POLITICS
09/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Eisenhower's Granddaughter For Obama: Sign Of A GOP Shift?

"You'll have to forgive me for being an Eisenhower Republican," joked Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of the former five-star general and two-term Republican president. The man who had helped lead America to victory over the forces of Axis darkness during World War II, then oversaw a period of unprecedented prosperity and suburban satisfaction during the 1950s.

Speaking on the telephone on Aug. 7 from her Washington office at The Eisenhower Institute, a think tank where she serves as president emeritus, the journalist-turned-foreign policy wonk explained her decision to publicly support Barack Obama after a lifetime in the Republican Party.

"I don't know how much you know about my grandfather's administration," Eisenhower said. "But that administration stood for multilateral engagement, balancing the budget. They were the party of civil rights, they were the party of environmental progress. That was the Republican Party of the 1950s. I think you can make the case that doesn't sound like the Republican Party we know today. If you look at the way Obama's run his campaign, to how Hillary Clinton ran her campaign, or even how John McCain's campaign is shaping up -- you can definitely say that Obama's running his campaign in a way an Eisenhower Republican would have run his campaign.

"He raises a lot of money," Eisenhower, 56, said, by way of explaining the similarities she sees between her grandfather and the likely Democratic nominee. "He has very little debt. I just love it. Anybody who wants to make him out as this wide-eyed liberal -- I just don't see any evidence for that, not in the way he runs his campaign. And this tells you a lot about how he can administer things, how he manages things, how he deals with situations.

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