning, McCain supported Bush. Palin and McCain have similar views. She must agree with Bish's policies, nearly 90% too. Unfortunately, she has no record to substantiate that with. Also, she claims to be against lobbyists. Really! You're McCain's vp! McCain is a lobbyist's dream come true. Ask Randy Schumermanne.

    8. As far as Palin's stance against Big Oil Companies...what does that mean? Is she in favor of taxing them? She is in favor of having oil companies drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The federal government is preventing it, but she wants Big Oil Companies to drill there. To me, it sounds like she's going to help big oil companies at the expense of the environment. Does she even believe Gloval Warming exists? She already stated that she believes scienists are "exaggerating" the rate at which the ice shelf is melting. In addition, she wants to remove polar bears from the endangered animals list to so oil companies can drill even more. Palin is a Big Oil friend!! Lets keep it real!! Where's Anderson Cooper?

    August 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Go Sen. Clinton

    Hey We watched in horror how many different names are you going to post under?

    Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged
    The truth hurts
    More hate from Obama's uniters of hope

    I'm suprise how CNN will post several post from the same Republican trying to divide the dem party, and I can't get 1 posted.

    August 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. CJ

    As a white retired woman , I am insulted that McCain would think bringing an inexperienced unheard of person just because she is female to his ticket would make me vote for him , it has now done just the reverse.. I am scared to death that she is just a heartbeat away from being our President. I am pertified!
    I am sure she is a very nice person , so are lots of mothers who are in politics. But is she ready to be our leader ......I pray very hard that God sees fit to make sure we get Obama and Biden. I will feel so much safer with them as our leaders . I will now volunteer to help Obama 's campaign here in Alabama.
    I am just so insulted by McCain!!!

    August 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. gina

    18 Million votes for HRC and the Dems couldn't get her on the ticket. Obama is so selfish to put his own needs and desires above his country's. He can't get over his hurt feelings, but expects others to. Very weak candidates and dangerous. What will happen when a foreign leader insults him.

    August 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. BK

    Biden has his own medical problems. What is Obama going to do if something happens to him and Obama is on top of the ticket? Everyone knows Obama has no experience. That scares me more than a vp. If I had to chose who would be at the top if something happened to the president. I would chose Gov. Palin because she has run a government.She actually has accomplishments. That is more than I can say about Obama. He gives motivational speeches, reads a teleprompter. When he has to think and talk on his own he loses points in the polls. He will not have town hall meetings with McCain and refuses to debate. He just talks about he would be happy to debate. He has said that twice. He just talks and talks. No substance.

    August 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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