November 16th, 2009
11:43 AM ET
5 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. Silence Dogoode

    Not Palin....

    November 16, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. SLM

    Who even said Palin was running for President? She would a heck of a lot better than what is in the white house now...............but then so would anyone.

    November 16, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Ann

    So? this would make your life easier. Why bother?

    November 16, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Melissa

    I have to agree. Only the most far right of the party like her.

    November 16, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Kate

    Boy, wiser words were never spoken.........but the GOP is so busy fighting among themselves they aren't paying attention........she might have the far right wing extremist on her side but that is not the majority of American and the republicans will lose again

    November 16, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. PalinLvr

    The more and more Democrats underestimate Sarah Palin, the easier it will be for her to defeat their "chosen one" in 2012. I agree with James Carville, "run, baby, run" however, I believe the outcome will come as a HUGE disappointment to James when it's all said and done.

    November 16, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. hotchimera

    the smartest, brightest woman on the planet after my 10 year-old

    November 16, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. George

    GOP Please nominate SARAH!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 16, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Tom

    Run, Sarah, Run. The final downfall. Please

    November 16, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Biased

    This conjecture and cries of doom from the Obama campaign and other democrats and all the fuss over this is ridiculous. My goodness are there no more serious questions to be discussed as to the impending health care debacle or maybe when a final decision will come re Afghanistan if ever? And is there anyone ever who has had their book factchecked to this extent before it even comes out? The hatred expressed towards this woman is astounding and a sickness in itself with this compulsion to "put her in her place" by ridicule.

    November 16, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. mjm

    Wow...when was the last time CNN wrote a story like THIS?

    Try every other day. It's the same story every time. A DNC strategist says she'll be a disaster, someone calls her a nut, maybe calls her a hoot.....

    We get it. The Democrats love taking about Palin and they want to convince Republicans she'll be a bad candidate.

    Always so concerned that the Republicans will pick a “bad” candidate.

    If they really thought she would lose, they would support her like they did McCain.

    November 16, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Mam

    Sarah Palin is uneducated, angry, devisive, a quitter, obnoxious, extremely self centered and immature. She uses her "death panel" theory at the expense of vulnerable people for her own personal gain. She certainly does not know how to pick her battles. She reacts to everthing, Scary.

    She had the opportunity to learn from a great man, John McCain. But because Sarah Palin can not stop blabbering she blew a chance of a life time. This woman does not have a clue about what she doesn't know because she thinks she knows it all. Yikes.

    November 16, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. hereslauphinatcha

    I totally agree with Plouffe. It would be caotic.

    November 16, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Fitz in Texas

    Perhaps the reason David Plouffe and James Carvile are putting in their two cents regarding Palin is because they know Palin is a real threat to Obama in 2012.

    November 16, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Ed Tallahassee

    The Republicans don't have a visible leader and their infighting is becoming public, it's the last thing they need right now.

    I think Sarah Palin would only highlight this divide inside the Republican Party. She would also turn-off too many moderate voters.

    I agree with Plouffe she would be better off as a money maker for herself and the party. She can fire-up the hard right base, and bring them out to vote, and fund raise, but that's all. She is too polarizing to pull in votes from the center.

    November 16, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Olive

    I don't understand how CNN or any other media outlet justifies giving this idiot (Scarah Failin) any coverage. Why don't you do all of us SANE AMERICANS a favor...and quit letting her beat-all-of-you-up while handing her the microphone! The only way to make her go away is to tell her to kiss your "A" double "S". Don't you recognize the fury of a woman scorned? Alaskans from the onset have tried to warn the lower 48 that she (Scarah Failin) will throw ANYONE under-the-bus that doesn't agree with her. It's either her way or the high-way!

    November 16, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    "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.
    ______________________________________________________
    Yeah, we are learning plenty from the Obama experience. That's why Sarah Palin can win in 2012. Obama is so much about Government for the Politicians and Sarah Palin is all about Government for the People. He is making her message that much clearer.

    He talks the talk and she walks the talk. We need someone who can actually accomplish something in Washington. Spending is not an accomplishment.

    November 16, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Gregory Lecakes

    I am a republican true and proud and i can tell you i completely agree with James Carvelle in the aspect that Palin should run if we want to turn politics into a laughing stock. Oh wait it already is. Everyone that holds political office is bigging fed by big coroporations and they are the ones making the decisions. So who cares who is in office none of them do anything anyway.

    November 16, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Paradigm

    We're just finding this out now? This woman should kill herself, she isnt good for anything

    November 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Irma in North Carolina

    She would not have a prayer against any one in a debate. Unless she knew the questions ahead of time and they had the answers for her on index cards.

    November 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Republicans is smart in the head area

    She would be catastrophic, which is why I will send her a campaign contribution as soon as she declares.

    November 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. vic nashville , Tn

    Sarah Palin will win the republican nomination in 2012

    Thanks to tea bags ,FOX and Rush

    November 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Jefe

    lol Plouffe is obviously trying to bait the Republicans and Republican voters into nominating Palin, using their adversarial (that's "us vs. them" for you 30%-ers out there) mindset. Unfortunately, only about half of Republicans are uneducated dolts, so its likely not going to work.

    November 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Wayne

    I believe that it would be the best thing for the Dems if Palin got the GOP nomination. This would guarantee another term for Obama.

    November 16, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. LAUGHABLE

    HA HA! Why are they worried about Sarah Palin? It figures the McCain and Obama teams agreed. Thats why McCain lost. Sarah was the only reason he had the votes he did.

    November 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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