November 4th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
14 years ago

PUMA founder: Obama is Democrats' Bush

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="PUMA members still won't vote for Obama."]

(CNN) - When Will Bower, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter and lifelong Democrat, founded PUMA, Party Unity My A**, his mission was to express frustration in the Democratic Party. Fast forward six months to Election Day, and he is proud to say he's cast his ballot for the candidate he "trusts" most: John McCain.

"I see Barack Obama as essentially being the Democratic George Bush," Bower said. "It's a reactionary movement. People like John McCain and Hillary Clinton represent mores stability and sensibility to me."

Bower started the PUMA movement in the days leading up to the suspension of Clinton's presidential campaign in early June.

The initiative was not to rally support for McCain but to unite those who don't want Obama as president.

The group is predominantly composed of female Clinton supporters, Bower told CNN in early June, but he has also helped launch the Just Say No Deal, a nationwide coalition that he estimated has 2 million voters who are also vowing to "say no" to the Illinois senator.

The 36-year-old Washington resident has never voted for a Republican in his 18 years of qualifying to vote but said he feels that Obama does not represent the voice of the Democratic Party but the "leadership" of the Democratic National Committee.

"I didn't want to validate corruption or reward the campaign for what I thought was a fraudulent victory," Bower said. "What I am left with is a matter of trust. I have very little trust for Barack Obama. Even though John McCain and I might have differences on various issues, I trust him.

"[McCain is] a bipartisan leader, and I think that's the kind of leadership we need right now," Bower added.

Only during Clinton's convention speech in Denver, Colorado, did Bower consider not voting for McCain, but at no point was he swayed toward Obama.

He credits the Arizona senator's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in helping to decide his vote.

"I think [Sarah Palin] is essentially as qualified as Barack Obama," Bower said. "The benefit of Palin is that she is only second on the ticket, as opposed to first. I feel that Barack Obama is no more qualified than Sarah Palin."

As for the other members of PUMA, Bower says the majority will be casting votes for McCain, just as he did.

"There are plenty of PUMAs who are still not ready to go the extra step [and vote McCain], but they are not ready to vote for Obama, either."

Those voters, he says, will either abstain from voting, vote third-party or write in Clinton's name.

Only a small percentage of members have shifted toward supporting Obama, but if those members pull the lever for the Democratic nominee, they are "no longer a PUMA," Bower said.

soundoff (370 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Never heard of Will Boyer until now, but he lost me with "I think [Sarah Palin] is essentially as qualified as Barack Obama".


    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Ken

    Yeah except that he is actually smart. Its not a fair comparison.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Francisco J

    And who gets unity to go against something? A loser. Sorry, but it does sound like a sore loser to me too.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Jeremy

    What a blowhard. Yes, please by all means abstain from voting.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Nick

    I'm glad to hear that the Democratic Party's version of creationists and bigots are still crying over Mrs. Clinton spilling the milk. It's fun to hear them whine about how the party has moved in a direction other than a Clinton legacy.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Lynn

    Let's see...Warren Buffet, Colin Powell and Alaska's largest newspaper endorsed Obama. Nuff said!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. James

    Poor baby......

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Peter in New Mexico

    Bower, I am truly surprised you are smart enough to launch PUMA or any organization for that matter. How can you feel Palin is more qualified then Sen. Obama. Palin is a non issue. She, I don't believe is a flash in the pan, but she truly does not have a clue about anything. Nat'l gas pipe line!!! She had as much to do with that project as you did. Sen. McCain will lose this election by a landslide because of Palin.
    Sen. Obama has the charisma, the leadership qualities and the intelligence to be a GREAT WORLD LEADER.
    I was sorry Sen. Clinton didn't get the nomination, at first. It didn't take long to feel the way I do about Sen. Obama.
    Palin, you've got to be kidding. What an idiot!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Kathy in Colorado

    I supported Hillary in the primary, however today I cast my vote for McCain.

    I wasn't sure I would do it, but in the end I found the idea of voting for McCain less repugnant than joining the herd of SHEEP - a.k.a. Obama followers.

    Although I have a feeling that there will be a surprisingly large "silent majority" who voted as I did today!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Kevin

    Palin just as qualified as Obama? You have got to be kidding me.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule and Winky Half-baked Alaska

    Will Bower ... Get a life and get over yourself. I have some advice for you and Joe The Plumber: FLUSH IT, BABY!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. G B

    What a small minded jacka– and what a waste of time and money. Why is CNN even covering this?

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. dan

    This guy is immature beyond imagination. He needs professional therapy.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Biff Condor

    Will Bower is a immature jerk that obviously does not vote based on any set of values. If he supported Hillary, how can he vote for McCain? What an idiot.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. J D

    It sounds to me like a fake reality some people live under.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Canuck

    What a tool.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Jerry

    Looks like he is taking his Hillary Doll and not letting anyone else
    play with it.
    At least Hillary knew that Unity is more important then Ego.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Jon

    Sound like he has way to much time on his hands......but, thats why we live in America- the best country in the world- so he can have his views.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. paul

    anyone who sees Palin as qualified loses all credibility in my eyes. She is probably dumber and further to the right than Bush.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Simple

    Just say it that you are a "RACIST". Obama dont need your vote to win or to perform extra-ordinarily as president. The question you did not answer is may be you are still a Democrat or not? Just wait and see what will happen later today

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Sad in Ohio

    If the dems win the white house, I'd love them to check back in a couple of years and let me know if the 'changes' they are getting is what they expected or wanted.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. mijnos

    Good Luck Mr. PUMA.

    Obama is winning with or without your 2 million votes. You may go bury your head in the sand now.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. tarma

    Go PUMA!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Erik

    There so many things wrong with this viewpoint. First, Bower is upset because his candidate lost the primary. He is completely disregarding his ideology for spite. Second, Obama wasn't the DNC leadership choice; Clinton was clearly the establishment candidate. Leaders only began to support Obama when it was clear Clinton couldn't win the nomination. True Obama may be lacking experience, but I would question the judgement of a man who selects Palin as a running-mate. Clinton supporters should support their party; fellow Democrats have more in common than a conservative Republican who votes with his party 90% of the time. I see why Bower supports McCain–they both act like petulant children.

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. John Hendricks

    Trust who? We're talking politicians here, Will. By their very definition, they are–and to survive, must be–opportunists.

    "Trust" a politician? To do what? Vote his "conscience"? You gotta have one to vote one.

    This is a democracy, Will. We back a party because their positions on the issues are most-closely in alignment with ours. There's nothing "personal" about this. It's business! The business of government.

    The prevailing winds change. Politicians must change with them. And so must we. "Trust" has nothing to do with it!

    November 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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