Republicans for Obama

A new group affiliated with the Obama campaign announces its formation Tuesday.

Published August 12, 2008 4:15PM (EDT)

The Obama campaign announced a "Republicans for Obama" movement today. There is no Web site yet for the group, but three Republican "formers" conducted a media call today discussing the forthcoming site and declaring their personal endorsements of Obama's candidacy: former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee, former Iowa Rep. Jim Leach and former White House intelligence office Rita Hauser. (BTW, Chafee’s new bookis a powerful indictment of how national Republicans and Congress in particular went off the rails.)

"Pseudo-realists believe we can operate in the world alone," said Chafee, referring in not-so-veiled terms to the neoconservative advisors who destroyed the Republican Party's long-standing electoral advantage on foreign policy and defense. "My sense is that the realism of Dwight David Eisenhower and Richard Nixon and Brent Scowcroft and you operate within the confines of international law … and work with allies. I think that is the kind of realism that most Americans agree with, and Obama understands."

"The effort [behind the movement] is to get Republicans to vote for Obama," said Hauser. "If people want talking points, of course we help them." She added that the site will be "a helpful, chat room, innovative type of site."

For the record, the group of disgruntled Republicans at this site who also support Obama's candidacy are not in any way formally affiliated with the campaign.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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