April 21, 2008, 4:49 pm
A Nixon for Obama
By Michael Luo
If the children who have inhabited the White House are Americaâs
princes and princesses, Senator Barack Obama already got a head start
in collecting royal blessings with Caroline Kennedyâs endorsement
earlier this year.
But soon after Ms. Kennedy made her very public endorsement at the end
of January, one of her predecessors of Republican lineage made her own
Yes, Julie Nixon Eisenhower is an Obama-can.
Just before the crush of states that voted on Feb. 5, Ms. Eisenhower,
one of two daughters of President Richard M. Nixon and his wife, Pat,
made a $1,000 contribution to Mr. Obama, according to campaign finance
records. Two weeks later, she gave another $1,000. And early last
month, she donated another $300, reaching the contribution limit for
individuals for the primary.
Back in 1968, just prior to her father entering the White House, Ms.
Eisenhower, then 20, married Dwight David Eisenhower II, the grandson
of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a ceremony at Marble Collegiate
Church in New York officiated by Norman Vincent Peale. Nixon had been
Eisenhowerâs vice president, and the pair met as children.
In her decision to give to Mr. Obama, Ms. Eisenhower might have been
influenced by her sister-in-law, Susan Eisenhower, who wrote an Op-Ed
for the Washington Post in February entitled, âWhy Iâm Backing Obama,â
alluding to how her grandfather, who with Nixon as his running mate,
delivered the White House to Republicans after a 20-year drought, was
able to attract cross-over support from Democrats.
Julie Nixon Eisenhower, who wrote a biography of her mother and is
active in civic causes in the Philadelphia area, has given
sporadically over the years to Republican candidates and committees,
according to campaign finance records. She gave $1,000 to President
Bush and another $1,000 to the Republican National Committee, for
instance, in the 2004 election cycle. In the 2000 presidential race,
she donated $1,000 to Senator John McCainâs unsuccessful run.
But what about her older sister, Tricia?
Politics may be contributing to a family feud. The two Nixon offspring
clashed several years ago over the administration of the Richard Nixon
Library, before pair settled a lawsuit in court-ordered mediation.
Patricia Nixon Cox is married to Edward F. Cox, a New York lawyer who
briefly ran against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for her Senate seat
in 2005 and was Senator John McCainâs New York state chairman for the
Staying true to her Republican roots, Ms. Cox gave $4,600 to Mr.
McCain last year.