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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Debbie

    Good Choice McCain,

    I am glad you picked Sarah as your running mate because that judgement call just solidified my choice for President. You see, I want what is best for my children, myself and my country. If something were to happen to you Sarah would be the next President. That is a chance I cannot take. The debates should prove interesting.

    August 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Florida

    What kind of Judgement is this??? This our country we are talking about. This decision was made to try to win anelection and not for the American people.
    Ethics are not on her list of values. She tried to get her brother-in-law fired for her sister. The investigation is still active.
    This is the best that the GOP has to offer... OBAMA is looking much better to me.

    August 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |




    August 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Yeah, and Clyburn is right!

    August 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Kev, Golden, CO

    How is the GOP going to continue making the case that experience is so important and Obama lacks it? She has virtually no experience compared with Obama, and will be eaten alive on foreign policy questions.

    Her only addition to the campaign is integrity. Does McCain need to shore up his integrity?

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Ex-PUMA 4 Obama

    Sorry McCain-

    You almost had my vote but this Ex-PUMA will not vote for you because you chose a woman for your VP. I respect Palin for her position. She has done well. However, McCain, you are trying to play on Hillary's supporters intelligence and emotions but it won't work. We are not so devastated over Hillallry that we just want a woman Pres/VP. We listened to Hillary when she asked us if we were in the Party for her or for our country.

    The Democratic Party has united and nothing can stop us now.



    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Sam Rose

    WOW–I am shocked–
    I am an Obama supporter–


    I look at leaders to make good decisions.

    The most important decision that McCain will make....... is who will be
    ready on day one to lead our country if something happens to him?????

    And he chooses someone will virtually no experience--

    I cant wait to see Joe Biden and Sarah Palin debate-

    Obama-Biden '08

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Linda

    I hope he's right because I think picking a woman was a craft ymove on McCain's part. But as a liberal democrat who adored Hillary and is luke-warm on Obama, I am still voting for him because no republican will protect the rights of women and children. Gov. Plain is a member of the NRA. Don't the republicans realize that it is the predominence of guns in this country that is behind all the school shootings?

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Carol, Michigan

    McCain purely picked her thinking he would get Hillary supporters.

    As usual McCain disrespects women thinking that we're so ignorant that we would vote for him now soley because he picked a woman.

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Charlotte

    Too bad Obama is not a heartbeat away, he is the nominee who is limited in experience.

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Ex republican

    McCain has ran his campaign as experienced and judgement, this choice has undermined both of those arguments. Today McCain is 72 yrs old what happens if he dies in office?! Palin is less experienced than Obama and can't compete with Biden at all. Plus she is already involved in a scandal trying to get her little sister husband fired for divorcing her. So her father took her moose hunting as a kid...Another bad judgement on McCain's part.

    Obama/Biden 08'

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. David Peter

    IS THIS A JOKE??? McCain, you make me laugh hahahahahhaha.

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Cody

    Because of his comments and voting record adn personal life I had suspected before now that McCain was a misogynist, but this cynical grab for women's votes really proves to me that he has little respect for the intelligence of women.

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. stacy

    how can Clayburn possibly know this to be what can/will happen.

    August 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    Sen Obama was an unknown also Mr. Clyburn and see where he is. Lets be fair. Palin has more experience for sure. So lets let all of them debate it out. And let the public pick. Thats if the Media will stay out of it and play fair. But that would be a first also.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. chrissy

    Hillary put 18 million cracks into the ceiling. Mccain will now break the ceiling wide open! Now, that's a change you can believe in. Now, that's where deeds and actions speaks louder then words. John Mccain is sending a clear and loud message that he is here to shake up washington and put washington on notice that the reformist he has been known for is coming to the whitehouse!

    For all women who thought the fight for HIllary was invaine, I am here to say, it worked! The women's voices was minimized by the DNC and Obama but you can't silence 18 million voices that easy. The ceiling with 18 million cracks will break wide open in November and 2008 is the year where women will not be minimized any longer, will not be chastised any longer, will not be mocked any longer!

    This is a happy day for my daughters as I learned hours ago that my hard fought battel for Hillary will live on for me to fight another day. Thank you John Mccain!!

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Matthew

    "Both picks — relatively unknown political figures at the time — generated initial excitement but were ultimately deemed poor choices by many political observers."

    Can anyone say....OBAMA???

    Palin is the only one of the four who has EXECUTIVE experience.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. JJ

    Well McCain can no longer use the experience argument. This election just got a little interesting...Could be a disaster but it could prove to be a very good one. I bet the debate ratings will soar!

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. regina osborne

    This is for those Hillary Supporter's that are thinking about voting for John McCain, can you see anyone other than Hilliary Clinton being on anyones tickets. Take off the shades and see what the Rep or trying to do, True Dems lets throw our support to Obama/Biden and take back our country.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Bephany

    This is disappointing. I was really hoping he'd pick Mitt Romney. McCain has no plan for the economy, and what if, God forbid, something happens to him? We're supposed to just let this woman take over as president?

    This is scary, truly. I don't know what to do.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. JP

    Two questions.

    1. how Democrats will CHANGE by attacking McCain in the same tactics that all politicians use.

    2. Why Obama supporters are striving to attack McCain and protect Obama on the web comment like this? It seems like as if these people are trying to get rid of their axiety that Obama cannot win the general election.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Sara

    John's gambling again – shooting craps

    She won't get the vote of the republican delegates to make her the official nominee – he will pick another. Probably mittens.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Hillary Supporter for Obama

    Yeah she was a mayor of a town of 8,000 people and governer for less than 2 years. This makes her more experienced how??

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. andrew s. rostolder

    jim, a terrible mistake has been made. the elder statesman was supposed to invite her to the dinner party not be the vp. he got a little confused.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. irene

    Senator McCain must think Hilary Clinton supporters are so daft.Does he think when we see a woman as his running mate,we'll just jump to his side.This choice proves McCain experienced in making wrong decisions.This is no match to Hilary Clinton.Hilary Clinton has a remarkably highly experienced political record.Moreso,she is prochoice. Sarah Palin has been governor of a few thousands in Alaska since 2006 & she is prolife.No real political experience,no experience in foreign policy ,economic policies or health policies. Frightening to think America will gladly & in trust put the country in such a poor shape in her hands should the unfortunate happen to McCain.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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