Quayle To Palin: 'Be Yourself'

Former VP Says Palin's Situation Similar To His 20 Years Ago

For former Vice President Dan Quayle, the 2008 presidential campaign is like a flashback to his entry into national politics in 1988.

Quayle, a relatively unknown senator from Indiana before he was chosen to run with President George H.W. Bush, said in Indianapolis Wednesday that the treatment Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is receiving as John McCain's VP choice reminds him of his treatment 20 years ago.

Quayle said he thinks Palin has handled herself well in spite of a torrent of criticism of her experience and her responses during interviews. Quayle said he offered Palin advice on how to deal with the spotlight.

"I basically said, 'Look, just be yourself. You were selected by John McCain because of who you are and what you have done,'" Quayle said. "Don't let them take anything away from you. Just go out and be yourself."

Palin's selection froze the campaign and forced Americans to take another hard look at the McCain ticket, Quayle said.

"I think the polls showed him (McCain) going up a little bit. I don't know how accurate those polls are because it's around the convention," Quayle said.

Quayle likened the bounce in the polls to the turnaround Bush enjoyed after he was added to the ticket.

"In my situation … going into the convention, we were like 12 points behind. I was announced on Tuesday (with) the same excitement and the same attention said, 'OK, what is this?'" he said. "I had been in Congress 12 years and eight years in the Senate. I was known, obviously, a lot more than she was, but still it was an announcement and an appointment that was unexpected."

Bush went on to claim the presidency, winning 40 states along the way. Quayle said he hopes the same thing happens with the McCain-Palin ticket and that he thinks voters will ultimately make their choice based on their opinions of McCain and Barack Obama, not the vice presidential candidates.

Quayle was the subject of derision during the campaign and while he served as vice president from those who considered him inadequately equipped for the job.

He made a series of verbal gaffes that kept him in the limelight for unflattering reasons, including an infamous misspelling of "potato" that provided years of comedic fodder.

Quayle was in Indianapolis campaigning for former aide Greg Zoeller, the Republican candidate for Indiana attorney general.