November 16th, 2009
11:43 AM ET
4 years ago

Plouffe: Palin would be 'catastrophic' as 2012 GOP nominee

Palin would be 'catastrophic' for the GOP, Plouffe said.
Palin would be 'catastrophic' for the GOP, Plouffe said.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama's former campaign manager and John McCain's former campaign manager agree: Sarah Palin would be "catastrophic" for Republicans if she is the party's presidential nominee in 2012.

Steve Schmidt, McCain's former campaign head, first made the assertion in October, telling a Washington audience that the GOP "could have a catastrophic election result" if Palin wins the Republican nomination.

David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 campaign manager, echoed Schmidt's remark in a newly published interview with The New Yorker.


"I think it would be catastrophic for them to nominate her," Plouffe said, according to the November 16 issue of the magazine. "A lot can change, but I doubt she'll run. Right now, in terms of her ability to sell books and get speaking fees and just go out there and be a prominent voice in the Republican Party, she's at a pretty high level. But if you run a race you're going to get nicked up and you may fall from grace."

Looking at the possible GOP lineup in 2012, Plouffe also advised against betting on the usual suspects like Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee. He said to keep an eye out for a fresher face.

"We ought to learn from the Obama experience that someone can come out, not someone you've never heard of but someone who you just didn't think would run for president," he told the magazine.

Another former Democratic presidential campaign manager, James Carville, appeared on CNN's "American Morning" Monday and mischievously urged Palin to seek the White House.

"I think the most important thing is, run, baby, run," Carville said. "Look, this kind of entertainment can't be beat. I'm serious. It's fun talking about this. She's a complete hoot. She's got a charming - she's got an interesting story. You know what I mean."


Filed under: 2012 • David Plouffe • Sarah Palin • Steve Schmidt
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. J.P.

    Yeah, we voted for Democrat-lite in the last election.

    I'd like a REAL alternative in 2012... bold colors, no pale pastels.

    November 16, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. p

    If Palin becomes the Republican presidential candidate, it would no doubt reduce what's left of the new phony conservative wing of the GOP to the ash heap of history.
    Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of folks.

    Hopefully we will always know the difference between an American presidential election and an episode of American Idol.

    Hey Ms. Palin!
    I say RUN BABY, RUN!!

    November 16, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. mjm

    Three more years of this Administration and the GOP could run Octo-mom and win.

    Worry about your own party...Not the GOP and Palin.

    November 16, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. walleye

    It’s bad enough when the opposition thinks you are an idiot, but when your own party thinks you would be catastrophic is time to step out of the limelight.

    November 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Joan

    I hope she runs. It will make for great SNL skits again. She will only help the Democrats. By the way CNN, today you have spent most of your time covering Palin and showing clips of Guiliani trashing the New York justice and law enforcement systems who he thinks can't handle the trials of the detainees. Shameful. Your President is overseas making great speeches and meeting important world leaders which will impact on the economic future of us all. Which stories should get priority coverage? It's a no brainer.

    November 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. HJA

    I think she' perfect..."Mister speaker , I wish to nominate that great Alaskan Sarah Palin for president.".....Has a nice ring doen't it?

    (Please please please please) Don't want to disappoint PalinLvr ;-)

    November 16, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Pete

    Why any news agency continues to give this woman any air time is beyond me. She is the biggest joke of the last decade and still, still people are giving her air time.....it is just a sad indicator of what this country's values are....

    November 16, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Moderate Democrat

    "Remember she did not have the 4 years to prepare, yet she eclipsed MCain in the a very short time. With the right preparation, she could run and win. But if I was her, I keep kicking the left and pander my book."
    ------------------------------
    That would suggest she needs time to 'rehearse' her policies or beliefs? That would suggest that her FIVE colleges didn't 'prepare' her or she wasn't paying attention for the FORTY PLUS years of her life?

    So, how many years, beyond forty, does she require? I would just like to know from a Palin Supporter, how unqualified she really is. The rest of us already know the answer...."TOTALLY UNQUALIFIED"......but it's nice to see one of her supporters admit it, even if it is in a inadvertent way.

    November 16, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. ib42

    PLEASE run, Sarah! Let's see exactly how many idiots there really are who would vote for you!

    November 16, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Skee

    We know what Sarah Palin is about......

    It's her supporters that confuse me, their so Robotic in their support of her, they're more PATHETIC than Sarah Palin.......

    November 16, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. DJ in TX

    It is time to move on. As long as the media keeps giving Ms. Palin airtime, she'll continue to make more money. Despite what some are saying, I think that's her ambition right now. Personally, I wouldn't read the book if my life depended on it. But I do believe Mr. Ploufe and Mr. Schmidt, this would not be good for the GOP. She'll gain the base or the furtherst of the right, but she has also alienated independents. Look at the polls that came out today, around 25% of independents think she's qualified. Hell, only 54% of those who say they are Republicans think she's qualified. Quitting the governoship before her fist term was not good. She's never been abroad (except to speak at a closed door gathering) or met foreign dignataries. What would she know about foreign policy? Anyway, if the GOP does put her up, the Dems win easily.

    November 16, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. windrider

    It's a little soon to be predicting catastrophe if Palin is the GOP Presidential candidate. And it depends on who's defining the term. The far right has made it clear that their priority is to purge the Republican Party of anyone to the left of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and they don't care if they lose elections in the process. Ideological purity is their primary goal, and nominating Palin would achieve it. Beyond 2012, however, if they cannot win elections at the national level and if their ideology drives away independents (remember, they WANT to drive away moderates), the GOP will devolve to a small radical regional party. This is not good for the country and it's not even good for Democrats because God love us, we mean well but we lack party discipline and are prone to doing really dumb things when there's no credible challenge from a strong second party.

    November 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. ib42

    Those who prefer palin to Obama as President must be off their meds.

    November 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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