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Republicans and Conservatives Endorsing Barack in 2008

By John Martin - Posted on 16 October 2008

Here's a recap of some of the biggest Republicans, Republicans-turned-independents, and conservatives who supported Barack for President in 2008.


Elected Officials:

Jim Leach, Former Congressman from Iowa

"For me, the national interest comes before party concerns, particularly internationally. We do need a new direction in American policy, and Obama has a sense of that."

Lincoln Chafee, Former United States Senator from Rhode Island

"As I look at the candidates in order who to vote for, certainly my kind of conservatism was reflected with Senator Obama, and those points are that we're fiscally conservative, we care about revenues matching expenditures, we also care about the environment, I think it's a traditional conservative value to care about clean air and clean water."

William Weld, Former Governor of Massachusetts

"It's not often you get a guy with his combination of qualities, chief among which I would say is the deep sense of calm he displays, and I think that's a product of his equally deep intelligence."

Arne Carlson, Former Governor of Minnesota

"I think we have in Barack Obama the clear possibility of a truly great president. I would contend that it's the most important election of my lifetime."

Wayne Gilchrest, Congressman from Maryland

"We can't use four more years of the same kind of policy that's somewhat haphazard, which leads to recklessness."

Charles Mathias, Former United States Senator and Congressman from Maryland

"My decision is based on the long-range needs of our country and which of these two candidates I feel is better suited to recharge America's economic health, restore its prestige abroad and inspire anew all people who cherish freedom and equality. For me, that person is Barack Obama."

Larry Pressler, Former Senator from South Dakota

"I just got the feeling that Obama will be able to handle this financial crisis better, and I like his financial team of [former Treasury Secretary Robert] Rubin and [former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul] Volcker better."

Richard Riordan, Former Mayor of Los Angeles

"I'm still a Republican, but I still will always vote for the person who I think will do the best job."

Lowell Weicker, Former Governor and Senator from Connecticut

"At issue is not the partisan politics of two parties, rather the image we have of ourselves as Americans. Senator Obama brings wisdom, kindness, and common sense to what is both his and our quest for a better America."

Claudine Schneider, Former Congressman from Rhode Island

Harris Fawell, Former Congressman from Illinois

Jim Whitaker, Fairbanks, Alaska Mayor

"If we are as a nation concerned with energy, then our consideration should be a national energy policy that is not predicated on crude oil 50 years into the future. We need to get to it, and I think Barack Obama is very clear in that regard."

William Milliken, Former Governor of Michigan

Lou Thieblemont, Mayor of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

"I'm sick and tired of the politics of fear in this country.  He's the only one who doesn't do that."

Linwood Holton, Former Governor of Virginia

"Obama has a brain, and he isn't afraid to use it."


Columnists and Academics:

Jeffrey Hart, National Review Senior Editor

"It turns out that these political parties are not always either liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. The Democrat, under certain conditions, can be the conservative."

Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University

"For conservatives, Obama represents a sliver of hope. McCain represents none at all. The choice turns out to be an easy one."

David Friedman, Economist and son of Milton and Rose Friedman

"I hope Obama wins. President Bush has clearly been a disaster from the standpoint of libertarians and conservatives because he has presided over an astonishing rise in government spending."

Christopher Buckley, Son of National Review founder William F. Buckley & former NR columnist

"Obama has in him-- I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy 'We are the people we have been waiting for' silly rehtoric-- the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for."

Andrew Sullivan, Columnist for the Atlantic Monthly

"Obama's legislative record, speeches, and the way he has run his campaign reveal, I think, a very even temperament, a very sound judgment, and an intelligent pragmatism. Prudence is a word that is not inappropriate to him."

Wick Alison, Former publisher of the National Review

"I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses. But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history."

Michael Smerconish, Columnist for the Philadelphia Enquirer

" Obama presidency holds the greatest chance for unifying us here at home and restoring our prestige around the globe."

CC Goldwater, Granddaughter of Barry Goldwater

"Nothing about the Republican tickets offers the hope America needs to regain its standing in the world, that's why we're going to support Barack Obama."

Government Officials:

Colin Powell, Secretary of State under Bush 43

"...he has met the standard of being a sucessful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world-- onto the world state, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama."

Ken Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff under Reagan

"Well let's put it this way-- I think Colin Powell's decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama."

Douglas Kmiec, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan & Bush 41

"I was first attracted to government by Ronald Reagan, who lives in our national memory as a great leader and an inspiring communicator. Senator Obama has these gifts as well, but of course, more rhetorical flourish without substance would be worth little. Is there more to Senator Obama? I believe there is."

Charles Fried, Solicitor General of the United States under Reagan

"I admire Senator McCain and was glad to help in his campaign, and to be listed as doing so; but when I concluded that I must vote for Obama for the reason states in my letter, I felt it wrong to appear to be recommending to others a vote that I was not prepared to cast myself."

Jackson M. Andrews, Former Counsel to the U.S. Senate, & 1986 Republican Senatorial Nominee for Kentucky

"Barack Obama is a thoughtful visionary leader who as President will end the decline of American law, liberty, and fiscal responsibility that are the hallmarks of the extremist policies of the current Administration, now adopted by John McCain."

Susan Eisenhower, Granddaughter of President Eisenhower & President of the Eisenhower Group

"Given Obama's support among young people, I believe that he will be most invested in defending the interests of these rising generations and, therefore, the long-term interests of this nation as a whole."

Francis Fukuyama, Advisor to President Reagan

"...Obama probably has the greatest promise of delivering a different kind of politics."

Rita Hauser, Former White House intelligence advisor under George W. Bush

"McCain will continue the wrong-headed foreign policy decisions of Bush, while Obama will take us in a new direction."

Larry Hunter, Former President Reagan Policy Advisor

"I suspect Obama is more free-market friendly than he lets on. He taught at the University of Chicago, a hotbed of right-of-center thought. His economic advisers, notably Austan Goolsbee, recognize that ordinary citizens stand to gain more from open markets than from government meddling."

Scott McClellan, Former Press Secretary to President George W. Bush

"From the beginning I have said I am going to support the candidate that has the best chance for changing the way Washington works and getting things done and I will be voting for Barack Obama and clapping."

Bill Ruckelshaus, Served in the Nixon and Reagan administrations

"I'm not against McCain, I'm for Obama."

Ken Adelman, Served in the Ford administration

"The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate. That decision showed appalling lack of judgment... that selection contradicted McCain's main two, and best two, themes for his campaign-- Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick."

Lilibet Hagel, Wife of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel

"This election is not about fighting phantom issues churned out by a top-notch slander machine. Most important, it is not about distracting the public-- you and me-- with whatever slurs someone thinks will stick."

Bruce Rabb, Served in the Nixon administration

George C. Lodge, Assistant Secretary of Labor under President Eisenhower

William B. Ewald, Jr., Special Assistant under President Eisenhower

Robert R. Bowie, Assistant Secretary for Policy Planning, Department of state 1953-1957

Jarold Kieffer, Assistant Secretary, Health, Education & Welfare, 1959-61

Roswell B. Perkins, Assistant Secretary, Health, Education & Welfare, 1954-56

Timothy Ashby, Served in the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations

"America needs a courageous and innovative president rather than one such as John McCain who would only perpetuate the failed Bush policies. On Nov. 4, this Reagan Republican is voting for Barack Obama."

Richard S. Seline, Finance Director, Republican Party of Texas

"Why do I support Obama as a Republican?  His vision and focus is what I want for my child and my country."

David Caprara, Faith-Based Initiatives Director, Federal Volunteer Service Agency under Bush 43

"As president, Barack Obama would take the faith-based initiative started by President Bush to a new level in global affairs."

John Perry Barlow, Former Dick Cheney Campaign Manager





Great job, John!!
Awesome!!  Will Powell even make an endorsement?  We haven't heard much from him lately, I wonder if he has anything scheduled, like an event at which he'll announce?  Can't Hagel's wife make Hagel endorse Obama?  She certainly should!!
I heard he's going to be on Meet the Press this weekend.

I just heard the speculation that Powell is going on MTP to endorse McCain this weekend.  He wants to be in the McCain administration to redeem himself from the wrongs he did in Bush 43 administration.  Don't know what he will actually do, but we need to be prepared for a big disappointment on Sunday.  

10/10/2008:  The day I early-voted for Barack Obama!

Please say it ain't so. A McCain endorsement would be terrible news. On another thread, Misty pointed to an article saying Republicans thought he'd endorse Obama. Although maybe it's a ploy to surprise? I sure hope not. Obama seems to represent all that Powell stands for-how can he not endorse him? I'd really question Powell's judgement if he endorsed McCain. Can we say Palin?
I've questioned Powell's judgement since that fateful day he spoke before the U.N re: Iraqi threat. Who could really trust Powell after that?
Not possible. He's been advising Obama for over a year and has publicly spoken out against McCain.

I'm sure glad you posted that, Barbara, because I really have been having doubts.  At least I feel better now...

The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

Good to know, Barbara.  I was getting very concerned after I heard that earlier.  Of course, I heard it on a conservative blog, so I really should have known better.  They said that since he supported Ted Stevens recently, it was proof that he was going to support John McCain.   

10/10/2008:  The day I early-voted for Barack Obama!

Outstanding post! Great to see them listed and pictured in one place. 

The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

Thanks for all your work on this, what a handy reference to share!

Great list, John. I am not sure if it means anything or not, but I heard this morning that Powell will be on Meet The Press on Sunday. Fingers are crossed. 


RFO Outreach Coordinator

The enemy of "the best" is not "the worst." The enemy of "the best" is "good enough."

Thanks so much for posting this! 

I would like to share this on my MySpace page and through email, if I have your permission to do so, John.

Please disseminate as widely as possible.
Consider it done, and thanks.

This list of conservatives and or independents is most impressive. However, I care little about an endorsement from General Colin Powell. I lost much repect for his refusal to stand up to Bush, Cheney and the neocons regarding the invasion of Iraq. He does not seem to have much political courage nor is he decisive. An eary endorsement of Obama form him might have changed my mind; but even that was too bold for him.

 Now Hagel is another story. He has political courage.

You know I understand where you're coming from but I must disagree. Powell is a soldier in the truest sense of the word. Like any good soldier he carried out orders, challenged the administration and it was at his INSISTENCE that the CIA and others were right BEHIND him at the U.N. as he spouted out the lies that he questioned regarding going into Iraq. When you work in a political administration you do not air dirty laundry as it undermines authority and chain of command, true military logic here. What you do instead is resign and keep your mouth shut, that says more than any badmouthing or exposure for political or monetary gain ever would.

That, my friend, is true political courage for a former high-ranking soldier--he put his country and not his political safety first. Unfortunately, that decision lends itself to potshots that he continues to take due to his silence.

Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus

The time to resign was BEFORE the UN speech...
I agree with Golf. I have full respect for Powell. Bush/Cheney used him. He did the honorable thing. Now could be an opportunity for pay-back (not that he seems like the "revenge" type.) Nightporch demostrates how his excellent reputation has been damaged. -Kelly (Izzy)

I, too, have a great deal of respect for Powell. At one time, I had pictured him as the first African American POTUS, and hated to see what Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld did to him. 

I'm a little doubtful he's going to endorse Obama, though...  I'm not as convinced as many others appear to be. However, one hope is that he cannot endorse the ticket with Palin on it. (I keep thinking about the video of Condi Rice's reaction: "Well, she's a governor.... of a state....") 

I also don't see him endorsing the McCain "we'll stay in Iraq 'til we win" approach. I'm just going to wait and see, but not hold my breath.

The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

Great list!  Didn't Sen. Luger endorse him too? I thought I read that on here somewhere a few days ago maybe??

Lugar officialy endorsed McCain a few weeks ago.  Lugar has said many great things about Obama, though.  Last week Lugar gave a speech in which he stated that Barack's approach to foreign policy was correct and McCain's approach was wrong.

This is not the first time Lugar has spoken positively about Barack.


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I do not think he actually endorsed Obama but endorsed his approach to foreign policy. This may be splitting hairs to some people but it was not a full endorsement.

I guess we are not crazy, huh?

Great rewards intelligence

I will not throw the first punch, but I will certainly throw the last...BHO


The Chicago Tribune has endorsed Barack Obama. This is the first time in the papers history that they have endorsed a Democrat.
Unfortunately, In Turkey we can not join Youtube. Because the Internet service provider have banned youtube ip's. I hate this provider :(

Obama & Evden eve nakliyat  - Cristiano The Magazine Stundent at Ege University. -

ABC News says that Michael Smerconish endorsed Obama today.

Is this a big deal?  I've only briefly heard of Michael Smerconish and I'm not really familiar with his program, positions, or political stance.  

10/10/2008:  The day I early-voted for Barack Obama!

Smerconish did yes, he has audio on some news sites where he starts to explain why but that is coming out I think on Monday.

 He seems to have done a MASSIVE amount of research into McCain and Obama so I think his information will be read by many people who want to see the details and hows and whys. 


This ever-growing list needs to be a front page link on this site.

Also add

Wick Allison – Worked for Goldwater and former board member and publisher for National Review - Ken Adelman – Worked for Goldwater, Ford, and George W. -  Kathleen Parker – Conservative syndicated columnist.  While she hasn’t come out in support for Obama, she has been severely critical of McCain’s choice in Sarah Palin., based upon this Colbert interview, it would he hard to see her pulling the lever for McCain. RC Hoiles – Freedom Communications publishing company founder and owner.  (libertarian)  Bruce Bartlett - Domestic policy advisor to President Reagan

Hey Copernic,

We are working on getting the link on the front page.




"Barack Obama is a thoughtful visionary leader who as President will end the decline of American law, liberty, and fiscal responsibility that are the hallmarks of the extremist policies of the current Administration, now adopted by John McCain."

Ken Adelman.

 this is copied:


Ken Adelman is a lifelong conservative Republican. Campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagan’s director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfeld’s second go-round at the Pentagon, in 2001. Adelman’s friendship with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their wives goes back to the sixties, and he introduced Cheney to Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington brunch the day Reagan was sworn in.

In recent years, Adelman and his friends Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz fell out over his criticisms of the botching of the Iraq War. Still, he remains a bona-fide hawk (“not really a neo-con but a con-con”) who has never supported a Democrat for President in his life. Two weeks from now that’s going to change: Ken Adelman intends to vote for Barack Obama. He can hardly believe it himself.

Adelman and I exchanged e-mails today about his decision. He asked rhetorically,

Why so, since my views align a lot more with McCain’s than with Obama’s? And since I truly dread the notion of a Democratic president, Democratic House, and hugely Democratic Senate?

Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.

When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.

I sure hope Obama is more open, centrist, sensible—dare I say, Clintonesque—than his liberal record indicates, than his cooperation with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid portends. If not, I will be even more startled by my vote than I am now. 

Thanks, phantiasmic!

Here's another one:

Michael Smerconish went ahead and led to the endorsement of Barack Obama as President on October 17, 2008. He did opt to go against his party line in Philadelphia Inquirer. He did his selection on the basis of five categories as a tool for the judgment of Obama and McCain. Michael Smerconish is basically a conservative writer as well as radio host from Philadelphia who does the broadcasting on from 1:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. on WPHT 1210 AM from Monday till Friday

Got it.  Thanks!

Yeah I liked a LOT what Smerconish said, he listed 5 key points and listed them very well.

Funny, suddenly a liberal person like me is getting to know some conservative people that I would normally have never thought much about....


Obama stands for hope and unity, and as you can see, it is already happening. 

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest 






Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, another maverick-y Republican from Maryland, endorsed Barack Obama for president in a September 17, 2008 interview with WYPR, Baltimore's National Public Radio station.

Source:  The Huffington Post.  

Gilchrest is a good guy. He bucked the party numerous times, and was never a friend to the religious nut jobs. He fought for his constituents and did what was right. Why did I say fought, instead of fights? Because he was defeated in the last election by - guess who? The right wingers launched an all-out attack against this good man. The sheep followed. It was disgusting!

Thank you, vigilante!

How about former Republican Governer of  Minnesota Arne Carlson  - just breaking

 Would it also be worthwhile to post conservative newspapers as well?


Great interview with Former Reagan Advisor Ken Adelman.

Obama/Biden 2008

Will you add Christopher Hitchens to the list of columnists?  Thank you so much!  I hope that this lsit continues to grow by leaps and bounds for the next week and a half.

I'm still going to hold off on Hitchens, for the reasons that copernic spells out below. 

I'll let others weigh in with what they think and then maybe reconsider him. 

Former Governor William Weld has joined the ranks of Republican Obama supporters

As does Scott McClellan 

Just added them, thanks!  (although I personally don't have that much respect for McClellan.)

I am a Hitchens fan.   I don't think he would consider himself a conservative.  The only thing he has in common with the traditional conservative is his support for the Iraq war and concern about fundamentalist Islam.  And much of that is born from his distaste for religion in general and extremism in particular.

 You can add Scott McClellen.  Although, did he lose his Republican membership card after his recent fallout with the Bush administration?

 As did Former Mass Governer Bill Weld



Christopher Hitchens Endorses Obama

Seems to me Hitchens is a conservative. I like him also.

Obama/Biden 2008

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