I just want to pile on Libby's latest post about the terrible polling numbers for Bush and the various Republican presidential candidates by citing another Newsweek story. The scions of Republican icons are thinking about deserting the GOP. We're talking names such as Eisenhower, Roosevelt and even Goldwater.
Susan Eisenhower is an accomplished professional, the president of an international consulting firm. She also happens to be Ike's granddaughter—and in that role, she's the humble torchbearer for moderate "Eisenhower Republicans." Increasingly, however, she says that the partisanship and free spending of the Bush presidency—and the takeover of the party by single-issue voters, especially pro-lifers—is driving these pragmatic, fiscally conservative voters out of the GOP. Eisenhower says she could vote Democratic in 2008, but she's still intent on saving her party. "I made a pact with a number of people," she tells NEWSWEEK. "I said, 'Please don't leave the party without calling me first.' For a while, there weren't too many calls. And then suddenly, there was a flurry of them. I found myself watching them slip away one by one."The article goes on to suggest that, if a Democratic party nominee gets the right mix, moderate conservatives and independents will move their way in droves - enough to mimic the Democratic landslide and GOP collapse after Hoover.
...Theodore Roosevelt IV, an investment banker in New York and an environmental activist like his great-grandfather, Teddy, takes issue with what he says is George W. Bush's inattention to global warming (and Republican presidential contender John McCain's flirtations with the religious right). He's unhappy with the cost of the global war on terror and the record deficits incurred to finance it.
...[Barry] Goldwater's youngest daughter, Peggy, who is active in GOP politics in Orange County, Calif., says she is a "moderate conservative," just as her firebrand father became later in life, irked by Republicans in Washington who embrace big government. "The government is taking on more than I feel they can handle," she says.
It ends with Susan Eisenhower again:
"I can't tell you how many Republicans I've talked to who are thinking along radical lines" about deserting in '08 if they hear the right message, says Eisenhower. "It's a buyer's market. Make my day."Update Sarah Baxter, the conservative-friendly Washington correspondent for the Sunday Times who has always been useful for a neocon leak or three reports that those disillusioned Republicans are switching to Obama- including some powerful GOP figures.
Tom Bernstein went to Yale University with Bush and co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team with him. In 2004 he donated the maximum $2,000 to the president’s reelection campaign and gave $50,000 to the Republican National Committee. This year he is switching his support to Obama. He is one of many former Bush admirers who find the Democrat newcomer appealing.She also makes sure she mentions arch-neocon Robert Kagan's approval of Obama's foreign policy platform.
Matthew Dowd, Bush’s chief campaign strategist in 2004, announced last month that he was disillusioned with the war in Iraq and the president’s “my way or the highway” style of leadership – the first member of Bush’s inner circle to denounce the leader’s performance in office.
Although Dowd has yet to endorse a candidate, he said the only one he liked was Obama. “I think we should design campaigns that appeal, not to 51% of the people, but bring the country together as a whole,” Dowd said.
...Disagreements on the war have not stopped John Martin, a Navy reservist and founder of the website Republicans for Obama [link], from supporting the antiwar senator. He joined the military after the Iraq war and is about to be deployed to Afghanistan.
“I disagree with Obama on the war but I don’t think it is a test of his patriotism,” Martin says. “Obama has a message of hope for the country.”
Financiers have also been oiling Obama’s campaign. In Chicago, his home town, John Canning, a “Bush pioneer” and investment banker who pledged to raise $100,000 for the president in 2004, has given up on the Republicans. “I know lots of my friends in this business are disenchanted and are definitely looking for something different,” he said.