Eisenhower granddaughter quits GOP, supports Obama
President Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, president of the Eisenhower Group and chairman emeritus of the Eisenhower Institute has quit the Republican Party.
by Susan Eisenhower
I have decided I can no longer be a registered Republican. For the first time in my life I announced my support for a Democratic candidate for the presidency, in February of this year. This was not an endorsement of the Democratic platform, nor was it a slap in the face to the Republican Party. It was an expression of support specifically for Senator Barack Obama. I had always intended to go back to party ranks after the election and work with my many dedicated friends and colleagues to help reshape the GOP, especially in the foreign-policy arena. But I now know I will be more effective focusing on our national and international problems than I will be in trying to reinvigorate a political organization that has already consumed nearly all of its moderate “seed corn.” And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks.
Ms. Eisenhower says she has changed her registration to Independent, and the move was precipitated by recent world and domestic events.
My decision came at the end of last week when it was demonstrated to the nation that McCain and this Bush White House have learned little in the last five years. They mishandled what became a crisis in the Caucusus, and this has undermined U.S. national security. At the same time, the McCain camp appears to be comfortable with running an unworthy Karl Rove–style political campaign. Will the McCain operation, and its sponsors, do anything to win?
She emphasizes that, while she is supporting Democratic Party nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), her move is not an endorsement of the Demcratic Party platform, nor a slap at the Republican Party, which she says has been "hijacked".
As an independent I want to be free of the constraints and burdens that have come with trying to make my own views explainable in the context of today’s party. Hijacked by a relatively small few, the GOP of today bears no resemblance to Lincoln, Roosevelt or Eisenhower’s party, or many of the other Republican administrations that came after. In my grandparents’ time, the thrust of the party was rooted in: a respect for the constitution; the defense of civil liberties; a commitment to fiscal responsibility; the pursuit and stewardship of America’s interests abroad; the use of multilateral international engagement and “soft power”; the advancement of civil rights; investment in infrastructure; environmental stewardship; the promotion of science and its discoveries; and a philosophical approach focused squarely on the future.
And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks.
While she says she is comfortable in her new Independent role, it was not an easy or comfortable move.
It was not easy taking this step, since politics, like religion, is something learned on the knee of one’s parents and grandparents. And like anything else inherited, it is imbedded in one’s own identity. This makes leaving even harder.
But there will be some joy for me in my new status since I will be able to speak for myself, and not as a member of a party that has, sadly, lost its way.