In 2008, several Republicans endorsed Democratic then-Sen. Barack Obama over the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain. But heading into 2012, many of the “Obamacons,” as The Economist dubbed them four years ago, have become disenchanted with the president, actively unwilling to vote for him or uncommited.
Of the 17 “Obamacons” who spoke to The Daily Caller over the past couple of months, seven said they still plan to vote for Obama, three expressed displeasure with both Obama and GOP hopeful Mitt Romney, three said they remained undecided, and four declined to comment.
Among those who have become disenchanted with Obama — but remain equally unenthusiastic about Romney — are foreign policy expert Andrew Bacevich; Bruce Bartlett, who served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; and center-right blogger and archaeologist Dorothy King.
“I supported Obama in 2008 in considerable part because the alternative was John McCain. By comparison, Obama seemed to offer a less militarized approach to foreign policy,” Bacevich emailed in June. “In that regard, he has proven to be a disappointed [sic]. Obama’s way of making war may be his own, but in his continued penchant for using force, he’s not offered much by way of change.”
“I really don’t know who I will vote for this time,” he concluded. “The choices are unappealing.”
Bartlett has similar sentiments, and said he simply plans not to vote, “as of right now.”
“As you know, I have nothing but disdain for the Republican Party, so I can’t vote for Mitt Romney,” he told TheDC in a phone interview. “But on the other hand, I just don’t think Obama has done anywhere near a good enough job. I think he’s just not shown the leadership that circumstances required. So I can’t really support either of them.”
Bartlett said there was a “small possibility” that he might end up supporting Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, but that for the moment, he was not enthused by him either.
“My comments about Obama don’t mean that I regret my vote for him in 2008,” Bartlett clarified. “I still think that was the right vote at that time. But like I said, we now have almost four years of experience, so that’s why I said what I said.”
King, who “came out” as an Obamacon in a 2008 post on her blog, Dorothy King’s PhDiva, said that four years later, she finds herself utterly unexcited by either candidate.
“Governor Romney was a good governor of MA, but I don’t like the way he’s been pushed to pander to the extremes of the fringes of the party,” she emailed. “I also would want to know who his VP candidate would be — I like Condi. I’d vote for Romney alone, but can’t as voting GOP drags in too much other nonsense these days, mostly over what I, a woman with a high education, am to be allowed to do with my womb.”
“President Obama ran on hope, and the problem with that is that we all have different hopes and will only end up disappointed — he talked a lot but made few promises and one of those was to close Gitmo. He didn’t,” she went on.
“On days like this,” she wrote, “I want to vote for ‘None of the Above.'”