August 29th, 2008
02:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Dems say Palin is 'risky,' could be a disaster

Clyburn said the choice of Palin is risky.

Clyburn said the choice of Palin is risky.

(CNN) - A leading House Democrat said Friday John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a "risky" move that could ultimately prove disastrous to the Republican prospects in November.

Meanwhile, a top Senate Democrat said the pick is a "Hail Mary pass" and a "roll of the dice," in what is the initial reactions from McCain's rival party.

Watch: Palin accepts VP offer

Speaking to South Carolina ETV Radio, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn likened the choice of Palin to Walter Mondale's choice of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and George H.W. Bush's pick of Dan Quayle in 1988. Both picks - relatively unknown political figures at the time - generated initial excitement but were ultimately deemed poor choices by many political observers.

"I think (her selection) would be something similar to Dan Quayle - Dan Quayle proved to be sort of an embarrassment as a campaigner, being thrust on a national stage like that could be very tough," Clyburn said. "Now Mondale tried to shake things up by going with Geraldine Ferraro, she proved to be a disaster as a running mate. And as a campaigner, she was absolutely awful."

"And so I just think that it is very risky for McCain to do this, but it may be all he has left," Clyburn also said.

In an issued statement, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Palin is significantly mismatched to Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden and said the prospect of her becoming president is "troubling."

"It is a real role of the dice and shows how John McCain, Karl Rove et al realize what a strong position the Obama-Biden team and Democrats in general are in in this election," Schumer said. "Certainly the choice of Palin puts to rest any argument about inexperience on the Democratic team and while Palin is a fine person, her lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling. I particularly look forward to the Biden-Palin debate in Missouri.”

The Obama campaign also told CNN Friday the choice of Palin takes the question of experience "off the table."

"Experience is being taken off the table considering you're putting someone within a heartbeat of the presidency with the thinnest foreign policy experience in history," spokesman Bill Burton said.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the 4th ranking House Democrat, said in a statement the choice of Palin "shows political panic."

"Is this really who the Republican Party wants to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency? Given Sarah Palin's lack of experience on every front and on nearly every issue, this Vice Presidential pick doesn't show judgment: it shows political panic," he said.

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Jules

    Hillary Clinton supporters did not back Clinton because of her anatomy. They backed her for her wealth of experience, her enormous talent, and her positions on issues that matter to them. Obama shares her vision, her priorities. Palin is no Hillary Clinton. What was McBush thinking?????

    August 29, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Gotta Be Kidding

    Her husband works for BP
    BP huge McCain contributions
    VP slot bought for Sarah Palin by husband's employer!

    August 29, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Rob

    Pander much John McCain?

    August 29, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    That and it's such an obvious pander. What happened to the John McCain I voted for in the 2000 primaries?

    August 29, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. W O W WO W

    M O R E--D E M O C R A T I C--A N T I-W O M A N--E X C U S E S-

    I N,,,,,,,,,5,,,,,,,,,,4,,,,,,,,,,,3,,,,,,,,,,2,,,,,,,,,,,,,1

    August 29, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Colleen Brooks, Weddington, North Carolina

    Great choice! 4 Barack Obama. John Mc Cain has just nailed his coffin and I am grateful. This just shows how out of touch the Republicans are-Dem's and Independents weren't for Hillary because she was a WOMAN!! They were for her and Barack's core values of women’s rights, healthcare reform, and education reform. They were for her to get us out of Iraq. Has anyone in the media speculated that Romney, Palenty, KAY Bailey-Hutchinson or any of the other top contenders up until yesterday said no thanks to John McCain? After all it would damage their political future to be on the biggest landslide loss in history.

    August 29, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. DrMan

    What a load of garbage. The libs were going to say whoever McCain picked was awful. What's the difference between Obama and Palin, they both have limited political experience. For all we know Obama could be like Dan Quayle.

    August 29, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Chi4Obama


    If a MAN had Sarah Palin's resume, would HE still be nominated as McCain's VP pick. This just makes your wonder huh?

    Hey McCain,
    Thanks for insulting women everywhere by "lowering the bar" for them.

    August 29, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    I always knew that McCain was a "high roller" of the political dice. However this roll is for "all the marbles" and it is just possible that McCain's final role will be "snake-eyes." This is going to so backfire that Obama will ease down the yellow brick road to the White House.

    August 29, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Jana

    Obama himself is more risky then any one in the world. and he is not a maverick. McCain is brilliant.

    August 29, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Mr. Eko

    Let's be honest here, John McCain is closer to death's door than ANY president who's ever run for office. So for him to select someone with ZERO foreign policy experience, after having told us that Obama is NOT ready because he lacks that experience, who is just a heartbeat away from the presidency just makes no sense.

    Obama was in the state senate for 8 years, and a US senator for 3 years. He has proven his judgment by being right on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, and he has shown his ability to command the respect of leaders (and people) all over the world. And yet, John McCain is arguing that HE isn't ready, but that somehow Palin IS ready? Seriously?

    August 29, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Andy

    Not as risky as selecting someone with less then three years experience and no executive experience to run a country.

    Palin ran a state.

    August 29, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Tony


    Talk about someone with NO experience!

    Palin was picked for ONE reason. To try and get the women voters who are still ticked off about Hillary.

    44 years old, mother of five, 13-month old sone with Downe Syndrome.

    Cheney was always hiding in his "ubndisclosed location" and I suppose that Palin will be absent quite a bit due to inclement weather, snow days, flu season, school holidays, unlesss she just decides to turn over the care of her younger children to the Nannies. So much for FAMILY VALUES!

    She is still under investigation for firing the state's Public Safety Comissioner for not firing her brother-in-law whoi is a state trooper. Palin claims a staffer was responsible and she had NOTHING to do with it. She is a lifelong member of the NRA and she's all for drilling in Alaska.

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Franky

    All right Dems, listen up!! I want you to come out with an ad, RIGHT AWAY! I want you to call it, "Ignorance or hypocrite." You know, something like that. And in this ad, I want you to hit hard!! I mean, hit em hard!! Why?? because let's face it, Palin is there to help McCain and guess what? We're gonna make sure she helps him all right with women. And second, not only show the ignorance among the McCain campaign, but twist their words!! Twist their words and make Senator McCain's voting record "identitical" to his selection. Ohh yeah, this is the heart of women, this is the heart of women's right, this is the heart of our country and most importantly, take it to the heart of the Republican Party!!!

    I gotta say, is unfortunate that she may have to speak for him, instead of McCain speaking for himself...

    But you know what? This is politics at its best....

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. McCain/Palin'08

    He says this because he knows he has a fight on his hands and the democrats should be running in fear. Their great messiah barack will be losing to McCain/Palin'08

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Chi4Obama

    I know student body presidents in college, with more "Executive experience" then Palin.

    This is ridiculous.

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    McCain's (and his strategists') judgement is really in question here. What possible positives does Palin bring to the ticket other than that she is an "up and coming"?

    Hurrah for her "up and coming," but two months before the election you bring out an unknown? Fire all your strategists, they deserve to be given the boot! And you need to stop drinking your lunch!

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Char for Obama 08 & 12

    Obama/Biden Great Ticket!!!
    McCain is afraid to fight on the issues

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Maria

    Her experience in actually doing and improving things trumps Obama's by a mile! If you say she's not ready (she is) then Obama is FAR from ready.

    Obama just knows how to say buzzwords and delegate thugs to silence critics!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. NoMcSame

    McSame, At one time I did not have a choice I was a POW. Ha ha ha

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. tony

    He'd have been better off picking Michael Palin. More world experience.

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. VA Dem

    Well, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I was actually afraid McCain would pick Romney or Lieberman, but with this pick I just scratched my head and said "huh?"


    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Liz

    Does this smell like desparation or what? McLame must have really been shaken by Obama's speech last nite!!! So much for the inexperience argument.

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. chris

    a lot of idiots are only voting for obama because of his fluff speeches and charming personality, what makes you think others won't vote for mccain simply because his VP is a woman?

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Peter of Oregon

    I can't wait to see Hillary Clinton tear her apart.

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13