GOP Turncoat Speaks at DNC: World Yawns

Rick Moran
The Democrats thought they had a great moment last night; the specter of a long time Republican moderate Jim Leach abandoning his party and coming out four square for Obama.

But Leach has hardly been a Republican for 20 years. He has consistently voted with the Democrats on key issues like the War, tax cuts, judges, and other matters that had people questioning why he was still in the party anyway.

Here's what he had to say last night:

"As a Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and traditions of my political party. But it is clear to all Americans that something is out of kilter in our great republic.... Seldom has the case for an inspiring new political ethic been more compelling. And seldom has an emerging leader so matched the needs of the moment.... I stand before you proud of my party's contributions to American history but, as a citizen, proud as well of the good judgment of good people in this good party, in nominating a transcending candidate, an individual whom I am convinced will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president: the senator from Abraham Lincoln's state -- Barack Obama.... This is not a time for politics as usual.... Obama will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president."


Leach, a long serving Iowa representative, lost in 2006. From what he said here, it is easy to see why.

Interestingly, Steve Benen, who took over at Washington Monthly for Kevin Drum just recently, wondered why Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman, who is speaking at the RNC next week, got so much more attention than Leach.


This development barely generated any attention at all. When Zell Miller appeared at the Republican convention, it was a key development. When Joe Lieberman, who isn't even a Democrat anymore, announced his own appearance at the GOP convention, this was a major story. Some former Democratic delegate in Wisconsin moved inexplicably from supporting Clinton to backing McCain, and her switch is treated as exceedingly important.

Leach, however, is getting the short shrift. He's a credible, serious guy, who was part of the House Republican caucus for decades, and this year, Leach concluded that Obama is the leader the nation needs.

Zell Miller was a highly respected senator, an expert on defense while Lieberman is a former Vice Presidential candidate, the first Jew to be so honored. Leach? Well, he was a nice little congressman out of office for two years already. 

Somehow, looking at it that way, the scales aren't meant to balance as far as coverage is concerned.
 
The Democrats thought they had a great moment last night; the specter of a long time Republican moderate Jim Leach abandoning his party and coming out four square for Obama.

But Leach has hardly been a Republican for 20 years. He has consistently voted with the Democrats on key issues like the War, tax cuts, judges, and other matters that had people questioning why he was still in the party anyway.

Here's what he had to say last night:

"As a Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and traditions of my political party. But it is clear to all Americans that something is out of kilter in our great republic.... Seldom has the case for an inspiring new political ethic been more compelling. And seldom has an emerging leader so matched the needs of the moment.... I stand before you proud of my party's contributions to American history but, as a citizen, proud as well of the good judgment of good people in this good party, in nominating a transcending candidate, an individual whom I am convinced will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president: the senator from Abraham Lincoln's state -- Barack Obama.... This is not a time for politics as usual.... Obama will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president."


Leach, a long serving Iowa representative, lost in 2006. From what he said here, it is easy to see why.

Interestingly, Steve Benen, who took over at Washington Monthly for Kevin Drum just recently, wondered why Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman, who is speaking at the RNC next week, got so much more attention than Leach.


This development barely generated any attention at all. When Zell Miller appeared at the Republican convention, it was a key development. When Joe Lieberman, who isn't even a Democrat anymore, announced his own appearance at the GOP convention, this was a major story. Some former Democratic delegate in Wisconsin moved inexplicably from supporting Clinton to backing McCain, and her switch is treated as exceedingly important.

Leach, however, is getting the short shrift. He's a credible, serious guy, who was part of the House Republican caucus for decades, and this year, Leach concluded that Obama is the leader the nation needs.

Zell Miller was a highly respected senator, an expert on defense while Lieberman is a former Vice Presidential candidate, the first Jew to be so honored. Leach? Well, he was a nice little congressman out of office for two years already. 

Somehow, looking at it that way, the scales aren't meant to balance as far as coverage is concerned.