McCain Defector: Former Reagan chief of staff is latest GOP defector to Obama

(USA Today) Ken Duberstein is the latest prominent Republican to say he is going to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday. Duberstein, who was President Reagan’s White House chief of staff, told CNN he was influenced by former secretary of state Colin Powell’s endorsement.

Powell was Reagan’s national security adviser while Duberstein was chief of staff. Powell’s decision to back Obama amounted to “the Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” Duberstein said. Duberstein supported Republican John McCain in 2000. He was neutral in the GOP primaries this year but by March was on board with Team McCain.

Another Reagan-era figure, former solicitor general Charles Fried, also endorsed Obama recently — and stepped down as an adviser to McCain. Two former senators, Larry Pressler of South Dakota and Charles McC. Mathias of Maryland, have endorsed Obama. So have two former GOP governors , William Weld of Massachusetts and Arne Carlson of Minnesota. A third, former Michigan governor William Millken, has withdrawn his support for McCain but stopped short of endorsing Obama.

Conservative academic Francis Fukuyama is another prominent defector. Citing the “unnecessary” Iraq war and the collapse of the U.S. financial system, he said “it would be a tragedy to reward the Republicans for failure on such a grand scale.”

Other key Republicans for Obama include Scott McClellan (President Bush’s former press secretary), Susan Eisenhower (the late president’s granddaughter), Lilibet Hagel (wife of GOP senator Chuck Hagel), former congressman Jim Leach of Iowa, outgoing congressman Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, former senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and writer Christopher Buckley, whose endorsement led to a rift with National Review, the conservative magazine his father founded.

McCain’s big cross-party catch is Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000 who is now an independent.

1 comment
  1. Hank Wilfong said:

    Come on in, Old Reaganites. The water is fine. This brilliant young man from Illinois, reminds so much of The Gipper. Except he’s 10 times as smart. No disrespect intended, as Ronald Reagan was a great and able leader. He knew how to bring good people together, then get out of their way.

    This guy has a knack for doing the right thing. And, he KNOWS the answer sometimes even before it is asked. However, he has a way about him that doesn’t make it so obvious.

    We’re gonna have fun and be greatly surprised about the other similarities he has to Ronald Reagan. I can hardly wait, as the country benefits. There will be some disappointments, too, by those who think they’re gonna push him this way and that. They’ll find that there’s a lot of backbone in that skinny body.

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