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. Aaron

    Are you kidding me!
    When I interview people for my company, I at least interview the qualified candidates at least 3 times before making the decision, and in my case those interviews are in person not by phone!
    I am an independent, the McCain decision helped me decide that Obama is the only candidate this year. I don't want another George W. Bush that with the power and insight of his guts makes important decisions!

    August 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Bobby Darra

    You may disagree with Sarah's politics...but she is genuine. Come on, she is a fisherwoman, has run a commercial business, raised multiple kids, stood up to powerful ol school white male politico-mafias...again, you may disagree with her politics (some or even all of it). But she is one heck of a person.
    And I guess a lot of people will identify more with her than with a guy with a foreigner dad (Obama) and one who is possibly a good down to earth person (Biden) but has been in Washington long enough to be labeled elitist.

    August 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Tony

    It doesn't surprise me at all that the comments on the CNN (liberal) website are mostly against McCain. It reminds me why I don't get my news here. I just come over to see what the lefties are saying.

    And Brendan, you when mentioning the Democrat's ticket you stuck to the candidates education. Then when you went to the Republican ticket you thought it was important to mention Cindy's inheritance, that her father worked hard to build, and Mr Palin's part time job. What relevance is that?

    If Obama would have picked someone of Sarah Palin's background he would have been called a genious by the liberal media. McCain picks her and he's stupid. The Palin-bashers are so transparent.

    What about Obama and his message of "change"? Is a 30yr veteran of the Senate change?

    August 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. fran

    People are comparing experience issues but Obama was elected, people knew what they were voting for or against he had been vetted. Palin on the other hand was appointed or supposedly vetted by the candidate. Obama has shown he has picked someone who could take over if need be. Biden has been vetted for years.

    McCain on the other hand had been vetted by Alaskans and McCain although who knows how well after only meeting her once, how in the world can you go by that.

    Just running a campaign gives a person the executive experience and Obama has proven he is very qualifed to do that. He overlooks money, hiring the best people for the job etc. Community organizing counter to what has been stated gives a person has to make executive decisions also.

    McCains decision scares me. He knows a person awfully well after just meeting her once. She could not be the best qualified in the republican party. if so, that is not saying much for the republican party. All of the people more qualified ought to be offended.

    August 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. CtownG

    Subject: concern w/ meeting her only once... On most job interviews, employers meet prospective employees/candidates only once (maybe twice). Decisions are based on the facts presented in a resume or portfolio. Given that Palin's resume is open to the public (and she has a respectable track record from what most of us can see), I believe meeting her "only once" isn't unreasonable. In fact, I believe the lack of emotion not already present from having a prior relationship makes the decision even more objective, and independent of bias. I think the decision was based on genuine aspirations to make our country better. I guess time will tell.

    August 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Francisco Logan

    Though it great that the Republican Party picked a woman for it's VP slot, they're coming off as a "Johnny come lately". Dems nominated Geraldine Ferraro back in 1984. So the politcal scene been there, done that.

    John McCain could have electrified his party and the country by selecting an ethnic female as his running mate. Not neccessarily an African American female, but maybe a Native American, Asian American, Hispanic American or Arab-Amercian woman. Something totally out of left field.

    Mark Caine said, "Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous." Well McCain missed "spontaneous" greatly on his VP pick.

    F. Logan

    August 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Anna

    And Senator Obama has not defined how he will pay for his changes with, as Susan Eisenhower put it Thursday night, "our staggering debt". Nor has he defined or even resolved to offer how he will approach our staggering debt.

    I do credit him for laying off of Palin, for now. They will be watching her closely for legitimate chances on that front. And I don't blame them.

    But I am disgusted with the sentiment on these blogs that McCain is pandering to women...if that was the case, he would have picked a safer, more established female.
    And I am disgusted with the liberal stance that pro-choice women should never consider PALIN on this issue alone. I have always been pro-choice. But for liberals to turn their heads at "IRON MY SHIRT (Hillary)" and other blatant bigoted statements and then try and hang the threat of a Roe v Wade reversal in the name of women's rights is a total Turn-off!
    These people have no respect for women and no respect for themselves...
    I am not going to turn my head on far more pressing and pertinent issues just for the sake of protecting women who can't protect their futures or their bodies from unfortunate circumstances.
    This woman Palin does not yet have my vote in one day, but I admire her grit, her accomplishments thus far, and am willing to hear what she has to say beyond the issue of choice.
    As far as I am concerned, that stance is quickly becoming the platform of really idiotic women.

    August 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Phyllis Breidinger

    So McCain's first pick is a twy year governor of Alaska who is
    under indictment for "abuse of power" in seeking and obtaining
    removal from position her former brother-in-law as an Alaska
    State Trooper after going to the State Attornery Office requesting
    all information on him be given to her.
    Seems to me that she will fit right in the Republican agenda.

    Homer, New York

    August 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. independent in tennessee

    I just love how eveyone is just dogging this woman. You haven't even given her the opportunity to show what she stands for. I am not sure who I will vote for. I am waiting till the debates before I make up my mind.Right now all we are hearing from both sides is what they want us to hear. Let's see what they say in the debates when really pressed on issues.

    August 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Vito

    I wonder how many people who post here are Obama and McCain surrogates. I mean the ability to spew these politicians talk points as if they were your own is pretty amazing. Sheep.

    August 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Randy

    Mitt Romney would have been a much better choice if McCain's purpose
    was to have any remote chance of being a "shake up". I bet
    Joe Lieberman is mad as hell.

    Obama / Biden 08.

    August 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Susie, Atlanta GA

    The McCain campaign theme is Country First. My grandmother always told me actions speak louder than words and the actions of John McCain betray the fact that he wasn't thinking about this country when he made his VP pick. If he were he would be choosing the BEST woman or man to take over the Presidency should something happen to him. What an egomanical, hard headed, short sighted, self-serving politican. He has always been bound and determined to become President and will do so at, now it appears, at any cost. He really wasn't the best choice either... 70+, severe health issues, acknowledges he has a lack of economic understanding ... this is the very best the Republicans had to present to us??? I wouldn't marry somebody I had met once...I wouldn't even let them baby sit my children... But he picks this person to be our nation's Vice President... Country First baloney!!!

    August 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Recovering Republican

    Well I used to be a Republican... but with this lying team of Bush, Cheeney, Mccain, Rove... the top with extremist right wingers and a puppet President... the VP candidate who's lack of knowledge about Iraq only maches McCain's lack of knowledge about the economy... I'll go with Obama/Biden over the extremist right wing dummy duo of McCain/Palin.

    August 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. Ron L

    Everyone who know ANYTHING about the importance of the Vice President in our nation KNOWS Gov. Palin lacks the experience.
    BUT, when you have SEVERAL Republican Senators with the knowledge and experience get on television and say she is a EXCELLENT choice. THIS IS VERY VERY SAD and WRONG!! Senator McCain is 72 and the odds say his health could go bad . Do we really want a person who's experience is being the mayor of a town 8500 people and Gov. of a state for 18 months to run the country??? I think not....This is just DUMB!!

    August 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. joe mann

    Shocking! Out of all the qualified men and women McCain had available to choose, he has chosen one under federal investigation and with absolutely no qualification to be president. I can not and will not vote for a 72 year old man with a questionable health history who has chosen this lady for vice president. I kind of like her personally and am sure she has principles and heart but nonetheless, this is an absolutely absurd choice and shows very poor judgement by McCain. At least, this makes my choice easier to make for me. I wish us all well into the future.

    August 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Jane

    As to Annie Oakley-"is this true or a skit from SNL". How dare she mention her name in the same breath as Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro. The fore mentioned women are true crusaders and have fought hard for their recognition and credibility. On the other hand Gov. Palin has just barely entered the political doorway. She has not earned the right to be VP- she has zero credibility. I will be voting for Obama.

    August 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Seriously

    "Sarah Palin is an extremely risky choice considering the dangerous times we find ourselves in!

    Contrary to even the statement made by the founders of this group she has served only one year as governor, as she gave birth to a child after 2006. How come the McCain campaign has been hitting Obama – who has served two terms in the Illinois State Senate and one in the US Senate on important committees – on experience, when now they find Palin is ready to step up to Iran and prevent them from launching all-out war and terror on the West if push comes to shove??

    Also, the McCain machine is trying to paint her as a maverick but as Gov. of Alaska she is deep in the pockets of oil lobbyists (like McCain). She even sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species as this would affect oil company profits! (NO JOKE!)"

    This is the truth... and it is just sick...

    August 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. xargaw

    Both campaigns aside. Republicans and Democrats aside. This is a plea to CNN and the broader media. Please do an objective job covering Gov. Palin. This person could be our President in the near future if McCain were elected and then dies or becomes ill. Do a critical analysis. At this moment it appears that the only solid credentials she has is that of a strong religous fundamentalist. This does not qualify anyone for high office. The country is in trouble globally, economically, and diplomatically. What does she know about the Constitution, the law, financial markets, trade policies, the military, the Congress, federal agencies, etc? I am a senior citizen and I cannot recall a less credentialed person in my lifetime. Dan Quayle may have been a light weight, but even he had some pertinent background. This choice is frightening on so many levels it should examined by the press for the voters to see, and that does not mean a bunch of talking head with partisan talking points. That means real journalism. Is CNN up to this challenge? Are you really the "most trusted name in news?"

    August 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Lori Lynn

    As a Clinton supporter, I do believe she was mistreated because of her gender.

    I have threatened to vote McCain as he is a relatively liberal conservative.

    However, with Sarah Palin on the ticket – a far right conservative with regard to women's issues – there is absolutely NO WAY he will get my vote.

    So I say this without a doubt, "NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN!!"

    August 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Gail AL.

    Obama what a blunder not putting Hillary on the ticket, that's the biggest mistake you'll ever make in your life. Obama listened to Michelle, because she didn't like Hillary, that's probably the biggest mistake of both their lifes. Oh, just as well Michelle isn't first lady material. Cindy MCcain is a different story, would fit right in. MCcain-Palin is a God send, I wonder if Rev. Wright had anything to do with it. Bring on the debates, can't wait to see MCcain make Obama[ A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER] look like a first grader. And at the convention why wasn't Michelle waving a flag, everbody else was. I'll tell you why because all their friends are crooks, and terrorist, and she's filled with hatred. Better pray Obama's not elected.

    August 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. obamacratohio

    McCains VP just goes to show you how he makes choices. And for all those HRC fans that talk so badly about Obama needs to get past it. If you think by voting for McSame would be better than voting for Democratic party then you all must be smoking something. Lets face it that would be the worst thing you could do. And if you liked HRC so much than yu would follow her wishes and vote for Obama because she does honestly knows that with a republican in office we are all doomed. The Democratic party needs to stick together for this country more now than ever before.

    August 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Perspicacious Chicagoan

    For those spouting PUMA feelings, PUMA was started by Darragh Murphy who is long time John McCain supporter. Darragh Murphy contributed to John McCain's campaign in 2000 (contributions can be seen at, she never contributed to Hillary Clinton's campaign, and she is still supporting the McCain camp. She is a Republican operative, who is trying to stir up trouble in the Democratic party.
    I too am a Hillary fan – I also happen to like Obama. They are very similar in policy. Please do not fall for the dirty tricks of PUMA.

    August 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. What?

    To Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA……...You say “she is a white woman and as we all know, Barack Obama does not even allow his white woman Grandma to be interviewed, so what's Obama's problem with "white women?" Let me answer that for you and people that only see skin color to use to for prejudice reasons….. If Obama would have let his Grandma speak (since you make it clear she is a white woman), you would have accused he of using her because she is White. Thank God that Obama is for all RACES, because people like you and the Repubs will use anyone, including a political pawn to win votes…..

    August 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. marcy

    This was such a horrible choice. If something happens to McCain (and you have to think that way because of his age) how can you have Palin as the President of the United States! I hope people think that way and will vote for Obama/Biden. Biden would be a great President with all his foreign policy experience. The pick of Palin was an insult to women.

    August 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Jenny

    Denise, I couldn't agree more. Women– we must unite around Barack Obama. Yes, I voted for Hilary, but Obama won fair and square. Bottom line, he ran a better campaign and he was our party's choice. He was the underdog, he was the unknown candidate and still he found a way to win on the national stage. McCain's judgement is so out of wack and the country is in such dire straights to NOT vote or God forbid, to vote for McCain out of some kind of spite for Hilary not winning is ridiculously irresponsible. Despite the cynics, I GUARANTEE that Hilary really wants Obama to win over McCain. And if she doesn't because of her ego, than I was wrong to vote for her at all. McCain agreed with Bush 90% of the time. Hilary agrees with Obama 95% of the time. Remember, not voting at all IS still making a choice. Obama-Biden in 2008!

    August 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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