29 aug. 2008

Julie Nixon and Susan Eisenhower back Barack Obama


Suzan's website
As their family names make clear, Susan Eisenhower and her sister-in-law Julie Nixon Eisenhower hail from Republican presidential aristocracy. But the two lifelong Republicans are spurning those loyalties this year to back Barack Obama for the nation's top job.
Miss Eisenhower, the granddaughter of the Second World War hero and two-term president Dwight Eisenhower, has become one of the most prominent members of a new breed – Obamacans (Republicans backing Mr Obama).
"I am proud to be an Eisenhower Republican. But my wing of the party, fiscally conservative and socially progressive, is not represented by the Republican party today.
"It has become a socially conservative and fiscally reckless party," she told The Sunday Telegraph. "And at the same time, there is a candidate in Barack Obama who is enormously appealing. He has the temperament and attitude that can bring together different sides which is tremendously important for this country right now."
Miss Eisenhower, 56, runs the Eisenhower Institute, a public policy think-tank. She gave interviews promoting Mr Obama in North Carolina ahead of his crushing victory there last week and said she would step up her campaigning for the general election.
Julie Nixon Eisenhower, 59, the youngest daughter of the disgraced former president Richard Nixon and wife of Susan's brother, David, is also supporting Mr Obama.
Although she has made no public comment on the election, publicly disclosed political finance records show that she made the maximum contribution of $2,300 to Mr Obama.
In the process, she put herself on the other side of the political fence from her sister, Tricia, who has donated the same sum to Republican John McCain.
However, Miss Eisenhower says her brother and two sisters have also contributed to the Obama campaign.
Their support for Mr Obama, a politician who, according to one recent analysis, has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, reflects a dramatic political realignment.
In the Eisenhower and Nixon eras, the party was dominated by the "country club" New England set. Now they feel shunted aside by the social conservatives for whom issues such as abortion and homosexual marriage are pivotal.
Indeed, many modern-day conservatives view Miss Eisenhower and her family as so-called RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). It is designation that she rejects.
"I remain a registered Republican and don't intend to leave the party," she said. "I am proud that my grandfather dragged the Republicans off the political ash-heap after 20 years of Democratic presidential rule."