It is not just Scott McClellan who may be moving away from the Bush camp; there are many Republicans who are very disillusioned with their party. They are upset for a variety of reasons. The first is the Iraq war, followed by the economy, the torture issue and the wholesale end of privacy rights of the American people. The Grand Old Party, home to many moderate Republicans, has moved away from those famous days of being moderate to being scary. People who had supported President George W. Bush because they thought he would bring the country together are realizing that he is less of a "uniter" than a divider.
Scott's book "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," is only the tip of the iceberg as to what might happen in November if Sen. Obama doesn't make any huge campaign gaffes or mistakes. McClatchy Newspapers did an investigation of donors to Republican campaigns and also found that several had already donated to the Obama primary campaign. According to their investigative research Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Microsoft's CEO's wife, Connie Ballmer, and boxing promoter Don King are among the donors. None of these are exactly card-carrying liberals.
White House officials attacked Scott McClellan this week and said this is not the man that they knew. Ironically, several former supporters of George W. Bush have concluded that the president they thought they were electing was not the person they thought they knew. Bush administration appointees have told me that they are very, very disappointed by the president. Republican members of Congress express the same disappointment. They are also upset with what has come to pass in the last seven and a half years.
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Scott has been vilified by Rove, Fleisher, Rice and others this week, but is he like the canary that first sings in the mineshaft? Is his book a warning to John McCain? America is not in the same place President Bush found it on Jan. 20, 2001. Terrorism struck, and we were briefly on the same page. Now, we are not on the same page, but tired of being stuck in the polarized freeze zone as the world's economies roll over us. Now we have a candidate who really understands the need to "unite not divide," as a matter of national economic survival.
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Sen. McCain had a ton of support from all sides when he ran in 2000. Sometime after the 2000 election, he had talked to the Democrats about switching parties. Bush operatives treated him miserably, and he wanted a home for his maverick ideas, as well as perhaps some payback. He decided to stay with the GOP and unfortunately bow his head to the right of the party. Maybe it got him the nomination, but it will lose him the general election.
McCain will not be easy for Obama to beat with all the mudslinging money going around, but I predict that McCain will not win. The reasons for McCain's loss can be read between the lines in the McClellan book. Just like the perception of American youth in 1968 that they were lied to about the death of President Kennedy and the Vietnam War, a new generation of young people have also perceived that they are somehow being manipulated by the current administration. McClellan is speaking to those who have strong feelings of disappointment.
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As I said in an earlier blog post this week, McClellan shined light on several major issues: His concern for the arrogance of pursuing what he calls a "coercive democracy" at "nominal cost" and President Bush OK'ing the leaking of the National Intelligence Estimate by Scooter Libby. Americans are ready for the truth, from GITMO to the economy, to what oil is going to cost a year from now, it's time for truth in advertising. The presidency belongs to the one who is going to tell the truth to the American people. That is why Scott's book resonates with so many, and that is why we will see a President Obama.