October 14th, 2008
03:21 PM ET

An unwitting assist from the hockey mom

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/14/art.obamapalinsplit.jpg]
Dana Milbank
CNN Contributor

It wasn't primarily the work of Hillary Clinton, though by her count she has made more than 50 public appearances for Barack Obama. Nor was it the work of Obama, who has kept Clinton and her advisers at arm's length. No, the one who put the Hillary Clinton voters in Obama's column was John McCain - with his choice of a running mate.

"Palin - God forbid! Where did they find her?" Evelyn Fruman exclaimed Monday before a Clinton speech at a Jewish community center here.

"God forbid!" Gail Silverberg chimed in. "Hockey moms and lipstick on a pig and six-packs? I don't want that stuff."

Nearby, Rina Jampolsky was wearing a "Hillary Sent Me" button next to a pin saying "Barack Obama" in Hebrew. "I thought I wouldn't vote at all when Hillary left the race," she said. "But as soon as McCain selected Sarah Palin, my decision was made."

Editor's note: Dana Milbank is a staff writer at The Washington Post

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Dana Milbank • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. chuck

    When a woman pretends to know and doesn't know the facts ,is TOXIC.This is what Sarah Palin is Experiencing.She is doing the best she can reading from a monitor but when left alone she is as scary as HALLOWEEN DARKEST NIGHT. Remember the saying"YOU COULD JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER", "THE FIRST IMPRESSION IS WHAT COUNTS", "ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD" and lastly,"SELF PRAISE IS NO RECOCMENDATION". Sarah Palin fits the bill and this is shameful and a disgraceful on John McCain's JUDGEMENT.

    October 15, 2008 at 8:22 am |
  2. Anika Eden Chant

    Yeah. Ms. Palin scares me. I think she's as smart as a whip, but as dangerous as a pitbull with the venom of a python. Isn't she supposed to be a Christian? What would Jesus Do, Ms. Palin?

    Would Jesus incite riots with 1/2 truths which become whole lies about Senator Obama? Or is it that you will do anything to win. God is a God of peace.

    She's supposed to be pro-life, but what about the lives of the innocent animals that she shoots from a helicopter for sport. She turns around in an audience and woos a baby and then turns back around and slatches Senator Obama's character. Who are you for real?

    They are erratic because they change their platform with every drum beat of the social change which says they have no vision just hunger for Power. I am afraid of people who have no moral conscious and will do anything to win. That's what we'll expect for the next 4 years. Let's not and say we did.

    What about the lives of sons and daughters, husbands and wives that are fighting a WRONG WAR and she wants to keep the war going. She has an arsenal of weapons and she's pro-life? Are the weapons for show? Your kids smoke and carry weapons and carry on with illegal age drinking and you're God-fearing? Not so much?

    Why can't get we get our money back from the surplus in Iraq. That's where it went in the first place instead of taxing the American people. OH that's another blog.

    October 15, 2008 at 7:43 am |
  3. Nancy in Nevada

    Finally someone understands. Sarah Palin is not capable of representing the women of the U.S. Like McCain, she is out of touch with mainstream America. To compare me or my friends with her is insulting.

    October 14, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  4. Kay

    During Sarah Palin's speech, when the crowd was yelling, "louder, louder", Todd Palin stepped up to her to explain that she was not being heard. She responded, "OK,....". I think she said, "now sit down." Can someone verify this?

    October 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
  5. lampe

    Carrie: I guess you didn't read the story. HRC, has done 50 rallies for Obama, which by the way is more than any other losing candidate,has done for the winner. HRc, does not owe Obama, The Traitor's at The DNC, or his supporters anything else. And I don't know how anyone can say, that McCain, or Palin's remarks are putting the Obama's in danger. HRC's campaing office, was the one that was sat on fire, and let's just guess who did that. Obama needs to answer these questions about Ayers, if he has nothing to hide, it should be real easy to do. Palin, is never going to be a HRC, but as a Dem, who is and will always be for The Party, that is willing to give a woman an equal shot, and not disrespect her, for a candidate with only 1/3 her experience, I will be voting Republican for the first time in 37years.

    October 14, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  6. haystack22

    We have had two insights into a prosprective McCain presidency. The first was his vice president pick, that I think most would agree, was a hurried, if not spontaneous, selection for political gain, in some regards, via shock-value. Notwithstanding that all such picks are ultimately political in nature, I would have hoped a presidential nominee would make the selection with one main criterion in mind: "What if I die in office?" I think JM raised doubts in his judgment with the Sarah Palin pick. It appears, at least in some circles, that he was not putting "country first," and now he must fight that contradiction almost daily.
    Second, his campaign themes have changed more frequently than the New England weather. This is indeed an erratic response to circumstances outside of his team's control, such as the economic melt down. His performance in dealing with these issues has displayed a man that is reactionary rather than progressive. A victim of the events.

    October 14, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  7. Pete Cole

    Palin is the most frightening figure to hit politics in any recent history. Allowing her to gain office would be a disaster. All efforts must be made to keep her from getting into office

    October 14, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  8. David K.

    I have to admit that Sarah Palin does well speaking to the crowds, and admit that she tends to have a bit more difficulties when she has to answer specific questions. The thing that bothers me is the way she "leads" John McCain around on occasion appearing to push him to the side. It gives the impression she is more than ready to jump into the position of President.

    October 14, 2008 at 8:14 pm |
  9. Freedom of Speech

    Why McCain campaign became erratic? Simple answer, your running mate should be th eone advising you and correcting you not somebody who would say yes sir to everything. Sarah Palin is the "yes sir" type.

    October 14, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  10. Freedom of Speech

    John hit the axe on his own foot. Picking Sarah Palin showed his judgement that he goes more with intuitions then brain. The pick bomeranged once they let her speak to ABC and CBS. It was clear that McCain made the biggest mistake of his life.

    October 14, 2008 at 8:09 pm |
  11. Donna

    Palin is an embarassment. She abused her power and lied about it, has connections to AIP, would deny a woman's right to choose, shoots animals from airplanes, wrecks the environment and sounds stupid whenever she is off script. She would be the laughingstock of the world stage. Big mistake, McCain! How can we trust you to make wise decisions that really put country first?

    October 14, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  12. Surafel Melaku

    I don't think any one who is serious for the country sake will vote for McCain and Palin. We know why McCain choose her as a running mate and she is trying her best to reach that level but there is alot of work have to done. Mean while the people of this great nation need to hear a wise and judgmental leadership and i betchal she is not the one. Hopefully though people will see soon. I don't think she was an asset for McCain and at the same time she didn't disappoint him either, so i think we should say run for no where, unless to Russia.

    October 14, 2008 at 7:33 pm |
  13. frieda

    Media brought Gov. Palin down and Media made Sen. Obama the king.

    It is a sad day for America where media is in charge of brain washing the public. We are not that off from a communist/dictatorship regime.

    Obama is the least vetted candidate in American History and Palin the most vetted.

    October 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm |
  14. james faucett

    thats especally what we need in washington in a vice president to work with congress some one with good old common sence

    October 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  15. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Palin was about the moderate to conservative vote and not winning Hillary supporters. When will you understand that? You're talking different types of women here who believe differently about what is most important for this nation and themselves. We always have. We always will. On November 4th we'll see beyond the pundits and projections and snippets put out to attempt to influence the vote. We'll see what sort of American woman is in the majority and what is honestly in her heart. For the last eight years, it's obviously not been support for a Dem.

    October 14, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  16. james faucett

    why did obama refuse to visit the wounded troops in germany especially since he wants to be commander in chief

    October 14, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  17. Lisa- Florida

    As an ardent (Independent) Hillary supporter, I briefly entertained the thought of voting McCain. His downfall began with the selection of Palin and spiraled out of control with his erratic behaviour, negative campaigning and the many lies they have spouted off over the past few weeks. The thought of either McCain or Palin in the Whitehouse is extremely scary!! We women are not so foolish to vote for someone just because she is a woman.

    October 14, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  18. Sherri

    I was a big Hillary supporter–but now I'm voting McCain. It will be the first time my husband and I have both voted for the same candidate, and not canceled each other's vote

    October 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  19. Jody, NY

    Looks like McCain is assisting Obama too! Check out E-Bay number 130261493936 and see how one of John McCain's bizzare comments have helped Senator Obama! Great stuff!

    October 14, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  20. Donna C A. Cincinnati OH

    Anderson, Please acknowledge the new AIP info that has come out about Palin. Watching Wolf and not a single word, only ACORN. Come on already. That video speech needs to be televised

    October 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  21. mh

    Palin is as qualified as Obama. She is a governor of Alaska. I don't
    get why this really bizarre/sick obsession with hating Palin. Fine, you don't like her, but what is up with all this over the top personal stuff about a VP pick? I think the problem is that most people on the far left (and I don't mean 99% of us in the center) think they are so smart that they are actually offended that we'd consider her ticket over the "rock star/LA" cult that has become Obama.

    October 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  22. Kathy in Minneapolis

    How does Palin fair with republicans now that she has been charged with abuse of power in her position as Governor of Alaska. While she says she was cleared, the report says exactly opposite. The spin on this one is rediculous and should send out even bigger alarm bells about Palin.

    October 14, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  23. Chris

    You cannot tell me that she was the most qualified person that McCain could find. Better than Romney? More qualified than Gov. Crist? Really? So that leaves one question – why did he choose her? He chose her with the hope of attracting HRC supporters – the same people that conservatives had been trashing just weeks before. He chose her to win the election, not to establish a credible administration. This does not sound to me like "Country First".

    October 14, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  24. Ann from San Diego, CA


    Thanks for your candid opinion on this matter. I'm surrounded by conservative family members who won't concede to the GOP's irresponsibility in allowing Palin to be McCain's running mate. I came to realize that the conservatives who won't admit Palin's short comings are in denial and refuse to vote for Obama – whatever the reason may be.

    There are a few people like you Mike. I truly appreciate your honesty.


    October 14, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  25. macky anderson

    Sarah Palin is thirty years behind the times. A female candidate for anything in the seventies may have been "on target" with Palin's perspective, but not in 2008. It is indicitive of how far out of touch with modernity Mccain must be. Her parochial speech and thought is antiquated. She is in the wrong generation.

    October 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  26. Suze

    Yeh, her assist is a triple play – she likes to ban, fire and slander – just glad it all has backfired and democracy is prevailing and Americans are not so dumb to let a phoney autocrat fool us... she can not be given the power of highest elected offices, for she has SHOWN she abuses power, and that is how she has helped McCain loose... by the REAL Sarah Palin coming out, as we all can see the REAL Barrack Obama that she keeps trying to frame and slander, for the real Obama is the calm good intelligent thoughtful sincere man we see in every interview and every debate!

    October 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  27. Ken

    Because Pain doesn’t interview well doesn’t make her an idiot. Just like an Ivy League education doesn’t make Obama a great leader. Its ironic to me that the feminist movement always seemed to me to be about female empowerment. However, after Palin was selected everyone tore her apart on everything from being a bad mom to not being able to juggle a career and a family. Hasn’t that been what the feminists have always stood against and that you can have a family and a career? I guess she should cut her hair to a short lesbian style, not smile, conform to how the mainstream media thinks a woman should act, and for gods sake don’t express your views on the sanctity of life.

    October 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  28. mike

    As a former republican I am appalled that Sarah Palin is the best qualified person the party could come up with for vice-president. This is unbeleivable. We cannot in good conscience vote for this ticket.

    October 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  29. Ann from San Diego, CA

    Wow! Dana, you've finally wrote the article that sums up EXACTLY what I've been thinking. Weeks ago I was an undecided voter; three key factors would ultimately determine my vote this November. These factors include, VP picks, interviews and debates. When McCain announced his VP pick, I, like everyone else, was intrigued by this unknown governor named Sarah Palin. I was excited about her first interview with Charles Gibson. Unfortunately the excitement only lasted twenty minutes; Palin couldn't manage to hold her own in the interview or answer any questions with ease. Then there were the infamous Couric interviews. In the debate, Palin's answers seem generic and don't get me started on the cute winking and folksy talk. Finally, the knockout punch came when McCain "suspended" his campaign. I began to ask myself why I should trust Palin in the President's passenger seat if McCain couldn't trust her. Don't get me wrong, I actually like Palin; she makes a great small-town politician and Alaskans can relate to her. I would have to agree with Kathleen Parker's article on September 27th, Palin is out of her league and will cost McCain the presidency. If we didn't have such a incompetent president now, I might have accepted Palin's lack of experience in politics. America needs reassurance that we will have smart, trustworthy leaders who can restore our reputation as a leading nation. McCain has failed to do that for me and has sealed my vote for Obama.

    October 14, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  30. A. Voice

    I respect females of any level, race, religion, ect.. James Brown said its a man's world and unfortunately he is right; and maybe because it is a man's world we'er in the mess we,er in today. And unfortunately we've missed the opertunity not only to have the first female president, but the first qualified female president.

    i say this to say i want my fisrt to be my best because my first will go down in history, it will set the standard, it will open up doors or keep the doors open for those like me. you want your first to be your best.

    If you want your fist to be Sarah Palin then you are willing to compermise your history, your standards, and more important the oppertunity for that door to open for the next female even thogh shes qualified, and this will do our daughters an injustice. The way your first performs can either open or close the door for the second for the next twenty to thirty years or posibly for ever. This is not a bash on Gov. Palins personal life put it as claer as a glass of water that she is out of her leaque (not hocky leaque) and in some case uninformed. Thier are many qualified women out thier that are qualified to run this country Sarah Palin is not on that list. My mom who raised 3 beutiful children on her own who I love and is a true embodiment of motherhood she didn't make my list either.

    October 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  31. MS4BO

    I had my mind made up before Palin was picked but when McCain picked Palin after meeting her twice in his life, I felt like McCain had just slapped women in America in the face. That was an insult and ashame. Then after a week I said okay let me give her a chance and the best chance she had was when she said nothing at all. Years ago, my teacher said when you present yourself in an intelligent and upstanding way, that is your first step to your credibility and everyone one gives you the benefit of the doubt but no one will know how much you actually know until you open your mouth and then the truth will come out. And boy did the truth come out. The fact that this women has no idea what she is doing adds insult to injury. I pray that Obama wins because if McCain's first decision as a presidential candidate was to pick someone he didn't know, what in the world will he do as a president? Definitely not considerer the people of America in his decision and if that is not like something that Bush has done for the last 8 years, you tell me.

    October 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  32. deb

    In my wildest dreams I have tried to imagine a woman such as Hillary Clinton acting like Palin. can you imagine Hillary on TV winking & saying ubetcha, gosh darn, bygolly & whatever else she says...get serious America. palin is a joke

    October 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  33. Ed Kokinchak

    The minute Palin first opened her mouth she sent me running to Obama. The sad thing is she stirring the bottom of the pot judging from comments about Obama from her adoring crowds. I was undecided till she came into the pictures.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  34. Carrie

    I haven't seen much of the Clinton's, She needs to go on shows like Meet the Press and other venues defending the Democrats, Its obvious she does not like Obama, its all over her face, most people are not good liars, her included, I supported Clinton and as a supporter I want her to put her feelings aside and stand up for the Democratic Party....That would be the classy thing to do, and the right thing.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  35. Lren

    Lipstick on a pig... McCain coined THAT phrase!

    October 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  36. Leonard

    Like a good choice of an Assistant Coach,Barack Obama made the winning choice. so far this team is Winning the game almost everywhere they go,and winning the election will be their STANLEY CUP. Good for the economy, Good for the middle class , Good for America. Leonard ( Michigan sunrise side SANTA) Santa for Obama

    October 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  37. Sue

    How can someone who "pals" around with seccessionists be so accusing of someone SUPPOSEDLY palling around with terrorists by merely sitting on a charity board in a college community with someone who the government never charged and the university loved and a strong republican supporter and respected charity contributer placed them both on that charity committee. Palin hurts McCain for she is disengenous and anyone not drinking the Republican right wing coolaid sees it as plan as palin and I'm not pallin' around here either!

    October 14, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  38. Ken

    Our wondeful friends of Israel better not be concerned about the winking of Sarah Palin and listen to Senator Obama. He's bringing change and you won't like it. I can just hear Reverend J. Jackson speak of Senator Obama's foreign policy now. Israel won't be first anymore...The American Jewish communities better wake up. All of this silly stuff about Sarah Palin and her one liner's won't matter when israel's Arab neighbors invade Israel with America's blessing.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  39. auldgranny

    Wink-wink, I think McCain and Sarah are voting for Obama...they would much rather live in his vision of America than the GOP's..

    October 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  40. Deborah LeDrew

    How can anyone with any common sense want Sarah Palin as our
    next vice president. She is so unqualifed. She needs to tend
    to matters in her own household. It was a big mistake for McClain to pick her as his running mate. What will she do when his temper
    flares, will she be able to handle that situation or go crying to her
    husband. Also when we stop fighting the civil war? All our beating hearts are red and all our roots from the beginning can be traced back
    to Africa.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  41. Jenny Rome Ga

    You Betcha.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  42. Marcus

    gosh darnet dontcha know, this is getting real old real fast people. Wake up and smell a heafty scent of freedom biggits in government did not work in the 50's and surely will not fit in with todays standards.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  43. Jim

    Could CNN be any more Democratic? Talk about nothing but Obama boosting stories and negative stories about McCain and Palin, makes me want to puke.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  44. k


    I cant understand why as an American and human being that words of hatred towards another human being are acceptable to you and McCain/Palin campaign, republican party.

    I am jewish and the hatred being displade during the McCain rallies is unacceptable. This rivals something as the beginnings in Germany as the Nazi party rose to power and were tolerated by the government and people

    If McCain/Palin are elected leaders of the US does this mean that hatred towards one person or even a group a people will be tolerated.

    Honestly if John McCain was a man he would have shot this down so quickly but he isnt. He has not only comprised himself as a leader and a human being.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  45. Carmen Salas

    Dear Anderson Cooper:

    It saddens me that the President of the United States, Congress, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are not concern with the backlashes of Senator McCain and Governor Palin's comments and actions towards Senator Obama and his family. I had GREAT respect for Senator McCain, and I have lost that respect for a human being to allow individuals in a crowd to yell out words like Obama is a threat to the American People, and that Governer Palin has allowed hatred words towards Senator Obama. The end result is that Senator McCain and Governor Palin are endangering the lives of not Senator Obama, but his children and his wife who are innocent in the political arena. Senator McCain " what if the tables were turned" and you were called a Threat to your Country"... would you not fear for the safety of your children and wife. What type of human beings would allow such danger for children. I would say the same thing if Senator Obama was making the same comments. Shame on all of you.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  46. Nikki Arana-Oquendo

    I can not tell you how condescending it is to have Palin protected from the "drive-by" media. HIllary supporters were told that if she wanted to run with the "big boys" she had to take it like a man. Yes, there was sexism in the primaries. Yes, there is a double standard for Palin. That is not respectable or honorable not matter how many flags you pin on yourself.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  47. Carrie

    Sarah Palin has proved herself to me as being a women who is against women. My choice is very important, my daughters choice is very important. She's so completely right and I'm eft... My time is spent laughing at her backfiring tactics. Example: Her protest comments from yesterday. She's the fuel that had fed the fires of the 'McPalin' supporters into the angry violent mob they have become. I pinch myself and wonder what era am I living in??? To me it seems she’s burning her 'bridge to nowhere' fast.

    October 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  48. Larry

    Still pisses me off that Obama says that HRC would be on anyone's short list, then ignores her except for when he needs to USE her.

    Has Biden released his medical records? Does he still get aneurysms and the asthma that got him 6 deferments from the Vietnam War?

    October 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  49. Katie Hart

    Maybe Obama should apologize for the lipstick on a pig comment. Even those supporting him know who he meant to insult.

    October 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  50. doretha bradley

    I am trying t figure out who Sarah Palin is running against. It seems as though the tables have turned. You all very seldom report on Senator Biden. I for one would love to hear what he is doing.

    October 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
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