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They're Republican red, and true blue to Obama

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by zrinkill, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    GOP renegades seeking a candidate capable of ending the Washington partisanship are surfacing in the senator's campaign in surprising numbers. 'Obamicans,' he calls them.

    Chatter bounces off the bare walls and checkered linoleum floor as Josh Pedaline and other Barack Obama supporters burn through their call sheets.

    A map of Delaware County splays across a tabletop. Another is laden with cookies, pretzels and other snacks. Volunteers sit elbow-to-elbow, pecking at cell phones and pitching the Illinois Democrat in advance of Ohio's March 4 primary. The scene is a typical campaign boiler room.

    Except that four of the 13 dialing away are lifelong Republicans, including Pedaline, who reveres former President Reagan and twice voted for President Bush.

    "I am so sick and tired of the partisanship," Pedaline says, before starting his night shift at Obama's outpost in this affluent suburb north of Columbus. "I don't want to be cheesy and say, 'He'll bring us all together.' But he seems like someone willing to listen to a good idea, even if it comes from a Republican."

    Pedaline and other GOP renegades are part of a striking phenomenon this campaign season: They are "Obamacans," as the senator calls them, and they are surfacing in surprising numbers. While some question their commitment, they are blurring -- for now, at least -- the red-blue lines that have colored the nation's politics for the past several years.

    "I'm a conservative, but I have gay friends," Pedaline, 28, says over dinner at a Columbus diner. "I have friends who don't believe in abortion, but I don't condemn them for it. I don't feel like Obama is condemning me for being a Republican."

    Pedaline has some high-profile company. Susan Eisenhower, a GOP business consultant and granddaughter of former President Eisenhower, has endorsed the Democratic hopeful. Colin L. Powell, who served in both Bush administrations, has hinted he may do so as well.

    Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, who quit the Republican Party after losing his 2006 reelection bid, endorsed Obama even though he campaigned for Chafee's opponent. Mark McKinnon, a strategist for Republican John McCain, says he will continue to back the Arizona senator, but will step aside rather than work against Obama if the two meet in the fall election.

    McCain also enjoys crossover support, Democrats attracted by his blunt talk and willingness to break with Republicans on campaign finance and global warming. "We know the old Reagan Democrats," McCain said aboard his campaign charter. "We'll try to get those on our side as well, Democrats who think that I'm more capable, particularly on national security issues."

    But so far, Obama has shown more success pulling members of the GOP to his side.

    Republicans made up 6% of those who voted in Missouri's Democratic primary, 7% in Virginia and 9% in Wisconsin. (Most states make it harder to vote in the other party's contest.) The overwhelming majority cast their ballots for Sen. Obama, according to exit polls.

    Johanna Schneider was one of his Virginia supporters. She went door-to-door for Obama with her 14-year-old son, Chase, convinced that fellow Republicans have lost their way. "I just feel this is a tremendous opportunity to open politics up to a new generation," said Schneider, a former GOP staffer on Capitol Hill. "And I believe that Barack Obama is a genuine transformational candidate."

    The support has not come unbidden. Throughout his campaign, Obama has been appealing to Republicans even as he battles Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for the Democratic nomination. Obama's first TV ad in Iowa featured a GOP lawmaker from Illinois touting Obama's ability to work with Republicans.

    "Very rarely do you hear me talking about my opponents without giving them some credit for having good intentions and being decent people," Obama recently told U.S. News & World Report. "There's nothing uniquely Democratic about a respect for civil liberties. There's nothing uniquely Democratic about believing in a foreign policy of restraint. . . . A lot of the virtues I talk about are virtues that are deeply embedded in the Republican Party."

    As noble as those words may be, there are tactical benefits to Obama's outreach. Winning support from Republicans and independents as well as Democrats "shows he's the candidate best situated to take on McCain in the fall," Bill Burton, an Obama spokesman, said. "That is an important distinction in this race."

    Republican support also reinforces Obama's message as he paints himself as a unity candidate above party labels, capable of ending the Washington sniping. "We're going to build a working majority," he said the night he swept primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. "Not by turning people off, but by bringing them in."

    Those words resonate with Lennie Rhoades, 57, who cast his first presidential ballot in 1968 for Richard Nixon and has voted Republican in every presidential race since. "It seems like Washington has come to a standstill the last eight years," said Rhoades, in between calls at the Obama office in a brick storefront below Delaware County's Democratic headquarters. "I think Obama can get beyond that."

    Many are skeptical that Republicans will stick with Obama until November. They point out that many of his proposals -- including a timetable for ending the war in Iraq, repealing Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, expanding the government's role in healthcare and supporting gay rights and gun control -- cut too much against GOP orthodoxy.

    "Even in this day and age, partisanship carries a lot of weight," said David Redlawsk, a University of Iowa political scientist, whose polling last summer picked up early signs of Obama's Republican appeal.

    But for Pedaline, who spent months researching candidates before embracing Obama, there is no going back. Even though he questions the feasibility of Obama's plan to withdraw from Iraq and figures government would grow under his administration, his support "is not a policy decision."

    "It's a personality decision," Pedaline said. "It's an inspirational decision."

    Pedaline, a loan officer at a Columbus mortgage company, grew up in rural Ohio and still carries the heft of his high school football days. His father, a salesman, and mother, who ran a pizza shop, were largely apolitical. But Pedaline was bothered when the congressman from nearby Youngstown, James A. Traficant Jr., went to prison on corruption charges. "I had a bad taste in my mouth about Democrats from the beginning," he said over a chicken dinner.

    During his college years in Columbus, the political talk was all about President Clinton and impeachment. That compounded Pedaline's contempt for Democrats in general, and the Clintons in particular. "Disingenuous," he said of the former First Lady. He said he will vote for McCain if Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

    Like many, he discovered Obama through the candidate's soaring address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. His words put "chills on the back of my neck," Pedaline said, especially when he talked about America's shared values. He followed Obama on the Washington talk-show circuit and went to YouTube to download his February 2007 speech announcing his presidential candidacy.

    By then, Pedaline had soured on Bush and the "conservative ideologues" he blamed for Washington's gridlock, especially when it came to Social Security reform, an issue important to his parents.

    He wrote a long ******* missive calling for a candidate "who is flexible, creative, intelligent and willing to compromise." After Obama entered the race, Pedaline posted his statement on a campaign message board with an addendum: "My biggest hope is that his refreshing outlook and attitude will rub off on his opponents both Republican and Democrat alike. . . . "

    Soon, Pedaline heard from John Martin, a New York law student and co-founder of Republicans for Obama, a loosely knit grass-roots organization, who asked him to head the Ohio chapter. (There are 22 across the country.) Pedaline agreed, even though he was still weighing support for McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Guiliani.

    Obama's two autobiographies sold Pedaline on the Democrat. After reading them last summer, he was convinced Obama possessed the desire and a singular capacity to unite Americans. "Maybe it's just a fairytale," Pedaline said, "but maybe we can at least get back to a point where people can listen and respect each other."

    He committed to the Obama campaign six nights a week through the March 4 primary and hopes to volunteer in the fall, when Ohio will be a top target of both major parties. His day job, which requires the occasional cold-call, helps in phone canvassing. Two hours into his boilerroom shift, Pedaline sounds as relentlessly cheery -- "Hi, this is Josh, from Sen. Obama's presidential campaign!" -- as he did starting out.

    Seated nearby is Royal Morse, 56, a small-business owner and another lifelong Republican. He too hungers for more civility and productivity in Washington. "I've never been as passionate about any presidential candidate in my 35 years of voting," Morse says during a break. "Never."

    The two dial, chat, dial, chat, each in his own conversation until Morse gets some grief from the other end of the line. He glances at Pedaline. "Another one of those stuffy Republicans," he says.

    The two smile, and keep dialing.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-gopobama25feb25,0,2359434.story

    This oughta be good. :D
  2. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    If they are truly "lifelong Republicans" it'll be interesting to see how proud they are when their guy Obama is in the White House pushing one of the most liberal agendas in modern history.
  3. lewpac

    lewpac Benched

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    Don't buy it. You've bought every other Umbabba spin and lie, don't buy into this one............

    He'd getting "rock star" treatment amongst a starving crowd of idiots who've been grasping at straws ever since Al Whore got sent back to his "greeny" kooks where he belongs. Umbabba looks good against his current competion, the she-witch of NY.

    Anyone could look good against that train-wreck. Once Umbabba faces off with McCain, or any business owner or capitalist in the world, he'll be exposed for what he is: A marxist who would side with Castro and the terrorist over his own country, and blame the U.S. for all the world's woes. He doesn't "love" his country, and isn't a "patriot". He "loves" what he wants this country to be...............a suburb of Cuba and taking policy advice from Hugo Chavez and that suicidal maniac from Iran. THAT, my friend, is the U.S. that Umbabba "loves".

    The only reason he's relevant is because the left in this country would love nothing more than to shove a guy with a "middle eastern" name down the throats of the "NASCAR" dads. That's it. Pure and simple. Nothing would please the Hollywood crowd more than to have a guy with a Muslim name as president just to irritate REAL Americans.

    That's the "clout" of Umbabba bin Babba......................

    If Umbabba's name was "Mercedes Jefferson" or "Cleophis Washington", with or without the "Reverend" in front of it, he'd of vanished faster than a set of rims at a Puff Daddy concert. If his name were Denzel Jones or DeBricksaw Lewis, he'd have been vanquished before the Illinios primary.

    Only because of his name, and the left wants to "stick it to" God loving, red blooded Americans, do you even know who he is. PERIOD.
  4. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Sometimes when I read some stuff here I keep waiting for the CooCoo for CoaCoa puffs guy to jump out of the screen.

    Now on to the serious matter.

    If people want someone that can work with both Parties...I think McCain is the one who has the proven track record...to one parties dismay.
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I had a lady who called over the weekend telling me she was calling for the support of Obama and I quickly told her my support was for McCain when asked if I was sure I told her very sure. She still did not seem convinced. :laugh2:
  6. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    I wonder why? One day conservatives are bemoaning McCain, the next day they are ready to go out in droves to vote for him.:D
  7. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Well McCain is no conservative ....... but he is a hell of a lot closer than Obama or Clinton.
  8. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I have been saying for a while that I was leaning towards McCain because I think he will be able to work between party lines better than the other candidates. What some conservatives see as McCain weakness I consider it his strength. For any Rep who thinks an ultra conservative can go into the White and get much done is kidding themselves and the same for the Socialist Party (Dems) if they think they can stick a liberal and both Hillary and Obama are just that into the White House and expect Republicans to work with them they are kidding themselves.
  9. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    McCain in my view is a conservative what he is not is an ultra conservative. I have always considered myself as a moderate Rep so McCain fits me pretty good. I can't say I have ever been a Pat Robertson Republican.
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    So you are saying you are not a nutbag extremist.:D
  11. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Not I. I don't see eye to eye with the far right and I clearly do not see eye to eye with the far left.
  12. Jordan55

    Jordan55 Active Member

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    I think we can thank the New York Times for uniting the Republicans, I find it amusing that the ultra conservatives were not supporting McCain, when he gives us the best chance to win.
    It sure as hell wasn't going to Huckleberry.
    "I'll be your Huckleberry" great line in the movie Tombstone.
    Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday
  13. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Regarding the title of this thread...

    It's curious how "red" has come to be associated with Republicans and "blue" to Democrats. That runs counter to common conventional wisdom for decades and across international politics as well where red was more associated with the liberal party and blue to the conservatives.

    Then, suddenly, in 2000 the media flipped the script in their coverage of the race and it has stuck ever since.

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