Former neocon supports Obama

In a recent interview, Francis Fukuyama said he thinks Barack Obama is the best of the three major candidates.

Published May 27, 2008 6:15PM (EDT)

For a time, Francis Fukuyama was a major figure in neoconservatism. Now, in a twist of fate, he says his choice for president is Barack Obama, an advocate for U.S. withdrawal from the great neconservative adventure in Iraq.

In a previous life, Fukuyama was closely linked with the neoconservative movement. He was, for example, one of just 25 people who signed the Project for a New American Century's statement of principles in 1997; more recently he was even a member of the advisory board of the defense fund set up for Scooter Libby. But he began a public break with the ideology in 2004. In 2006, he published an essay in the New York Times Magazine titled "After Neoconservatism." In it, he wrote, "As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly."

In a recent interview, the World Today's Eleanor Hall asked Fukuyama about the upcoming presidential election. After Fukuyama outlined the change he thinks needs to happen in U.S. foreign policy, Hall asked him, "So which president do you think would be the best placed to handle these challenges? Would it be president McCain, president Obama or a president Clinton?"

Fukuyama responded:

Well, it is a little bit difficult. In my own thinking since I have to vote in this next election, I personally actually don't want to see a Republican re-elected because I have a general view of the way democratic processes should work and if your party is responsible for a big policy failure, you shouldn't be rewarded by being re-elected.

I think of all the Republicans, McCain in many ways is the most attractive but he is still is too, you know, he comes from the school that places too much reliance on hard military power as a means of spreading American influence.

I think in many ways, Hillary Clinton represents both the good and the bad things of the 1990s and there is something in the style of the Clintons that never really appealed to me and so I think of all the three, Obama probably has the greatest promise of delivering a different kind of politics.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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