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Another Prominent Republican Dumps McCain October 31, 2008

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October 31, 2008
Posted: 01:35 PM ET
From

Duberstein is pulling for Obama.

Duberstein is pulling for Obama.

(CNN) — Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Duberstein said he was influenced by another prominent Reagan official – Colin Powell – in his decision.

“Well let’s put it this way – I think Colin Powell’s decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama.”

Powell served as national security advisor to Reagan during Duberstein’s tenure as chief of staff.

Duberstein spoke with Zakaria about his final days in the Reagan White House. The Reagan official, along with Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, also discussed the transition process to a new administration.

Watch the full discussion on the next administration this Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fareed Zakaria GPS.

And Yet Another Republican October 29, 2008

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McConnell Fundraising E-Mail: Vote for Me to Fight Obama Presidency


Sam Stein, Huffington Post, October 29, 2008


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has sent out a new fundraising email that, at its crux, plays off the assumption of a Barack Obama victory in the presidential election.


Citing media reports that show “an Obama win [as] a real possibility,” the Kentucky Republican positions himself as the one man capable of standing up to the Obama/Pelosi/Reid machine” that “will steamroll a host of new taxes and left-wing social policy across the Senate Floor.”


It is not uncommon for politicians to use presidents or presidential candidates as a boogeyman to curry votes. But McConnell’s fundraising appeal seems to go a step beyond, painting, at times, Obama’s election as a fait accompli that voters in Kentucky must consider.


“[L]ocal and national newspapers are already saying that if my opponent were to win this race, he would be a reliable vote for Obama and Chuck Schumer,” he writes of Democratic challenger, Bruce Lunsford.


Hinting at the possibility of complete Democratic control of government – again a statement predicated on an Obama win — McConnell writes: “national liberals want this Senate seat so badly” because “they are making this race a power play for domination of the public debate. They have made no secret that they are fighting for total unfettered domination of the government and its agenda.”


This is the second time in as many days that a Republican official has sent out a fundraising letter for the Kentucky Senate race that forecasts a future Obama White House. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney blasted out an email on McConnell’s behalf, warning that Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford “was handpicked by Chuck Schumer and will be a reliable vote for the Democrats. And as we face the very real possibility of an Obama presidency, that’s the last thing we need.”


The Kentucky Senate race has become ground zero of sorts for Democratic efforts to secure 60 seats in the Senate. And as the election has approached, McConnell’s once strong standing has diminished.


Good government groups, who have long viewed the Minority Leader as a thorn in the side of their agenda, are also seeing a real possibility of flipping the seat. On Wednesday, Campaign Money Watch, a national nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog organization, announced that it will spend another $800,000 on a television ad in Kentucky accusing McConnell of being a puppet of special interests.



GOP Doubts Grow: Romney, Pawlenty Sound Skeptical October 28, 2008

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MIKE GLOVER and NEDRA PICKLER | October 28, 2008 09:56 PM EST | AP

(partial article)

HERSHEY, Pa. — Doubts about John McCain’s chances for the presidency grew louder among fellow Republicans on Tuesday as a White House race largely focused on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania entered its final week.

Even two Republicans once on McCain’s short list for vice president sounded skeptical. In a fundraising e-mail on behalf of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Mitt Romney referred to “the very real possibility of an Obama presidency.” In the Midwest, Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave a dour assessment of McCain’s chances in his state, saying Barack Obama “has a pretty good advantage in Minnesota right now.”

Nationally, a poll by the Pew Research Center found Obama with a 16-point lead among registered voters. The survey said Obama had 52 percent and McCain 36 percent, with independent voters supporting the Democrat by a 48-31 margin.

The Nielsen media company reported that both are focusing about three-fourths of their advertising in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Obama, who had been spending four times as much as McCain on advertising, is now airing only twice as many ads as his rival, the ratings company said.

Those three states are battlegrounds, offering a combined 68 electoral votes on Election Day.

The concentration of firepower comes even as Obama mounts a national advertising campaign that will culminate Wednesday evening with a 30-minute, prime-time commercial on network television. The candidates also planned appearances on cable TV talk shows, including Obama on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

The candidates kicked off their final week of campaigning in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania, which hasn’t supported a Republican presidential candidate in 20 years and where Obama is ahead in the polls. McCain is working for an upset and has Pennsylvania as the linchpin to his victory strategy.

“I’m not afraid of the fight, I’m ready for it,” McCain told noisy supporters at a rally in this Republican region and home of the world’s largest chocolate factory.

Why a Staunch Conservative Like Me Endorsed Obama October 26, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
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Ken Adelman, Huffington Post, October 24, 2008

Who cares?

That’s what I wondered when George Packer (ace of the New Yorker) asked whether he could post my intention to vote for Obama on his blog.

So I duly ignored him. Only when he bugged me two days later did I say okay, and responded in quick, instinctive emails back.

Little did I know the splash this would make. Not until a day later, when my wife and I were up in Philadelphia to teach leadership via scenes from Shakespeare’s Henry V for the Wharton Business School. When friends joined us for dinner at UPenn, they said their taxi driver had talked about my “endorsement of Obama,” having read it online during a break.

What’s most fun about unexpectedly “breaking through” on an issue is not feeling powerful, that you’re molding minds out there. People make up their own minds, based on lots more information than my personal inclinations.

Okay, this type announcement can give (maybe a few) conservatives some cover — not publicly to use with others, but privately to assure themselves that it’s actually okay to break away. To break with the most conservative, or Republican, candidate and vote (in my case, the first time ever) for “the other guy.”

And it’s not most fun dealing with longtime friends, fellow conservatives. Most are polite and say they understand, and they’ll get over it. Yet a few do get heated, show their disappointment, and say they can’t understand my taking a public stance (even if I privately stray).

I don’t enjoy those discussions, since I’ve long prided myself in being a staunch conservative.

Not a neo-con, since I was never liberal along the way (having campaigned for Barry Goldwater in 1964, when at that hotbed of lefty politics, Grinnell College). I’m really a con-con.

And not a staunch Republican, as I’ve never been to a Republican rally or convention (I came closest in 1980, after writing Don Rumsfeld’s speech and after we drove there; but I left Detroit before the convention opened).

So I’ve considered myself less of a partisan than an ideologue. I cared about conservative principles, and still do, instead of caring about the GOP.

Granted, McCain’s views are closer to mine than Obama’s. But I’ve learned over this Bush era to value competence along with ideology. Otherwise, our ideology gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years.

McCain’s temperament — leading him to bizarre behavior during the week the economic crisis broke — and his judgment — leading him to Wasilla — depressed me into thinking that “our guy” would be a(nother) lousy conservative president. Been there, done that.

I’d rather a competent moderate president. Even at a risk, since Obama lacks lots of executive experience displaying competence (though his presidential campaign has been spot-on). And since his Senate voting record is not moderate, but depressingly liberal. Looming in the background, Pelosi and Reid really scare me.

Nonetheless, I concluded that McCain would not — could not — be a good president. Obama just might be.

That’s become good enough for me — however much of a triumph (as Dr. Johnson said about second marriages) of hope over experience.

Now what’s most fun about the media breakthrough is hearing from gobs of people from previous lives. Many long forgotten, reminding me of long forgotten times together. People emerging suddenly, from the dark matter of time, into the recesses of the brain.

These folks were important at various stages of my life — grammar school playmates, Grinnell classmates, Indianapolis cousins, Dan Quayle, Dick Allen, colleagues from the Reagan arms control agency (chuckling over my quip to Packer that I wouldn’t have hired Sarah Palin to a mid-level job there).

A veritable stroll down memory lane, to see a line of people who have touched my life at various times, in its varied stages, reconnecting in a most unexpected (even bizarre) manner.

Now that’s fun.

The Exodus Continues October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
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Tony Campbell, 10/24/08

 http://www.republicansforobama.org

In the wake of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama last Sunday I wrote the following statement:

“My gut feeling is that there will be a significant number of moderate Republicans who will endorse Obama over the next week or so.

Four hours later, I wrote this update after Ken Adelman announced he was voting for Obama.

“Ken Adelman is a bonafide Conservative. If he is able to vote for Obama, then the exodus is just beginning…”

Scott McClellan, Bush’s former press secretary has announced that he is going to vote for Obama. McClellan stated that he is supporting Obama because he has “a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000.” How ’bout them apples? W’s “Compassionate Conservatism” meets O’s “The Change We Need”.

Another former G.O.P. office holder, Minnesota ex-Governor Arne Carlson, endorsed Obama after Powell’s announcement. Obama’s last major hurdle is to win the endorsement of a sitting Republican member of Congress. It has long been rumored that Senator Chuck Hagel may break from the pack to support Obama or perhaps Senator Richard Lugar (Indiana) may support Obama based on his direction for U.S. foreign policy.

My prediction: By Sunday, a sitting member of Congress from the Republican Party will endorse Obama. If that occurs, all bets are off as far as a landslide victory for Obama on November 4th…as the Republican Exodus Continues…

By the way, on a lighter note, when did D.L. Hughley get a news program? If an Obama presidency means that he and David Alan Grier are allowed to get their own shows…I might have to vote for Bob Barr or Ron Paul.

Why Some Conservatives Will Vote for Barack Obama October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
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From Tony Campbel’s Blog, 7/14/08

Thomas Sowell, in his piece “Conservatives for Obama?” made the following statement:

“A number of friends of mine have commented on an odd phenomenon that they have observed– conservative Republicans they know who are saying that they are going to vote for Barack Obama. It seemed at first to be an isolated fluke, perhaps signifying only that my friends know some strange conservatives. But apparently columnist Robert Novak has encountered the same phenomenon and has coined the term ‘Obamacons’ to describe the conservatives for Senator Obama.”

For the esteemed Mr. Sowell, whom I read a lot, and other folks who are scratching their collective heads over why Conservatives will vote for Obama over McCain in November, here are a few reasons for you to consider:

  1. Reorganizing our National Security apparatus – Since the passing of the Patriot Act, America has restructured its intelligence and national security procedures to prevent another terrorist attack. Conservatives understand the need for surveillance methods to prevent another attack on the American people and our property; however, not all of them support the use of fear to systematically change the social contract between the government and the people regarding their civil liberties under the law. They would, however, support a reexamination of segments of the Patriot Act that would re-establish the proper bounds between government need and individual liberty.
  2. Immigration Reform – Over the past two decades our borders have become porous and that lack of attention has threatened our national security. Conservatives understand that many of these non-documented visitors are hardworking people who currently serve in many important aspects of the American economy. It is neither feasible, nor in the country’s best economic interest, to seek to deport millions of people who contribute to our fiscal and social vibrancy as a nation. To do so would require creating a new agency of the national government with thousands of employees to implement this deportation policy. There are Conservatives who feel this type of reactionary policy is short-sighted and centered more on partisanship than in providing a common sense solution. For these individuals, a pragmatic Conservative stand would support a policy that will identify benchmarks to obtain United States citizenship.
  3. Foreign Policy – To ensure a safe America, some Conservatives believe that the primary issue of foreign policy that has to be addressed by the 44th President of the United States is to rebuild a relationship of mutual trust between us and our international allies. America has lost its leadership position in the world over the last six years. This is not only damaging in the relationship with our allies, but also hazardous in our diplomatic maneuverings with countries such as China, Iran and North Korea. A Conservative approach would support a direction of foreign policy that is practical and pragmatic (i.e. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush). A foreign policy that uses diplomatic, economic and military assets to reach achievable goals on the international stage.
  4. Healthcare – Millions of Americans can not seek preventative healthcare assistance to address the myriad of issues they face on a daily basis. These unchecked health concerns eventually become emergency room visits that help to drive up insurance costs for employers and employees covered under medical plans. A pragmatic Conservative platform would support the development of a voluntary universal healthcare plan that allows flexibility of services and allows for States to meet the needs of their citizens without burdensome and unfunded regulations from Washington, D.C. through our constitutionally mandated federal system of government.
  5. The Economy and the War in Iraq – Under the reasons for establishing a new government, Thomas Jefferson stated that government is charged with protecting “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” of its citizens. A strong, robust economy falls under the heading of the “pursuit of happiness.” The U.S. has spent in excess of $100 Billion a year on a war that over seventy percent of the American people do not want, representing twenty percent of our annual GDP. Our current economic condition, with rising prices for everything from gas to food coupled with stagnant wages, has only provided a very few people with the ability to pursue happiness. A pragmatic Conservative approach would support a carefully planned disengagement of our troops from Iraq. The financial resources used to pay for the war may be used on a real economic stimulus plan that will be focused on re-training American workers and businesses to be competitive in the global marketplace.

Some Conservatives have finally realized, after twenty years, that national elections are too critical to waste on partisan rhetoric that does not solve any of the serious problems of our country. Government should focus on strengthening our borders, cutting our debt, and allowing the middle class to prosper by cutting taxes and reduce overall spending. Our elected and appointed officials should let individuals deal with the moral issues surrounding their decisions. Let’s get back to the original idea that the Founders of this Republic birthed– that Government should not mandate the extent of Individual Liberty.

Frank Schaeffer: McCain’s Attacks Fuel Dangerous Hatred October 15, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
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McCain’s attacks fuel dangerous hatred

John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, “Kill him!” At one of your rallies, someone called out, “Terrorist!” Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee – an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.

Shame!

John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain.

You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.

John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that surround the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post- 9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter. You also know we are a bitterly divided country on many other issues. You know that, sadly, in America, violence is always just a moment away. You know that there are plenty of crazy people out there.

Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs.

John McCain, you’re walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out “Terrorist” or “Kill him,” history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.

We will hold you responsible.

Frank Schaeffer is the author of “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.” His e-mail is frankaschaeffer@aol.com.

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