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. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Based on McCain's choice, I would like to be that your main server to CNN is getting close to melt-down from the responses...if nothing else.......good for rating......which is good for revenues......

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Changed my mind

    I was so sure he was going to pick Romney, which would have sealed the deal. McCain, don't you realize you needed Romney to compete in the western states? You will lose CO, NM, and NV. Now you have no chance in Minnesota or Michigan, either. You just lost my vote. I will be staying home in November.

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

    I can't wait to hear FOX News (aka FOX Noise), try to spin this as a postive for Republicans.

    August 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Confused

    Who was elected president in 1988?

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Fabian Blache III, Baton Rouge, LA

    My biggest concern is that McCain's age and health conditions mean that this lady could be our president overnight.

    I am very uncomfortable with the thought of that prospect, in comparison to Obama-Biden.

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. sharon

    After Obama's historic speech, McCain was caught scratching his head as to whom to pick. I thought he had a wrapped up a couple days ago. I thought he would have shown some respect to some of his running mate.

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Anita from Arizona

    Is she ready to lead this country if anything happens to McCain? What possible motive does McCain have for choosing her? It's not the state she represents to get those votes. It's not the experience she has. Is it because she's Pro-Life, conservative, a woman?? If he chose Palin to get the Hillary Clinton supportors, he's just kissed this election goodbye, because I don't think the women that supported Hillary did so just because she is a woman. That would be insulting, McCain.

    No way, No how, No McCain..... Eight is ENOUGH!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Scott L

    HUH? This is about OBAMA's lack of experience, NOT Biden's experience. How can the Democrats even spin it this way? McCain is the experienced Presidential candidate. Obama has no experience. Biden has experience, Palin doesn' can they even spin it? So they are admitting that Obama has no experience...LOL!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. nerakami

    Sarah who ?????

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Truth

    Did John McCain forget Romney?

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Nina - Florida

    Thanks Sen. McCain. NO WAY, NO HOW, NO MCCAIN!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Mia

    So, Sara, how does it feel to be played? Who are you? We know that you are a woman but you are no Hilarly Clinton. Do you not know that you are just another one of John McCain's gimmicks to get into the White House. You are just being used, I am too a woman and a mother of 6. I do not like being used and I would not subject my children to being used in the way McCain is using you and your family, but maybe you do. Maybe you see this as a way to be apart of American history and that is okay to be important.

    Just as Obama said, "I see" and so does all America. John McCain's repeated words of Obama who McCain said is inexperienced and that America needs someone that is experienced and you have less experienced than Obama. I find this be very contradicting of John McCain, slithering like a snake to pick a woman as his vice president to get voters to vote for him.

    This is another one of McCain's untruthful tactics. Now I really don't trust him and I don't trust you. Alaska, hmm... so what policy did you endorse here other than Alaska. If women vote for you, it will only be because you are a female, not as a woman running for vice president that is taken seriously. You are a quick fix, not a long-term fix!

    Hilarly was different and unique, we know her and love her, we know nothing about you and America does not have time to wait in getting to know you. The presidential elections is just around the corner and John McCain has ran out of time. Furthermore, Alaska is Alaska not Washingston, you may have proved yourself in Alaska but you are far from proving yourself to the American people of the United States.

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Duane

    Wow, I can't believe McCain is that desparate to get a woman on the ticket, that he would pick someone with absolutely no experience. If that doesn't show how bad his judgement is, I don't know what does.

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Steve

    What will this choice do though for the hundreds of "Hillary" supporters who may have been upset by Hillary not getting the VP nod by Obama?

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. JB - NYC


    You guys dont know which way to look, talk or think..
    Dont mention her inexperience, because Obama has far less. She is a Governor.. She was a mayor..
    Obama was a community organizer.. what a joke you Dems played on yourselves.. someone fire Dean

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. JT

    Yeah McCain..

    When did inexperience become OK?

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. John S

    This is who will be second in line behind a 73 year old John McCain? If he were to be unable to execute the duties of the president this is who would run the country?
    Obama all the way!!

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. My Gosh

    I am a true republican. HAVE HE LOST HIS MIND. No one is going to vote for her just because she is a woman. The Hillary Supporters know better than that. This woman has no experience at all. I am ashamed to say that I am a republican because of this. Biden will crush her. She has no experience in politics period. What the helllll McCain. Now you are really giving the Dems ammo. Does he really think a man would want a woman to run this country if she has no political experience. I am a woman and I would not want a woman to be president if he died and did not have no military knowlege or political experience in any attempt to be head of our military. My GOSH McCain. your have disappointmed me and many other women that are Republicans. This woman's husband is big in the oil business. This also give the Dems ammo too. Geeeesh MAN. You have just lost my vote.

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Bayou Wolf

    No Mulligans McCain!

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |

    Really, Clyburn thinks that a 20+ year senator and a governor is too risky?

    Then what does that make a one-term senator with no record of accomplishments and his running mate, who VOTED FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ in 2002 after saying that Saddam Hussein was “a long-term threat and a short-term threat to our national security,” a sure bet?

    With all due respect, the failed leadership of my party needs to stop talking... the sooner the better.

    We'll pick up the pieces and try again next time.

    August 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Marxists for Obamessiah

    Hells bells, the woman was THE senior executive for one of the 50 states in this great United States of America. That means EXECUTIVE experience, REAL experience, making decisions, managing a state (and very successfully rooting out corruption).

    Obama, on the other hand, is no different than Biden OR McCain, who only have "talk talk talk" experience. Palin is more qualified than Obama, Biden OR McCain.

    Slam dunk.
    Obama is sunk.

    August 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Dave C - NJ

    Obama served in congress for 8 years in the House and 3 in the Senate.

    Ronald Reagan was in office for 8 years total...and before that he was an ACTOR.

    Palin has been in office less than two years.

    Biden and McCain have been in office for about 35 or so.

    I don't think either side should be talking about experience.

    It's about PLATFORM!!!!!!



    August 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Chad

    Absolutely shocking that a House Democrat would call the selection of Palin a risky move! That is quite the news story.

    August 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Pardeep

    It's over McCain! WOW, by picking someone with such less experience, you've just shot your presidential bid, Goodbye!. What if something were to happen to you- would america trust her to lead the country?

    August 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Frustrated

    I was hoping that McCain would pick somebody who is more open to prochoice. I don't believe in voting against a candidate, or picking the lesser of two evils. I really wanted this election to have a candidate that I could vote FOR. With Clinton out of the race, neither party has a candidate that I want to vote FOR.

    August 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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