Obamacons v.s. McClintonians


Jesse Walker already blogged about Bill Weld's Obama epiphany, and I blogged Sunday's Colin Powellgasm, but the Wall Street Journal names the other prominent Republicans who are (figuratively speaking) carving the "B" into their faces.

On Thursday, former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson endorsed Obama at the state capitol. "I think we have in Barack Obama the clear possibility of a truly great president," he said. "I would contend that it's the most important election of my lifetime."

Scott McClellan, a former spokesman for President George W. Bush, also endorsed Obama Thursday. USA Today reported that McClellan told CNN in a taping to be aired this weekend that Obama has "the best chance of changing the way Washington works."

Ken Adelman, a prominent conservative on foreign policy matters announced his support for Obama on Tuesday, telling the New Yorker that his decision was based on temperament and judgment.

All that and Charles Fried, who broke with the McCain campaign over the choice of that Tina Fey impersonator as a running mate. And this comes after former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RI), former Rep. Jim Leach (IA) and soon-to-be-former Rep. Wayne Gilchrist (MD) endorsed Obama.

I think this is a legitimately big story. When the Jeremiah Wright scandal broke, I thought Obama had lost the image that brought him this far: that of the post-racial moderate who saw beyond party. Story after story has broken since then about his ties to the left-wing New Party, his saintly status among ACORN members, his slumber parties with Bill Ayers, and so on, and so on.

And yet Republican moderates are convinced that Obama is the more sensible choice than Maverick John McCain. This is striking: Obama may be the most liberal Democratic candidate in 36 years, but no prominent Democrats have endorsed McCain. Joe Lieberman? You can write off his endorsement as Senate clubbyness and the bitterness of a guy who was literally purged from the Democratic Party two years ago. (Plus, the guy lost a popularity contest to Dick Cheney.) After that, the McCain endorsers are distinguished by their silliness.

- Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a multimillionaire friend of the Clintons who endorsed McCain on the grounds that Obama is a… wait for it… elitist.
- Debra Bartoshevich, a Wisconsin Hillary Clinton delegate who is bitter that Hillary did not win the nomination. She even starred in a TV ad.

- John Coale, the husband of Greta Van Susteren who resents the Democrats "being taken over by the moveon.org types."
- Harriet Christian, a big-haired Democrat who protested the DNC meeting that assigned Michigan and Florida delegates, telling reporters that Obama was "an inadequate black man."

All of these people have been invited to official McCain events, as if they mattered. It's really striking, considering that in 2004 Democrats were begging McCain to join the Democratic ticket.