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By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 28 October 2010

Interesting piece from The Hill. This article revisits many of the prominent Republicans (aka Obamacans) who endorsed President Obama in 2008 to get their take on his performance and where their support stands today for our president. Some may be surprised to see that many still support him and do not regret their vote (I love some of their quotes.) Several refused to be interviewed or had no comment which shows they either stopped supporting him or understand the political suicide associated with admitting support (RINO!!!) Anyway, President Obama got 9% of Republicans to vote for him in 2008 (3% more than Kerry.) Can he get any (other than the faithful here at RFO) to support Democrats in this 2010 election? Doesn't seem too likely if you believe the polls. What are the chances he can keep 10% of the GOP vote in 2012? Or will his next 2 years be so impressive that he wil surpass it? Just some food for thought as we look into those political crystal balls...

Republicans who supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election say they have few regrets.

The Hill contacted 17 prominent Republicans and members of “Republicans for Obama” groups that launched across the country two years ago. Most of them defended the president and indicated they might vote for him again in two years.

Their statements are somewhat surprising, because polls show that Republicans and independents have turned against the president. Political analysts say the fired-up GOP base, coupled with dissatisfaction from independents, could help the GOP win control of Congress on Nov. 2.

Some so-called “Obamacans” did not want to discuss their views on Obama. More than two-dozen Republicans who attracted media attention in 2008 for their support of Obama declined to comment on the issue.

One of them was former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), who served in the upper chamber as a Republican and is now running for governor as an Independent.

Obama attracted criticism this week from Frank Caprio, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Rhode Island, after the White House acknowledged that the president was not going to get involved in the race.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama’s decision was made “out of respect for his friend Lincoln Chafee.”

In 2008, Obama secured the support of a broad coalition of independent and Republican voters, propelling him to the presidency. Nine percent of registered Republicans voted for him, a 3 percent improvement from Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) campaign four years earlier.

Despite Obama’s push to pass partisan bills through Congress, such as the stimulus package and healthcare reform, GOP officials are sticking by their choice.

Charles Fried, who served as solicitor general under President Reagan, said he doesn’t second-guess his vote for Obama.

“It’s very hard to get political credit for the terrible things that you’ve averted,” said Fried, a Harvard law professor. “[President George W.] Bush got no credit for there not being another attack on American soil, and Obama deserves it for avoiding an economic catastrophe.”

“It had to be done, and it’s tough to do,” said former Rep. Harris Fawell (R-Ill.) of the stimulus. “He inherited terrible economic circumstances. Republicans blame Obama for having brought this economic fiasco. I hate to say it, but the Republicans just blew the budget to smithereens.”

Former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.) echoed Fawell.

“We had to do something,” Pressler said. “If it was a different president with a different name, it would still be the same problem.”

On healthcare reform, Robert A.G. Monks, Maine’s former GOP chairman, said Republicans and Democrats have been trying to pass legislation for decades: “I remember what a hell of a hard time [President Harry] Truman had passing healthcare.”

Monks acknowledged there were problems with the bill, but says critics missed the bigger picture.

“It’s like the joke about the chimpanzee playing the piano, and someone complained he was out of tune. What’s critical is the chimpanzee played the piano! And it’s critical that America got a healthcare bill.”

He added that Obama “has integrity, he has intelligence, he has decency.”

Melissa Achtien of Indianapolis, who said she voted Republican for 20 years before the 2008 election, also still admires Obama.

“I think he’s intelligent,” she said. “I think he takes a long-term view.”

Colin Powell, who served as Bush’s secretary of State, recently said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “I think he is a transformational figure. Some people don't like what he's done in transformation, and it’s caused him some difficulty.”

Other Republicans admit they supported Obama simply because they didn’t like the Republican ticket.

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