Republican reaction to an Obama presidency

January 19, 2009 11:57:32 PM PST
The significance of Tuesday's inauguration is not just being felt by Democrats, but Republicans as well. A look at what members of the GOP are thinking on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration.

Forty-seven percent of the voting public did not vote for Obama. Jill Buck of Pleasanton is among them. She voted for John McCain. Yet she, like the hundreds of thousands of people who have converged on Washington, D.C., believes this is a time to be hopeful and a time to celebrate.

"As a former naval officer I'm an American first and Republican next, so this is a great day in our nation's history, no question. Monumentous in many, many ways," says Buck.

Buck is on the executive committee of the California Republican Party and served as McCain's media director in California through Super Tuesday. She believes so far, Obama is walking the walk when it comes to promoting a spirit of bipartisanship.

Buck points to Obama's decision in keeping Robert Gates as defense secretary and Monday's dinner where the president-elect honored his former rival.

"I remain very hopeful that he will follow the example of his opponent during the presidential campaign and do what Senator McCain does so well, which is reach across the aisle and maintain those relationships. Not just a one-time dinner but a long-term working relationship," says Buck.

"The reality is they've built expectations so high," says Tom Del Beccaro, vice-chair of the California Republican Party, who is a lot less optimistic. He believes this time of hope will soon be overshadowed by the challenges that face the country.

"I think he's got so much on his plate and they've invested so much in him the person, in the hope that he's going to straighten things out, that I have concerns that anyone can live up to those expectations," says Del Beccaro.

Expectations are certainly high. According to the latest Pew Research Center Poll, most Americans see Obama as a problem solver and uniter. In fact, 79 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of Obama, including 59 percent of Republicans.