A long-time Democratic speechwriter who claims to have written for both Barack and Michelle Obama has announced she is leaving the Democratic Party and endorsing John McCain for president.
Wendy Button, a frequent columnist for the Huffington Post, where she is credited with writing speeches for Democratic Sens. John Edwards, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Kerry and for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, made the announcement in a blog post called “So Long, Democrats” on The Daily Beast.
Button’s reasons for defecting from the Democrats include false campaign slogans, poor economic policy and her admission that McCain was right about the surge in Iraq; but her argument begins with outrage over the way the Obama campaign attacked two women and a common man – Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber – the kind of people she thought the Democratic Party championed.
“I can no longer justify what this party has done and can’t dismiss the treatment of women and working people as just part of the new kind of politics,” Button writes.
She says “the final straw” came when Democrats attacked and mocked Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (a.k.a. Joe the Plumber) for balking at a tax hike during difficult economic times.
“The party I believed in wouldn’t look down on working people under any circumstance,” Button writes. “And Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.”
Button further railed on Democratic fiscal policy, stating, “Our approach to problems – big government solutions paid for by taxing the rich and big and smaller companies – is just as tired and out of date as trickle down economics. How about a novel approach that simply finds a sane way to stop the bleeding?
“That’s not exactly the philosophy of a Democrat,” she concludes.
Button takes exception in her article to the way her former party has mocked McCain’s age, used Palin’s wardrobe to score political points and portrayed the Republican VP candidate as stupid.
Button writes of Palin, “When someone takes on a corrupt political machine and a sitting governor, that is not done by someone with a low I.Q. or a moral core made of tissue paper.” She even praises Palin for her determination and humility, despite stating she disagrees with the governor on social issues.
“Sexism. Racism. Ageism and maybe some Socialism have all made their ugly cameos in election 2008,” Button writes. “It’s not inspiring. Perhaps this is why I found the initial mocking of Joe so offensive and I realized an old line applied: ‘I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me.'”
Button’s article has generated hundreds of responses from The Daily Beast’s readers.
One poster writes, “How can you possibly fault the Democratic Party for undermining the goals and mocking the aspirations of women and members of the working class? Have you paid attention to anything that has happened in this country for the last 30 years?”
A more supportive response came from another reader: “Thank you Wendy for having the resolve to look at who’s who in this election and stand up for the people of America rather than just a party.”
WND contacted the Obama campaign for comment and to seek confirmation that Button worked with Obama but received no reply.