Obama's Republican Pal Gets Grief

Appearance in campaign ad costly for Ill. senate colleague
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2008 1:25 PM CDT
Barack Obama and Illinois Sen, Kirk Dillard share a light moment on the Senate floor at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., July 23, 2004.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
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(Newser) – Kirk Dillard is a lot like many Obama supporters. He came to respect and admire Obama, and he appeared in an early primary ad saying so. But the Illinois legislator also happens to be a Republican—and a delegate for John McCain. Now that Obama is the nominee, Dillard’s GOP colleagues have gotten hostile, Politico reports.

Dillard says he’s been passed over for paid party leadership positions because of the ad. “The partisans want to punish me,” he says. He thinks his treatment has made Obama’s other GOP admirers afraid to speak out. “That’s the problem with this country,” he says. “No one is willing to say something nice for 10 seconds about someone of a different race, party, and location.”