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. Obama Victim

    isn't Steve Schmidt the guy that Sarah trashed in her best seller.."Going Rogue"??? so we would expect him to say ??????? as to the other guy..he is an Obozo loser.....so we would expect him to say?? nothing to see here folks...move on

    November 16, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. OldUncleTom

    While I agree with Carville, that you can't invent comedy this good (though he said it in kinder terms), I still wonder if Sarah would have a showing in 2012 even as good as Goldwater in '64.

    Surely, even what is left of the GOP leadership will make a better selection.

    November 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. RahmAxleRod SuperTroopers

    palin is goldwater.

    November 16, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Razorback

    There are more qualified candidates in the Republican Party. However, nobody gets both sides excited like Sarah does! Don't believe me? Just look at the Ticker every day. Just the mention of Sarah Palin generates 300+ responses!

    November 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. rhl

    She should have stayed on as Governor of Alaska. Then she would have had a fighting chance to get the nomination in 2012 and win.

    She's a good figure to draw funds for the party from specific groups, but she won't win the election. Good candidate for a high profile ambassadorship once the Republicans win again.

    November 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. sifto77

    Seems Obama administration will go to any length to persecute and blame Pres Bush for their own failures. What other explanation could there be for making sure the world's worst terrorist will have a chance to tell his story and possibly go free? Obama has already told the world he was tortured. Is that not grounds for a "not guilty verdict? Wake up America......pray for NY residents.....

    November 16, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Lrogers91107

    Palin would be great in 2012 GO OBAMA!!!

    November 16, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. wait a minute

    Although I am all for a female candidate, Palin would be the worst candidate. It would be an easy ride for President Obama. I like him but I want him to be seriously challenged, too. Then he will come out stronger a leader than his first term.

    November 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. beth

    As a Democrat, I'll be praying that she gets the nomination with Kate Gosselin as her running mate.

    November 16, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Been there, done that. She's done. She's yesterday's news, like Jon and Kate, and Balloon Boy.

    Regarding the Faux News supporters on the Obama Twitter: Nobody's censoring Faux. They can continue to broadcast, they're just not news. They're pure propaganda. Especially the way they over-hype the Tea Parties. They act like retailers hyping aTea Party Day to sell more Hallmark cards, or flowers. They don't report news, they create it.

    November 16, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Pee Wee

    "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.

    One thing I agree with Plouffe on. But, from the looks of some of the blog posts here from the Obama Admiration Society, I doubt we will learn.

    I think he changing would to should in Plouffe's statement makes it more precise.

    November 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Eric

    As a democrat, I think she would be great!! Go Sarah Go!!

    November 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Mani

    Carville said it all – "run baby run". She can be the only entertainment in otherwise boring presedential contest. May be she will act smart this time around, if atall she contests – but thats not going to be easy for her over 3-5 month period of active campaigining. And that will generate tons of interesting, funny stories. "run baby run". That will also let Obama concentrate on the white house, without having to bother much about campaigning.

    November 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Eric

    Catastrophic? That's putting it mildly.

    November 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. PEC

    WHy would Republicans take advise from a Democrat?

    November 16, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Phil - IN

    Right on Carville...Actually, I think a combination of James Carville and Paul Begala is pretty good entertainment as well.

    November 16, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Fan of Common Sense

    I love Sarah Palin and she would most certainly be a better president than we currently have, but I hope the republicans do not make the mistake of nominating her for the head of the ticket in 2012. What a godsend for Obama? That's probably the ONLY WAY he could win re-election.

    November 16, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. 30 Year Veteran

    Wouldn't you think these two would be a little biased. Especially since McCain still has ambitions of the Presidency as does Obama for a secoun term (No way hosea). She is way more qualified than the no SALUTE FOR AMERICA OBAMA. WHo by the way will not wear the American flag. He ought to be impeached just for that.

    November 16, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Robert

    Nobody wants a Quitter-in-chief.

    November 16, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Richp

    Maybe Palin needs to be a community organizer and run for the Senate to get the same experience that Obama has....

    November 16, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. B

    She is -Toxic Assets- but let her run and finish off the GOP once and for all ! Give them all of the rope they want..

    November 16, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Al-NY,NY

    the sheep here continue to blather that people are afraid of the vacuous FORMER governer of Alaska. We pray that she is the GOP candidate so she can be slaughtered (just ike the animals she shoots from the helicopter) in the election. Run Sarah run. We want you as the candidate. Of course the sheep still do not see the comedy of their blind allegience to Failin Palin

    November 16, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Palin is the greatest thing since Eve in the garden of Eden,please run Sarah,please.hahaha

    November 16, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Agreed

    I am a REPUBLICAN and have nothing against personal Palin – unlike most do as I say but not as I do democrats.

    However, if my party is stupid enough to elect her as our nominee I may have to kill myself because she will go down in flames.

    November 16, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Michael in Houston

    One thing about that republican party that you have to pay attention to...this is the same party that brought Bush upon the world. It would have been nearly impossible to rival that lousy choice or at least I thought...until Palin showed up. She may well be worse then Bush. The republicans may have actually found the ONE person who could be worse then Bush!!! That they are even considering it or that over 40% of them think she is qualified is further example that the party has been so damaged by Bush and then Obama that they havent the sensibility of a house plant.

    November 16, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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