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. LacrosseDad

    a obama/biden ticket would be worse but it won't happen in 2012.

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

    Please run, Sarah and pick that lunatic Bachmann woman to be your running mate. Please – I want you to run in 2012, Sarah. Your bid for the Presidency in 2012 will be great for the Democrats! Run Sarah, Run!

    November 16, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Sean

    Some people urge Palin to run in order to ensure an easy reelection for Obama, but I personally hope she NEVER runs. I simply can't feel comfortable with even the most remote possibility that Palin get anywhere near a position as powerful as President of the United States. It would be an absolute disaster that our country, and probably our world, simply wouldn't recover from for generations. Find a QUALIFIED Republican candidate please!

    November 16, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Terry from West Texas

    I strongly support a Palin-Romney team for the Republican 2012 nomination. Palin is such a loose cannon that she will create one public relations disaster after another. Romney is smart and capable (even though he's Conservative), but the Mormon thing will alienate the southern fundamentalist Christian base. The two of them should go down to a monumental defeat. We need a Republican disaster, like 1964. This will bring a strong Liberal Congress into office so we can finally get some work done in Washington.

    Go, Sarah, go!

    November 16, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Tom in Delaware

    Wow CNN. so many Palin stories, and not one on the people of NYC outrage over bring KSM and friends to the city for trial....you're a real crack news team.

    November 16, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Gary

    I think a Sarah Palin/Rush Limbaugh GOP ticket would be wonderful for the Saturday Night Live skits!

    November 16, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. RobG9000

    She should be the Republican nominee in 2012.
    Why not?
    She is the very personification of the Republican voter.
    Uninformed, uneducated, litlle traveled, easily distracted, easily manipulated, and well, just plain ol' trailer park.
    She's anything but exceptional.
    In a word, she's perfect.

    Bring it on!

    November 16, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Mike in LR

    Catastrophic is what we have now. The U.S. is headed for financial meltdown with BO stoking the fire. Another Nero.

    I'd rather have an honest, humble newcomer than an arrogant Chicago thug novice.

    November 16, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Brent W

    She Couldn't even name one important US Supreme court case off the top of her head! She is not a qualified candidate to represent the USA to the world. As a moderate democrat, I would be very afraid to have her sitting in the oval office.

    November 16, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Jim

    Palin = female, really stupid version of Barry Goldwater.

    November 16, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Bob V

    These are times that require serious, committed and focused leadership such as President Obama is exhibiting. Mrs. Palin resigned her Govenorship to pursure her own agenda of fame and fortune.
    She is not qualified to lead this great nation.

    November 16, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. palin Is Not Qualified

    Please run sara. I can't think of a better way to guarantee another Obama term.

    November 16, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Sgt. USMC

    I don't care much for the GOP since they can't quit criticizing and start helping but if palin is the best they can do... i feel sorry for them. lol

    November 16, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. jrzshor

    wow, the negative campaign against palin has already started!!

    November 16, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. JP

    She is the single biggest reason we now have a clown in the white house. Any right wing social conservative will cause a loss in 2012. We need moderate to win the election.

    November 16, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sorry about the typos. That was putrid not 'outrid', among others.My bad (s).

    November 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Erasmus

    I just saw the cover of this week's Newsweek and Sarah Pathetic in her shorts certainly looks like the FOXRupert Murdoch type of candidate. Both the uneducated and salacious can get it all in one package.
    News/entertainment/sex – what's the difference if the people want it?

    November 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. geecee

    Of course, we Democrats would love to have that airhead Palin run for President. She couldn't get up to speed on the international front or even the domestic issues that need to be fixed in the next 3 years under any circumstances. She is too dimwitted. You can't fix stupid.

    Obama has his plate full for sure thank's to the mess he inherited from Bush/Cheney, but he is working hard and making progress. He hasn't been President for a year yet and has done more positive work in 10 months than Bush did in 8 years. Keep up the good work, Mr. President.

    November 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. jrzshor

    "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-so far not so good

    November 16, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. G SMITH

    Barrack Obama is the Pesident and that is a catastrophic. Sarah Palin would be a great President just as she was a great Governor in Alaska.

    Ignore the Media they have a destroy agenda.

    November 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Georgian

    Please don't tell them. Let them nominate her. It would be sooooo fun.

    November 16, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. NotFooledTX

    Yeah, the next time we're tired of having a mature pragmatic intellectual president in office, sarah will be the first one we call. She's the polar opposite.

    November 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Used & Abused by the Liberal Left & Hypocritic Righties

    Palin catastrophic? LOL....that's an understatement!

    If that's the best the GOP has to offer, they might as well just put the concrete boots on now & jump in.

    November 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Drew

    If Palin runs for President we might as well be fighing in Iraq. This women doesn't have a clue as to how to run her own house hold not let alone a country. Oh I am bad. First Dude or it is second Dude now. Palin get your life in order before you can even think about focusing on the lives of people in this country alone.

    November 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. Matthew in Wisconsin

    I have to agree with James Carville, Palin is a 'hoot" and she has been a blessing for the Democrats. While I can't stand her.. I really enjoy reading about her. Remember when Brittney Spears had her wacko public melt down. I can't stand Spears either, but I read all the stories I came across. Now if Palin would get drunk and get drunk and expose her private parts for every camera around... well I'd most likely read that story too. However that is about where America rates her. On par with Brittney Spears, entertainment wise . You betcha!

    November 16, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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