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. j

    It'd only be catastrophic if she won.

    November 16, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Fed Up

    Leiberman/Palin as an Independent ticket would be very interesting with the attitude of the people right now.

    November 16, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Tek

    This talk about Palin being the 2012 republican presidential candidate has to end because like all polls say, the majority think she is unqualified. If the GOP is serious about real qualified candidates then they should focus more on politicians like Bob Mcdonnell. I think this is why Cnn sucks sometimes because they keep talking like Palin actually has a chance. She's become a Limbaugh or a Beck. They're all popular within their base but that's it.

    November 16, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. victoria suominen

    Palin should run for President and that birdbrain Michelle Steele should be her Vice President running mate. Stupid and Fascist all on one ticket. A GOP dream!

    November 16, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. James Michael Roberson

    Sarah Palin for president? A catastrophe? Not for America no not at all, we need to keep the office of the presidency in the hands of the democrats in order to straighten out the mess from last idiot the republicans sent up there.

    November 16, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. big daddy

    If she runs she would have to buy alot of crayrons for autographs , She's an idiot ! Who would vote for someone who can't even say a paragraph speech, She used all her crayrons writing her book

    November 16, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. AP in Illinois

    Quitters never win and winners never quit. She quit. You be the judge.

    November 16, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. george from alaska

    go to a clown tailor and get the suit that fits you best...i hear barnum & baily's circus is hiring. you are such a wonderful clown! since alaska state employees call you "big sarah" for your gigantically swelled head full of childish egocentrism, you'll probably need an extra large nose. be careful and don't shop at pinnochio's wood shop...you won't do well with a pinnochio nose...unless you are proud of your lies!

    November 16, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. A. Smith, Oregon

    Palin is the best GOP spokesperson ever. She's a hoot and we love to laugh at her constant insert foot in mouth remarks.

    Palin is so much more refreshing to the American GOP than some ole Morman Mitt.

    November 16, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. g vin

    Palin should get nomination, and should choose the father of the Baloon Boy to be her V.P. pick! That would be great circus!

    Ga Sarah, go!

    November 16, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Doug

    Luckily for the Republicans, you can't fix stupid.

    November 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. midwest liberal

    If she's that bad, and that scary, then you can guarantee the Republican party will nominate here. They're good at that...

    November 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Joe

    I hope she wins the GOP Nomination.

    November 16, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. snowflake

    Should Sara Palin ever make it to the White House, NONE OF US, will be discussing her insufficiencies for any length of time!! WE WILL ALL BE LEAVING THIS WORLD AT THE SAME TIME!! And it won't be caused because of the "rapture" either!!!

    November 16, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Tom

    Uh . . . , my Border Collie would make a better president. He's MUCH smarter than the dipstick in lipstick!

    November 16, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. skyeyesds

    The Only thing Reps.have is the word " NO". Two letters and that explains why they have NOTHING to offer the American People. Even down to Obama bowing to Japans Emperor. That shows respect to their (Japans) customs. Never in my life have I seen or heard so much negativity in the republicans corner. Give it up.!
    And furthermore Obama is NOT Illegitimate. Get out your dictionary.

    November 16, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Palin repesents the GOP's delusion that their party represents the majority of Americans. The GOP is stuck in the past and will not accept a new political reality and landscape much different from the Reagan years.

    November 16, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Tram

    Bad for the GOP, but great for the Democrats!

    November 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Bob

    I actually think that Palin is playing this very smart. She is not looking to be the next president, but rather the next Rush Limbagh. That man got $400,000,000.00 to host his show and Sarah is moving forward with a similar goal in mind. She knows that she cannot win the presidency, but she can become rich beyond belief.

    November 16, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    If I were Ms Palin (God forbid) I wouldn't take advice or consider evaluations made by David Plouffe any more than I would expect President Obama to take whatever Rush Limpballs has to say about him and his administration...

    Having said THAT, I find it interesting that LOTS of people on her side of the asile, including/especially people who worked most closely, for the longest period of time, on the NATIONAL stage agree with him.

    From my exposure to her, allowing for the possibility that the coverage is one sided, I find it AMAZING that 28 people out of 100 think of her as a capable President... Based on?

    November 16, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. felicia

    What is the hang up with saying President Obama is blaming bush for this and that. Guess what he messed the country up to the fifth power. The only way we' getting out of this is by the Power of God. He is the only one that can save us now. President Obama was just put in place as a resource, to help guide people through. Obama 2012

    November 16, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Angie in PA

    Please oh I hope so that would give us President Obama another 4 years so I say go for it Sara!!

    November 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Angy-OH

    sarah would be great for the gop 2012 ticket. so great the President Obama wouldn't have to spend 1 min. on the campaign trail. he could just continue to clean up the mess left by the other great gop president. LOL.

    November 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Lol

    It's incredible that there are Americans who actually like Sarah Palin. The ignorant fools don't know any better. This country has gone to hell, thanks to the rednecks.

    I can't wait to move to a country where idiots like Palin aren't treated like viable presidential candidates. The sheer stupidity of it blows my mind.

    November 16, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Proud American Lib

    Why would this woman ever run for President?

    As this unofficial, populist voice of "real" conservatism, she doesn't actually have to produce any results of any kind, ever. She's like Rush and Hannity, needing to do little more than pontificate and poo-poo from the sidelines to stay the darling of the rootin'-tootin'-moose-shootin' set.

    If she runs, EVERYONE gets to see all the warts, and you can be certain there are plenty. If she doesn't, she stands to gain more money than her mediocrity could ever justify otherwise. Why risk it?

    November 16, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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