I never thought I would see the day when members of staunch conservative families such as Goldwater, Nixon, Eisenhower and Buckley would cross party lines to support a Democrat. Well, that’s exactly what has happened. Chris Buckley (son of William F. Buckley) C.C. Goldwater (granddaughter of Barry Goldwater) and Julie Nixon Eisenhower (daughter of Richard Nixon – daughter-in-law of Dwight Eisenhower) have all given their support to Senator Barack Obama.
Then, there are the former members of the Bush Administration, Colin Powell and Scott McClellan who are endorsing Obama.
In addition, conservative columnist and radio talk show hosts are riding the wave of Obama – Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Kathleen Parker and Michael Smerconish.
Former Republican elective officials, Massachusetts Governor Bill Welch, Iowa Representative Jim Leach, Maryland Senator Mac Mathias and Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee have openly given Obama a nod.
There’s something profound happening in presidential politics of 2008. This is astonishing when major players break rank.
Although most conservatives were not happy with the nomination of John McCain, they were initially willing to show a united front and support their candidate even though they were skeptical about his pick for VP, Governor Sarah Palin. While they were supporting him and waiting for the Democratic primary to end, McCain became complacent. With all the down time, the campaign did not work on their ground game. When it appeared that the Democratic Nominee would be Obama, it was as if they didn’t think they would have to work hard. My guess is that the McCain campaign was relying on race being a defining factor of voters which would have been true in the past.
While conservatives are crossing party lines, there is also dissention in the McCain camp. There are reports that staffers started distributing their resumes in an act of defeat; advisors are calling the VP candidate, Sarah Palin, a diva; and staffers are also leaking information that McCain and Palin were not speaking to each other on a recent ride on the “Straight Talk Express.”
If Senator McCain loses on November 4, 2008, what will the Republicans do? As their numbers shrink, how will the brand persevere?