Barack Obama Campaign Spokesman Bill Burton responds to John McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate:
"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same."
Sen. Chuck Schumer says:
"After the great success of the Democratic convention, the choice of Sarah Palin is surely a Hail Mary pass. It is a real roll 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. 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."
Rep. Rahm Emanuel:
"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."
Rep. Jim Clyburn on South Carolina ETV Radio:
"I do believe that McCain has to do something to reshuffle the cards, shake up the establishment, do something unexpected and Governor Palin has all the kinds of things that McCain might see as a way to shake things up. 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. 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."
The vice president is a heartbeat away from becoming president, so to choose someone with not one hour's worth of experience on national issues is a dangerous choice.
If John McCain thought that choosing Sarah Palin would attract Hillary Clinton voters, he is badly mistaken.
The only similarity between her and Hillary Clinton is that they are both women. On the issues, they could not be further apart.
Sen. McCain had so many other options if he wanted to put a woman on his ticket, such as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe -- they would have been an appropriate choice compared to this dangerous choice.
In addition, Sarah Palin is under investigation by the Alaska state legislature, which makes this more incomprehensible.
Meanwhile, the non-partisan group Campaign Money Watch responded that the pick underscores McCain's loss of maverick reformer credentials:
"In choosing Governor Palin, Senator McCain is clearly trying to shore up his past maverick reformer image - an image that is now in tatters due to the type of campaign he's run and the big money lobbyists he depends on every day of the week," Donnelly said.
"This selection raises plenty of questions," Donnelly continued. "She bills herself as a reformer, but has been silent on whether she supports public financing of elections in her own state. As governor of an oil-producing state, she's been a friend to Big Oil. Given John McCain's extensive fundraising from Big Oil, her selection raises concerns of whether the McCain-Palin ticket will promise the same access for oil companies and their lobbyists that we've seen for nearly eight years from the Bush-Cheney administration."
Obama distanced himself from some of the harsher criticisms of Palin, the Politico reports:
"I think that, uh, you know, campaigns start getting these, uh, hair triggers and, uh, the statement that Joe and I put out reflects our sentiments," he said, according to the pool report, apparently criticizing his staff for going overboard, as he did occasionally in the primary.
He was referring to a more gracious statement of congratulations he issued later with Biden, which he then reiterated.
"I haven't met her before. She seems like a compelling person ... with a terrific personal story.
"I'm sure that she will help make the case for Republicans, unfortunately the case is more of the same, and so ultimately John McCain is at the top of the ticket."
"He wants to take the country in the wrong direction, I'm assuming Gov. Palin agrees with him and his policies," he said.
"But the fact that she ... will soon be nominated ... is one more indicator of this country moving forward ... one more hit against that glass ceiling. I congratulate her and look forward to a vigorous debate."
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