Brief of the Week November 3

CONFESSIONS OF A RENEGADE: “There’s no one who has zeal like a convert,” former Austin (Tex.) Mayor Carole McClellan Rhinelander told HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi after changing from Democrat to Republican in 1986. Last week, her son, former Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan explained to Gizzi why he had decided to endorse Barack Obama for President and thus be put in this year’s “Hall of Shame." McClellan, who wrote a controversial memoir critical of the administration for which he was chief spokesman from 2003-06, also revealed for the first time that “I no longer consider myself a Republican.” Insisting that “this wasn’t a decision I reached lightly” and that “I consider myself more of a centrist than conservative,” McClellan told Gizzi that what he regarded as “the excessively partisan nature of Washington” led him to make the switch.  

McClellan said that along with voting for Obama for President, he would vote for Democratic Senate hopeful Mark Warner in Virginia. The former press secretary added that, despite Obama’s decidedly left-wing voting record in the Senate and some of the leftists around him, “I feel he is sincere when he says he will govern more pragmatically and reach out to the center.” When Gizzi asked who his mother (who also left the Republican Party and ran for governor as an Independent in ’06) would vote for, McClellan replied: “I have a sense of where she’s going to come down, but you’ll have to talk to her.”