Financial Times's Curious Definition of 'Prominent' Obamacans

"Three prominent Republicans declare their support for Obama" insisted the August 13 Financial Times front page headline. But who are these "prominent" GOPers that have gone Obamacan? Staffer Edward Luce pointed to two left-of-center Republicans ousted in the 2006 mid-terms and one Rita Hauser, who is no stranger to supporting Democrats for president:

Barack Obama won the endorsement yesterday of three prominent Republicans, including Jim Leach and Lincoln Chafee, both of whom lost their congressional seats to Democratic opponents in the 2006 mid-term elections.

[...]

The three, who include Rita Hauser, a former White House intelligence adviser, stressed foreign policy as their principal motivation and alarm at what Ms Hauser described as the Republican nominee's "bellicose" stance on Russia's conflict with Georgia.

Hauser did serve President George W. Bush from 2001-2004 on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, the key word being advisory as PIAB is "[i]ndependent of the intelligence community and free from any day-to-day management or operational responsibilities." Simply put, Hauser had no hand in Bush administration policy implementation, and a search of her name from January 1, 2001 to January 1, 2005 yielded very few hits in Nexis among major newspapers.

One of those articles, however, stands out as it shows Hauser a backer of 2004 Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). From a UPI item from August 25 of that year:

The Kerry-Edwards campaign unveiled Wednesday a list of Republicans it says agreed to lead an effort to convince other GOP'ers to defect in November.

The Kerry-Edwards campaign said the roll out of the list and a new Web site is "the beginning of an ongoing national effort by Republicans who have pledged their support for John Kerry.

The leadership committee is composed of 29 individuals the Kerry-Edwards campaign identified as Republicans, including CSX Vice-Chairman A.R. "Pete" Carpenter, former National Policy Association CEO and Reagan administration official Malcolm Lovell, and ex-Nixon EPA Administrator Russell Train.

Others individuals involved, identified only by name and state of residence, include Georgia's Rich Boggs; Jason Brooms and Clyde Prestowitz of Washington, D.C.; Kentucky's Owsley and Christina Brown, Marshall Field of Illinois, New York's Rita Hauser, and George Hume of California.

As far as Chafee and Leach, the former famously cast a write-in vote for George H.W. Bush as a "symbolic protest" of the younger President Bush in 2004. Chafee had a reliably liberal voting record (34.7 lifetime American Conservative Union average; score of 24 in the 2006 election year) in Congress while Leach's career in Congress was marked by a slightly left-of-center voting average (43.27 lifetime ACU avg.; 48 percent score in 2006).

Other so-called Obamacans mentioned in Luce's article included Susan Eisenhower, quite literally a Republican In [Last] Name Only and hardly a player in GOP politics. Indeed, a search of OpenSecrets.org shows no political campaign contributions for the past few years save for a $1,000 donation to Obama in May 2008. Giving no money to any GOP candidates in the past 15 years is hardly the mark of a prominent Republican, even if one is the granddaughter of a former GOP president.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters