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. Frank Black

    This is indeed a disaster. She comes from the swing state of....Alaska?

    My God John McCain, what were you thinking?

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Tony

    One great thing about McCain's choosing Palin is that McCain will no longer have any CREDIBILITY, not that he really ahd any to begin with, when whining about Obama's not having any experience.

    Biden will blow Ms. Palin right back to Alaksa in every debate. SHe knows nothing, and has NO expericen when it comes to foreign policy.

    Crystalizes what a hypocrite this sad, old, bitter, angry, DESPERATE man is.

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Michelle - Michigan

    Hey... I bet all the racist rednecks love it... they’ll get to vote for a bitter old white man & a gun totting pageant princess. They will not be able look past Obama's skin color and her um... goods. They will vote for the hot chick... rather than true substance and real change.


    Obama / Bidden

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Obama08FL

    I have seen a few comments from women who are voting for McCain, because they think this lady is experienced. Do you really think if McCain suffers a severe health condition? A lady who is under investigation for trying to have her sisters ex husband fired should run a country full of hate. I think John McCain truly thinks the females in the United States are just that stupid. Yes I think an Obama / Hillary ticket would have been nice, but Hillary will have her time in the future. She is the reason why a woman has the chance to have their voices heard. Why vote for someone who has only been a governor for how long? 1 year! I guess with McCains age excludes what non-experience she has. Call McCain the Hugh Hefner of the White House he has to have someone good looking on his side.

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. ChicagoLovesObama

    So basically the message i'm getting here is that, if something happens to McCain and Palin has to step-in to be the President, it doesn't really matter because his advisors would be making all the decisions anyway. She's just a mouthpiece.

    That's not right.

    It's almost like the McCain campaign WANTS to lose...

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Z

    Excellent choice McCain! Very wise.

    McCain/Palin 2008

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Debbie, Blue Springs MO

    ATTENTION— SEE Wikipedia for Sarah Palin—Commissioner Dismissal–problems……………

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. David

    Great pick!! Clyburn had no problem with Obama having no experience. This should give McCain a landslide victory instead of just a victory in Nov. This will also take what ever wind Obama may have gotten from the convention. Dems hae already come out with a childish response.....I LOVE IT!

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Chad

    Shocking also that the Obama campaign believes this takes experience off the table - Palin has a better record of experience than does Obama and she is not at the top of the ticket like he is. No one picks a president based on who the vice president is.

    I am sure if Palin ran for president she could have garnered the 1% support Biden did in Iowa.

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. internet_winter

    Talk about dangerously unqualified!

    A woman who has JUST BARELY entered state government all the way up in ALASKA?

    Does she know ANYTHING about foreign policy? Does she know ANYTHING about the lower 48? Does she know anything about the issues of concern to Americans who are not employed by big oil or hunting baby seals?

    One 71-year-old heart beat from the presidency? (*shudder*)

    No way, No how, No McCain!

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Ralph

    Well, well..If you voted for Hillary just because she was a woman, here you go. I voted for Hillary because she was the best, not because she was a woman. I will need to learn more about Sarah before I decide to vote for McCain, or stick with my write in for Hillary. Obama is too much Pomp and Circumstance, all that glitters is not gold.

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. AR NYC

    I hate to bring up race but honestly I see nothing but white people, like no blacks no asians no hispanics nothing that shows diversity at McCain's VP announcement rally.

    August 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Chi4Obama

    Can I be VP as well?

    I have more experience governing people in College, than Palin did as Mayor.

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Dee Jay a young republican

    I am still on fire from the speech last night

    McCain has no chance


    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. steve

    well, for all the lefty fearmongering that an "inexperienced woman" would be within a heartbeat of the presidency, voting for nobama would PUT an inexperienced fluffmonger into the presidency. not to mention palin already has a record and a history of action in her short political career, while obama just has a nice big house to show for his "work"

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Ed from Dallas

    Ladies and gentlemen.
    When Obama questioned McCains judgement, many thought he was just playing politics.
    His choice of VP proves he has none at all.
    McCain is among the oldest nominees for the presidency and if anything happened to him, we would end up with a nobody as president.
    McCain is not puting country first. He is puting politics first. Why else would he risk someone like Palin being commander in chief if he beleives it is this important.

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Mark of Minneapolis

    Now can McCain fight Obama on Experience? Please explain how.

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. "eh"

    Senator McCain's selection of Govenor Palin is STRICTLY POLITICAL and shows that he is NOT SINCERE in trying to TRULY HELP the american people.

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Debby

    Excuse me Clyburn but remember what your own Bill Clinton said about experience and GOV. yes GOV Palin has been an elected official for years now and a GOV for 2. Obama never governed a state, never balanced a budget and even needs someone to find his own pencils his own words, and his community organizing project has gone bust. There are more cops riding buses in inner city Chicago than any other state.

    Obama and Biden are hot air balloons just like the people chanting his name. If this election like Obama said was about the people and not him he would have had Hillary on his ticket for her 18 million supporters. This is about Obama and a history project not being commander and chief to solve our problems.

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. California Gold

    Her husband is an oil man. Oh goody a totally inexperienced running mate married to big oil company. Just what we need. Another pro-oil VP that's under investigation. So much for "scrubbing" this candidate.

    Even the undecided are going to have difficulty accepting McCain's arguments about experience and maverick with her on his side.

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Joe from MN

    Experience is definitely off the table...when McCain is in his mid 70s during his presidency–something happen? Someone with less experience than Obama is in charge?

    I think Hillary Clinton voters are smart enough to see the pander too...

    Interesting selection I will say John...

    Well congrats Senator, you have taken the experience argument out of this race...

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Natasha/

    And there it is.......LOL

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Jeremy C

    All you Obama supporters don't seem to understand that Palin is the most consistent conservative Republican in the mix for the candidates being vetted for the VP spot. It is evident that McCain is not considered a true social conservative. Palin is – and this will help to reestablish the support of the social conservative base, which is huge for the Republicans. Groups like Focus on the Family and the NRA will warm up more to McCain now. She is also staunchly pro-life and pro-family.

    I think it's sad that people think she was chosen as a Hillary surrogate. She has accomplished much in politics whether at a municipal or state level and each time, has faced opposition about her age and experience level and has excelled in her new role.

    Also, the argument about experience cannot be applied to her in the same way. McCain's criticism of Obama is because he has little experience, given the fact that he's applying for a commander in chief job. The VP job is not as high profile and is more behind the scenes, giving the candidate more opportunities to learn and mentor. I agree, there is a risk should McCain kick the bucket.

    August 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. McCain has questionable judgement.

    Thinking out of the box indeed.
    Very risky choice,
    married to big oil,
    fired sister's husband because of divorce.
    McCain again and again has poor judgement.

    August 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Gotta Be Kidding

    Talking Heads are asking if Joe Biden has to take it easy on her in the debates because she's a women. Why should he – if she is a heartbeat away from the presidency and will have to take over if something happens to McCain – will Russian, Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani, Chinese, Korean handle her with kid gloves? Take it to her Joe! Crush her like a bug!

    Obama/Biden '08, '12

    August 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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