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. George

    Queen of the birthers, baggers, and death panel. Yep her values and ethics are great. You run girl! The wackos need leadership. And with an asset like Joe the plunger, you are truly gifted. Rush can lead the department of human rights.

    November 16, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. vette gal

    Please CNN, enough coverage of this poor excuse for an intelligent woman. I, for one, am tired of hearing about this train wreck.

    November 16, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. JonDie

    The problem with such a prediction is that in the past the American people have come out of their drug-induced stupor long enough...to elect the likes of George W. Bush. And no, even Sarah Palin doesn't make George W. Bush look intelligent.

    November 16, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Mike

    The liberal media will continue to push Sarah to the front page in an attempt to make her the voice of the GOP. Even her running in the primary would be huge in dividing the angry hateful undeducated GOP from the moderate even tempered educated GOP.

    McCain nominating Sarah Palin is the gift for democrats that just keeps on giving.

    You will know the party is over when the liberal media finally lets this beauty queen slip to the back pages.

    November 16, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Doc SteveO

    "Sarah cannot be bought"?? Oprah bought her. The publisher bought her. Sarah, Inc. is for sale to the highest bidder. Period.

    Germantown, TN

    November 16, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Jayden,FL

    I hope shes the Nominee... victory for us Democrats will be ohhhh so sweet!!

    November 16, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Eric

    Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Palin running for president would be a total catastrophe. In fact it would probably be a mockery to the entire election process.

    November 16, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. doorky

    Quick, Democrats, let's all change our registration and vote for Palin in the Republican primaries. Palin/Bachmann or Palin/Gosselin 2012!!!

    November 16, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Blonde

    Ssshhhh CNN....let Palin run. We want Sarah as the Republican nominee in 2012!!! Don't we Dems??

    November 16, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. A. Smith, Oregon

    Palin would be a great GOP nominee. Go Palin!

    President Obama is going to need 2 full terms to undue many of the problems and illegal practices of the Bush-Cheney White House.

    Palin's a lot more fun than some ole Morman Mitt

    November 16, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Shadysider

    She makes Dan Quayle look like a genius. While she was able to bring out all the social conservatives and the anti-government types, she also was the straw that broke the camel's back when it comes to pushing moderate Republicans and strictly fiscal conservatives away from the party, making them think that the Republican Party was nothing more than a place for social conservatives to congregate. Sure, I can understand her message of limiting government's intrusion on our lives, but first, then why is she against OTHER people having abortions? and second, her interviews and world-view show a lack of knowledge about world affairs and history, and her vindictive and victimhood attitude alike serve to turn people away from her.

    November 16, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. LYNETTE IN CA

    Stop saying that she'd be "catastrophic." Please let her run so the repugs can flat out implode!

    November 16, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Bill from CA

    As a Democrat and Obama supporter, I would LOVE to see Sarah Palin run. Remember, Dems...stuff the caucus and primary ballots for her in 2012 like the GOP did in 2008 to try and prolong the Obama/Hillary contest.

    November 16, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Alex

    You idiot Plouffe, say she would be great so we can run against her! duh!

    November 16, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. p

    David Plouffe is just jealous of Sarah. She will lead the Republicans to victory in 2012.

    November 16, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. T'SAH from Virginia

    DIDN'T YOU KNOW ? PALIN is the disaster that was predicted to happen in the year 2012!!!!! LOL

    November 16, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Democrat for Palin Primary

    I dont understand why so many from the right say, democrats are afraid of her. Afraid? dont you see all of us cheering for her to win the primary?

    November 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Susan

    Palin isn't planning to run in 2012. She's said it herself and if you think about it, it's true: she's said that she's finding that you don't need a title to make a difference.

    In fact being tied to a title, will hinder your ability to speak your mind and restrict your actions.

    November 16, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. The Dude

    Please, get real. Palin is no threat to Obama or any other Democrat. In fact, she is the Democrat's dream. She bring so much baggage with her that she will doom any party that she represents. The biggest fear among Democrats is that she will change to their side.

    November 16, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. Reformed Republican

    Some of you people really need to listen to yourselves speak. Do you honestly think ANYONE is afraid of this woman campaigning? Did you sleep through the last election? Do you have to go to school to learn that kind of stupidity??

    November 16, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. FAYE MOGHTADER

    the only thing she can do is make comedy news with her disfuntional family and their spouses.we are at such a sorry state in this country,that if you make news,no matter how? you will sell books and get rich.how sad.
    it will be interesting to see her meeting the heads of states.i think i will crawl and be so embarresed.

    November 16, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Eddie

    That just means Sarah is the number one contender!

    November 16, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. JT in Fla

    I think I will switch parties and register as a Republican. That way I can vote for Sarah Palin in the Florida primary.GO OBAMA!!!!

    November 16, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Palin/Liz Cheney 2012

    We could even see Bachmann as Sec. of State.

    WOW !!!

    Can't wait.

    November 16, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. Republican'ts are so YESTERDAY

    I couldn't agree more, but the Republican'ts seem to be unable to do anything to help their own party these days and seem completely uninterested in doing anything to help the country! I think it would be great if they kept going the same way they've been going . . . .in other words, PLEASE let Sarah run! In fact, how about Cheney as her running mate??!!!

    November 16, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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