Republicans for Obama

REPUBLICANS FOR OBAMA….The New York Times reports on a new group of high-profile “Republicans for Obama”:

Rita Hauser, a New York philanthropist who raised money for both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, is helping to organize the push to draw Republicans away from Mr. McCain and will serve as a spokeswoman for the group, alongside former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee, of Rhode Island, who was one of the most moderate Republicans in the Senate and became an independent after he lost his seat in 2006.

….About 20 current and former Republicans make up the group’s leadership committee, including Douglas Kmiec, a Republican who served in the Justice Department under President Ronald Reagan and was a supporter of Mitt Romney during the Republican primary, and Dorothy Danforth Burlin, a Washington lawyer who is the daughter of former U.S. Senator John Danforth, another moderate Republican.

Meanwhile, Peter Wallsten of the LA Times, reporting from the exurbs of Florida, tells us about a somewhat lower-profile bunch of Republican apostates:

Listen to Anna Rodriguez and her neighbors who gather nightly on lawn chairs to unwind, and a change comes into focus that could shift the national political landscape in 2008 and beyond.

….”This is the first election I ever actually looked at someone else other than the Republican candidate,” said Rodriguez, 33, who is studying to be a teacher and is a fixture at the lawn chair hobnob here on Greely Court, a quiet cul-de-sac in a Pasco County subdivision called Wrencrest.

“I’ve had enough with the Republican economics,” she added, as her husband, Danny, who had just driven from his banking job in Tampa, piped in: “No more Bush.”

This sure feels an awful lot like 1980 in reverse, doesn’t it? How long will it be before the new conservative motto becomes “I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the party left me”? The big question left is whether Obama can use this discontent to not only get elected, but to create as many converts to liberal principles as Reagan did to conservative ones.