Susan Eisenhower Joins Other Republicans in Endorsing Obama

Much as already been written of the symbolism of Caroline and Ted Kennedy, daughter and brother of John F. Kennedy, supporting Barack Obama. Not only is Obama now carrying the torch of the Kennedy years, he has also received the support of the family of the president who preceded Kennedy. Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower, has endorsed Barack Obama for president:

I am not alone in worrying that my generation will fail to do what my grandfather’s did so well: Leave America a better, stronger place than the one it found.

Given the magnitude of these issues and the cost of addressing them, our next president must be able to bring about a sense of national unity and change. As we no longer have the financial resources to address all these problems comprehensively and simultaneously, setting priorities will be essential. With hard work, much can be done.

The biggest barrier to rolling up our sleeves and preparing for a better future is our own apathy, fear or immobility. We have been living in a zero-sum political environment where all heads have been lowered to avert being lopped off by angry, noisy extremists. I am convinced that Barack Obama is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation. Just as important, Obama can assure the world and Americans that this great nation’s impulses are still free, open, fair and broad-minded.

While Eisenhower was a president from an era with plenty of problems of its own, it was an era before our current cultural wars and partisan divides. While there remains talk of Reagan Democrats, there were also Democrats who crossed over in previous elections:

The last time the United States had an open election was 1952. My grandfather was pursued by both political parties and eventually became the Republican nominee. Despite being a charismatic war hero, he did not have an easy ride to the nomination. He went on to win the presidency — with the indispensable help of a “Democrats for Eisenhower” movement. These crossover voters were attracted by his pledge to bring change to Washington and by the prospect that he would unify the nation.

It is in this great tradition of crossover voters that I support Barack Obama’s candidacy for president. If the Democratic Party chooses Obama as its candidate, this lifelong Republican will work to get him elected and encourage him to seek strategic solutions to meet America’s greatest challenges. To be successful, our president will need bipartisan help.

Susan Eisenhower isn’t the only Republican who is supporting Obama. Richard Wolffe has written about Republicans for Obama for Newsweek:

Eisenhower is one of a small but symbolically powerful group of what Obama recently called “Obamacans”—disaffected Republicans who have drifted away from their party just as Eisenhower Democrats did and, more recently, Reagan Democrats in the 1980s. They include lifelong Republican Tricia Moseley, a former staffer for the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, the one-time segregationist from South Carolina. Now a high-school teacher, Moseley says she was attracted to Obama’s positions on education and the economy.

Former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough, who anchors MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” says many conservative friends—including Bush officials and evangelical Christians—sent him enthusiastic e-mails after seeing Obama’s post-election speeches in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. “He doesn’t attack Republicans, he doesn’t attack whites and he never seems to draw these dividing lines that Bill Clinton [does],” Scarborough told NEWSWEEK.

Many Democrats support Obama because of his ability to bridge the partisan divide. For some this is because of their own reservations about the current hyper-partisanship, while for others it might simply a pragmatic desire to nominate the candidate who can redraw the red/blue state map in favor of the Democrats.

While Obama represents bridging the partisan gap, Hillary Clinton has become the candidate who represents a return to the old partisan fights. Some of her supporters see this as something favorable, as they attacked Obama for merely mentioning Ronald Reagan in an accurate historical perspective.

Taylor Marsh has become one of the most extreme proponents of Clinton, who attacks Obama at every opportunity with a Rove-style disregard for the validity of the attacks. While Democrats should see it as favorable that a Democratic candidate can bring in Republican votes, Marsh’s response to Obama’s Republican support is “Oh no,” and she searches for a punchline. Those commenting on her blog go along with her idea that obtaining the support from anyone except a die hard Democrat must mean he is betraying their cause. That is a perfect mind set for remaining a minority party forever.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    JayDawg says:

    “That is a perfect mind set for remaining a minority party forever.”

    Exactly.

  2. 2
    Eileen Vicente says:

    I am so totally disgusted with the entire election. First of all, who is Susan Eisenhower anyway? She and the Kennedys need to keep their very public opinions to themselves. Just because they had wonderful relatives, maybe, does not mean squat. My sister was a multimillionaire. So what! Does that make my opinion better than yours. If I recall, Eisenhower played more golf than anything else. He was a fairly do nothing president. I don´t think I need to tell you about the Kennedy family do I. For some reason, it seems to me that the media and the royalty of America is trying to manipulate the average and very ignorant commoners to vote for Obama. By the way, as far as I am concerned there is not one candidate up for grabs who is worth voting for.

  3. 3
    kakie says:

    Well, Eileen, apparently you don’t read much and you are not aware of the policy changes that must be made. Or perhaps you are one of the beneficiaries of the huge tax reforms for the Paris Hiltons of america. People must read because television and newspapers give very small bits of inaccurate info. Read and watch some youtube videos from top economists, historians, government professors. Look outside the box. Our country is going down the tubes!!!

    This was a middle class society in the ’60’s and ’70’s , Regan gave the wealthy tax breaks they did not need to get the vote and that has continued through Republican presidents. It is time to give the country back to the working middle class and give us a few tax breaks now. Paris Hilton doesn’t need her $700 pair of underwear. Go to Target or Penney’s , it’s good enough. We don’t need to pay for your extravagances

  4. 4
    EILEEN VICENTE says:

    All the candidates have their own agendas. I lived through Kennedy, Clinton, and the rest of the gang, and I do mean gang. Not one of them ever stopped people from being homeless, helped people to attain university degrees at no cost, or provided adequate medical care. And the is the truth!!!!!!!

  5. 5
    Bill Edgar says:

    What is that spinning I hear? Why, it is Susan’s grandfather turning over in his grave.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    What makes you so sure that her grandfather wouldn’t also be supporting Obama? After experiencing McCarthyism in his day, he might be the first to understand the serious threat to freedom which people like McCain and Palin represent. As Eisenhower left office warning of the dangers of the military industrial complex, he would certainly understand the threat which McCain represent.

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