Susan Eisenhower endorses President Barack Obama

Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, says “President Obama should be re-elected.”

In the last four years, and despite the global downturn, America has come back from the brink. While pain is still being felt in far too many sectors of the economy, from a macroeconomic standpoint the situation in the United States is better than it is among our allies. According to the International Monetary Fund, today the United States is poised for 3 percent growth, which would make our economy the strongest of the other richest economies, including Canada and Germany. Other influential studies, cited in a recent column by Fareed Zakaria, show that debt in the U.S. financial sector, relative to GDP, has declined to levels not seen since before the 2000 bubble. And consumer confidence is now at its highest levels since September 2007. The housing market is also slowly coming back. While there is still an enormous amount to do to assure a recovery, the president deserves credit for a steady hand during this dangerous and unpredictable time.

In the last four years, President Obama has also had to contend with a rapidly changing international environment. He ended the war in Iraq, was the first Democratic president to ratify an arms control treaty with the Russian Federation, and rallied global leaders to put nuclear security at the top of the international agenda. The Obama Administration has also been responsible for decimating the top leadership of al-Qaeda and introducing biting sanctions on Iran. Today the president has significant experience in managing foreign relations, experience that GOP candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, do not have.

As a result of this campaign I am more confused than ever about what Mitt Romney stands for. I know little of his core beliefs, if he even has any. No one seems to agree on what they are, and that’s why I do not want to take a chance on finding out.

Given Romney’s shifting positions, he can only be judged by the people with whom he surrounds himself. Many of them espouse yesterday’s thinking on national defense and security, female/family reproductive rights, and the interplay of government and independent private enterprise. In this context, Barack Obama represents the future, not that past. His emphasis on education is an example of the importance he places on preparing rising generations to assume their places as innovators and entrepreneurs, workers and doers, and responsible citizens and leaders. He recognizes, as many of us do, that access to opportunities must be open to every American, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. This is not an entitlement, but a sound investment in the future.

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  • aunursa

    Eisenhower left the Republican Party in 2008 and spoke at the Democratic National Convention.  Previously her father endorsed Kerry in 2004.  This is expected.

  • Veylon

    I think Aunursa has the right on this. While I’ll vote for Obama and it’s good to hear someone saying nice things about him, I don’t think that Susan has a special status or right to unilaterally invoke President Eisenhower here.

    What of Ike’s other grandchildren who may vote Romney? Do they have no claim on his name? If we’re going to bash Franklin Graham for misusing a near-dead father who is mostly unable to speak for himself, should we not question someone else for using a completely dead relative?

  • AcyOS

     I might have missed it, having only read the excerpt Fred posted, but… where does she invoke him? I’m not seeing any references, even veiled. Now, we could argue the appropriateness of *other* people holding her endorsement up as if it means more because of who her grandfather was, and Fred does appear to be doing that here, but I don’t think Susan herself was.

  • Veylon

    * Re-reads *

    Okay, fair enough. I’m reading too much into that “I like Ike” picture. Susan’s actual page doesn’t have one of those. Or the invoking.

  • Ben English

     I don’t think Fred was trying to suggest that her being Eisenhower’s granddaughter gives her any insight onto what Ike himself would say today.

    Fred does tend to emphasize how it’s not just traditionally liberal people, and especially not ‘far left’ people who support Obama; more and more reasonable people who happen to find themselves Republicans in this crazy far off future of 2012 are getting fed up with the trajectory of their party.

  • konrad_arflane

    [Obama] was the first Democratic president to ratify an arms control treaty with the Russian Federation

    OK, that is about the faintest praise imaginable. The Russian Federation has only existed since around 1991, and unless my memory fails me, there’s only been one other Democratic president in that time. Why even include this “achievement”, or why not express it in terms that boil down to more than “he beats Clinton”?

  • We don’t need any insight into what Ike would say, we can see what he did.  Interstate highway system*, anyone?  Largest public works project in human history.

    We can see what the tax code was like under his presidency (24 tax brackets with a top marginal tax rate of 91%.)

    Susan only needs to speak for herself because Ike’s actions speak louder than any words ever could.

    * Or, non colloquially, the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, thus explaining the oft joked about ones in Hawaii.

  • wendy

    excerpt from: Cross of Iron Speech

    Address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower “The Chance for Peace” delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16,1953. 
    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms in not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. 

    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

    It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

    We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

  • wendy

    from Eisenhower’s farewell address, delivered 17 January 1961

    “Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

  • TheFaithfulStone

    Although he did a lot of things that I disagree with (particularly in some of his foreign policy decisions) Eisenhower has always been one of my favorite historical presidents.  In a lot of ways, I think he and Obama are cut from the same cloth.  They both seem to practical, rather than ideological, primarily concerned with the well-being of the country, and dedicated to responsible execution of their jobs.

  • I also suspect Eisenhower never tried taking advantage of tax shelters as blatantly as Romney clearly has.

  • LauraNo

    Do you agree or disagree with her reasoning? What does what other people have done in the way of endorsements have to do with Eisenhower? Her opinion doesn’t count because you can point to a democrat endorsing a republican? Strange stuff. She makes eminent sense, dispute that if you feel the need. 

  • aunursa

    She is entitled to share her opinion.  I don’t need to agree or disagree with it.

    As for what counts: Democrats who endorsed a Democrat in 2008 and are endorsing the same Democrat in 2012 is not news.  A Democrat who endorsed a Democrat in 2008 and has since switched parties in 2012 is news.  Both Eisenhower and Davis are welcome to make their endorsements, and both of them count.  But only one of them is noteworthy.

    In spite of the fact that they are less influential in the age of the internet and cable TV, newspapers continue to make their election endorsements .  So far 28 newspapers that endorsed Obama in 2008 have changed their minds and now endorse Romney — including major newspapers in swing states Florida, Iowa, and Nevada.  That is more likely to affect the election than the fact that the New York Times endorsed a Democrat for the 14th consecutive election since 1960.  (I am not aware of any newspapers that switched from endorsing the Republican in 2008 to Obama in 2012.)  The changed minds are much more interesting than any individual’s argument for one candidate or the

  • Anton_Mates

    As for what counts: Democrats who endorsed a Democrat in 2008 and are endorsing the same Democrat in 2012 is not news.  A Democrat who endorsed a Democrat in 2008 and has since switched parties in 2012 is news.

    That’s an odd philosophy.  So news should never include any fact that’s been true for some time?  If a man bites a dog, it’s not helpful to know that it’s much more common for dogs to bite men?

    (And Artur Davis is about the least-surprising example of a D->R switch imaginable.)

    That is more likely to affect the election than the fact that the New York Times endorsed a Democrat for the 14th consecutive election since 1960. 

    Nonsense.  If the NYT and other major, traditionally pro-Democratic newspapers refused to endorse Obama or came out against him, there would be an uproar and his numbers would almost certainly take a hit.  This would affect the election.  Therefore, the NYT’s decision not to do this affects the election.

    The Chicago Tribune’s been running conservative endorsements since before the Civil War.  In 2008, Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate they’d ever endorsed, and a couple of days ago they endorsed him again.  News or not news?

    The Orlando Sentinel is, I believe, the largest Florida newspaper to switch from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012.  But the Sentinel has endorsed Republicans 11 times since 1956, and Democrats only 3 times.  News or not news?

    Despite the fact that many more major newspapers switched from D to R in the last four years than vice versa, Obama still holds a nearly 2:1 advantage over Romney in the combined circulation of the major papers endorsing him.  News or not news?

    It all sounds like news to me.

    (I am not aware of any newspapers that switched from endorsing the Republican in 2008 to Obama in 2012.)

    There’s a few.

  • LauraNo

    haha. You come to an article about someone endorsing a candidate, you comment on it in such a way as to (out of political bias) try to negate her reasoning without discussing her reasoning and then say you don’t need to agree or disagree with it. No I guess you don’t. 

  • aunursa

    If I wanted to try to negate her reasoning, I would have addressed her argument.  From the fact that I did not address her argument — I chose not to — you apparently conclude that I could not refute her reasoning.

    Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

  • aunursa

    There’s a few.

    I stand corrected.

  • Lorehead

    I don’t think that the direct descendants of famous politicians are particularly entitled to speak on behalf of their parents and grandparents.  And, for example, Michael and Ron Reagan disagree about politics.  What the Great Men of the past would have thought about our problems today is also more a question of historical than of moral interest.

    But if you were to pick a deceased former president to advise the nation on its problems today, I think you could do worse than the president who ended the Korean War, expanded and enriched the middle class, handled both Stalin and the Suez Crisis, and both appointed Earl Warren and enforced his most consequential decision.

  • Lorehead

    Look, I realize the election is next week, and therefore on all of our minds, but does every thread have to devolve into, “That favors Team Blue!  Let me now bring up something tangentially related that favors Team Red!”

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Pretty much, yeah.

  • Lori

    If we’re going to play the game we might as well make it more of a challenge.

    aunursa’s candidate has earned the coveted Triple Crown of mendacity from aunursa’s 3 favorite new hobby horses for his recent speech and TV ad claiming the Jeep is moving it’s production to China.

    A “pants on fire” from PolitiFact:

    4 Pinocchios from WaPo:

    A simply not true from FactCheck:

    All the other politicians must be so jealous and aunursa much be so proud.

    Cue some version of “Obama does it too” that is both untrue and irrelevant. (I won’t even try to guess what the specific untrue, irrelevant claim might be. My mind just isn’t twisted  enough for that.)