GOP bigwigs catching Hopenchange fever

Obama deserves our thanks for letting Republicans root for him, as well. He has created a space within his wide net of support for those of us who fought for John McCain’s candidacy by honoring the McCains at a dinner the night before his inauguration and by listening to McCain’s ideas on national security, climate change, and government reform. The Obamas have also returned the civility and warmth directed at them by president and Mrs. Bush in a way that sets this transition apart from others in recent history. This generosity of spirit has had a ripple effect throughout Republican circles. Two former senior aides to President George W. Bush said to me over the weekend, “I expect him [President Obama] to be there for eight years.” A former senior official of Bush’s re-election campaign predicted that he would contribute to Obama’s re-election effort. When I heard that, I said, “He hasn’t even been sworn in yet.” It didn’t matter. One former White House colleague who I ran into in a greenroom this weekend said, “I’m pleased with everything Obama’s done—it’s the press that’s driving me crazy.”