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. Pander Bear

    JB NYC
    Obama was a state legislator and IS a US Senator. She has not even completed a full term as governor of one of the smallest states (Population wise) in the country, and mayor of a podunk town. Experience? Give me a break

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Obama08:white, 60 yr old woman

    McCain insults women if he thinks simply by picking A woman is enough to win women's votes . Obama is right: McCain doesn't get it!!!

    What is ONE policy that this woman supports that Hillary did. I find this transparent selection to Hillary herself.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Clevelander

    She is a governor from a state which has a population less than Delaware. She has never seen the national politics. This is the person that John McCain picks to step in if anything happens? If McCain wants to use judgement as an argument, his credibility is gone out of window. This is really a questionable pick. I can't see to have somebody with this kind of background to step in as a president of this country. I rather have Joe Biden to run the country if necessary.

    GO Obama/Biden

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. dennis from chicago


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


    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. ck

    Of course Hillary supporters wont be swayed to support Palin,

    Hillary supporters are sheep that would never be able to recognize positive qualities...




    and can GET THINGS DONE! Hillary is a political train wreck that has achieved NOTHING.

    Welcome the first female VP and John McCain as President in 08 &12

    Wise choice!!

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Old white lady for Obama

    I thought wisdom came with age. Not in McCain's case it seems. What a disastrous choice for VP, for the Republicans at least. Hillary's diehard supporters are too smart to be tricked in to supporting Palin, who does not support pro-choice.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Richard

    Experience is not off the table , thanks for admitting that Obama lacks it though and that it was and should be an issue.

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. JAS

    Why do the democrats continue to belittle women. Don't they understand that it is no longer going to be tolerated?

    August 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Happy Birthday McSame

    Reminder, McCain...

    You turned 73 today. We all pray to live happy healthy long lives but what if you do not? Do you think so little of the American people that you would put us in this kind of danger just for political gain? Just picture it. It's 3:00 AM, a phone rings in the White House and a soccer mom answers. Really?!

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

    Actually this is really good for Obama. If anything, this will make the Clintons, especially Hillary, work even harder to get Obama elected... no way in hell this lady is getting to the white house before Hillary.

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

    I believe mccain must be secretly for Barack Obama! what was he thinking. thank you mccain.

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. matt

    Ha. Risky for Obama, no doubt.

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. Mr. Educator

    How about choosing me McCain?

    She has only two years of experience and a Beauty contest.

    I am good looking and over 15 years of educating the Public.

    Hey Come On!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. anonymouys

    i will not be voting for mccain we dont like this women as vp we dont even know who she is

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. shannon

    Why do DEMS HATE WOMEN???!?!?!

    First Hillary and now Palin.

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Scooter Mccain



    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Michael

    McCain made a terrific pick in Palin!!!!!

    He picked some one who is more qualified than Obama himself and he lifted up women.

    America IS Great!!! McCain/Palin 08!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Matthew

    It also shouldn't come as a surprise the House Democrats are calling Sarah Palin risky. Much of the leadership already proved itself to be sexist during the primaries.

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. mattb

    the VP debates should be fun!!!! She's going to be shark bait!

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Gail

    The only thing Palin and Clinton have in common is their gender. I'm voting for Obama because he's the best for the job, not because he's black. I'll never vote for Palin because she's a woman. She's completely unqualified to be an old man's heart beat away from the Presidency.

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. from OC

    Considering who McCain picked for VP running mate, I know we would be better off not having him as a president. This was a really dumb choice. He really doesn't get it, especially with the women's vote. I'm sure some of the Republican campaign insiders have their heads spinning right now because they were consistently on message about Obama's lack of experience. John McCain just derailed his own campaign. It's tragic.

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. internet_winter

    This has got to be a joke. A head fake.

    McCain is definitely not so stupid as to select someone so woefully unqualified to succeed him should his 73-year-old heart give out.

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Flip Flop Obama

    SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED, this race is over. What Obama does not understand is Actions speak louder then Words.

    Great Job McCain

    August 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. suspicious

    I agree with Clyburn. As a woman I am disgusted. Disgusted at McCain for hoping there are enough stupid women out there that would vote for him just because they wanted Hillary and disgusted at the fact that there are women out there that are willing to vote for McCain just because there is a woman on the ticket. This isn't a popularity contest, it is the about the issues that affect us as Americans every day. Ladies, having a woman in the white house that fundamentally disagrees with everything you believe in is not a step in the right direction. I can't have any respect for a woman that believes that the government should have a say in what you can do with your body!

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