Republicans for Obama: Can Obama win them/McCain lose them?

A few noteworthy Republicans have publicly announced their support for Obama – or withdrawn their support from McCain, which is not quite the same thing:

Lincoln Chafee, former Senator from Rhode Island:

Same article reveals ex-Michigan governor William Milliken (Republican) *de-*endorsing McCain:

Conservative National Review columnist (and son of William F. Buckley) Christopher Buckley, reveals he’s disappointed in McCain and is voting for Obama:

Meanwhile, though not endorsing Obama, conservative columnist David Brooks in a recent face-to-face interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, expressed his disgust at McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin and admitted an admiration for Obama’s intellect and social instincts:

I’m sure there are others. Some believe that people such as Chuck Hegel, Colin Powell, Olympia Snowe, and George Will might not endorse Obama but will refuse to endorse McCain either. Will such defections influence voters?

Now, of course there have been some Democrats who have endorsed McCain, Joe Lieberman (who’s not even a Democrat anymore) not included. But IMO that’s not nearly as noteworthy as Republicans switching sides. After all, Democrats are notorious for not behaving cohesively as a team; to paraphrase what’s often said about my fellow Jewish folks, put two Democrats in a room and you’ll get three opinions.

Republicans, OTOH, know how to show brand loyalty, as it were – while there’s a rainbow of Republican ideas just as there is a rainbow of Democratic ones, the right usually knows when it’s important to band together and present a unified voice against the opposition. (Republicans in congress seem to vote as a block much more successfully than their Democratic colleagues.)

So that’s why these defections and dissentions within the ranks come as a surprise and are worthy of public attention. Are they rats leaving what they believe is a sinking ship, or are they the kid pointing out the emperor’s naked? Cheap opportunists grabbing onto power no matter where it lies, or honest conservatives holding true to their ideals?

And which Republicans – yet to be heard from – do you think most likely to go for Obama, either via a public endorsement or a private vote?

And yeah George Will has indeed not quite endorsed Obama but has come close.

Krauthammer is still dissing Obama but has expressed his respect for him and his disgust with McCain as well.

That said I do not think that any Republican endorsements matter at this point. Powell? Bloomberg? The time when their endorsement could matter is past. And Bloomberg has his own fish to fry.

I disagree about Powell. He would be a phenomenal coup for Obama, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if he is the Ace up that campaign’s sleeve. Who would have more authority to give McCain a bodyblow than another highly-revered military commander (one who actually has won a war!) rushing to Obama’s defense?

I want to believe that the more he sees McCain dragging Obama through the mud and exploiting the race-based fear-mongering, the more Powell is going to be pushed off that fence and compelled to take a stand. He won’t convince the racists, but he is one of the few people in American who could credibly question McCain’s honor in the way he’s conducting his campaign and get a free pass even from Fox.

I agree that a Powell endorsement would provide a perhaps-crippling blow to the McCain campaign, but to say

might be going just a wee bit too far. Dunno what Fox would say, but giving Powell a free pass seems unlikely.

It might be hard even for Fox to attack a Republican war hero. But I don’t know. Powell could have run in 2000 (and I would have voted for him) but he chickened out. Maybe he’s thinking that he could have been the first African-American president, not Obama.

And along these lines, will we see defections from the ranks of liberal Republicans (the few that are left?) Maybe they stayed in the party to be a part of the majority, but now that Bush and McCain have trashed the party pretty badly, maybe it is time for them to switch. The hard right will attack them in primaries anyway, and in places like the East and California hard right Republicans have no chance in the general election. Being able to justify their decision on moral arguments, not political expediency, might make it easier.

Powell’s too busy attesting to Ted Stevens’ sterling character to worry about presidential politics.


From what I gather, a lot of that had to do with his wife worried about his safety if he did run.

Why can they not be all of those things at once?

Slight hijack, but DSeid’s post stirred up a fear that has been brewing in my gut for awhile, and I could use the reassurance. There is no chance that, in a true October surprise, Palin could step down and Powell step in, is there? I think he is the only one that could save that ticket. But that’s just crazy talk right? Right?

I have to agree that if Powell endorsed Obama, FOX would not be beyond turning against him. They’d do so carefully, but some of their pundits (Rush and Hannity most likely) would imply that the black mafia had gotten to Powell – race being stronger than ideals.

Heh. Well, of course they can be, but I was interested to hear what others thought about each case.

Yes. The people holding control of the Republican party are the religious right, the ones who seem to have forced McCain to go with Palin rather than Lieberman (according to an NYT article quoting McCain advisers). I can’t see them allowing her to be dropped from the ticket for a guy as moderate as Powell allegedly is.

Powell’s black. Of course FOX will attack him.


McCain drew jeers from his own crowd of supporters when he tried to dial down the crazy by assuring one man that Obama was actually a good person with whom he just had policy differences, and telling a woman that Obama wasn’t really an Arab. Really, he’s not!

So yeah, if he keeps on being reasonable and honest like that, he’ll lose quite a bit of the radical right.

I like to peruse Free Republic on occassion, just for shits and giggles. Some of them are seriously saying that Obama’s going to turn the nation into a marxist dictatorship, and that it’s all McCain’s fault. :smack:

Besides the “name” Republicans, McCain it would appear is also losing the sane segments of the rank and file.

Bumping the thread 'cause McCain’s pissing off some even bigger Republican names: Mitt Romney and Tommy Thompson.

This is especially notable because usually once a primary is over, the former rivals line up to endorse their party’s standard bearer. (Even the Clintons have joined the Obama/Biden cheerleading squad.)

Well, apparently Thompson and Romney are Not Pleased with their nominee. And even more Republicans are backing slowly away from the lurching McCain.

What’s the opposite of coat-tails?

A shit slide?

I think if Colin Powell were going to endorse Obama, he would have done it already. His not endorsing McCain is about as far as the investigator of Mi Lai will go.