At least two more former Republican governors have endorsed Barack Obama. I’ve previously noted that former Michigan Governor William Milliken has withdrawn his support for John McCain. Milliken had endorsed John Kerry in 2004, so this decision came as no surprise. This morning former Massachusetts Governor William Weld endorsed Obama. Weld is a liberal Republican who has also received considerable support from libertarians but had supported Bush in 2004.
“Senator Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate who will transform our politics and restore America’s standing in the world,” Weld said in a statement released Friday. “We need a president who will lead based on our common values and Senator Obama demonstrates an ability to unite and inspire.
“Throughout this campaign I’ve watched his steady leadership through trying times and I’m confident he is the best candidate to move our country forward,” Weld said.
The support of Weld, who has sometimes been called a Libertarian-Republican, follows both the trends for many libertarians to become disenchanted with the Republican Party and for many libertarians to support Obama. The combination of a hyper-nationalist like McCain and a book-banning authoritarian right wing extremist such as Sarah Palin should end any claims that there is anything remotely libertarian about the Republican Party.
Yesterday Arne Carlson, former Republican Governor of Minnesota, also endorsed Obama:
Carlson said Thursday that the Illinois senator’s stances on the Iraq war, the economy and green energy goals won him over. Carlson, who served from 1991 to 1998, also cited recent comments by GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann questioning whether politicians have “pro-America or anti-America views.”
“Regardless of our party, regardless of our partisan inclinations, there is no interest more compelling than the interest in the well-being of the United States,” Carlson said at a gathering of Obama supporters at the state Capitol.
All three of these former Republican governors do come from blue states and are moderates. This trend might very well be a consequence of the realignment of the parties seen over the last several years. This was also seen with the endorsements by two members of the Goldwater family which I mentioned yesterday. Other prominent Republican families of the past are also having members endorse Obama, including Susan Eisenhower and Julie Nixon Eisenhower.