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Pioneers With a
Change of Heart

In his interview with Dan Balz this week, Sen. Barack Obama presented himself as the Democrat best positioned to appeal to independent minded voters.

There are a handful of Obama donors who may help buttress that claim: the Bush Pioneers for Obama. If this group were to meet, they could sit around a small card table. But they do exist.

There is, for instance, John Canning, a deputy board chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Despite his years as a Pioneer, he gave the maximum $4,600 to Obama, telling Bloomberg News that GOP positions on issues such as stem cells left him "no longer ... on the same page" with his party.

Another Obama Pioneer, Staples founder Thomas Stemberg is splitting his ticket -- with donations to Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. And there is Jayne Carr Thompson, a Chicago publicist.

Bloomberg reported that there was at least one person in the highly unusual catagory of "Clinton Pioneer." That's Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who is also supporting Sen. John McCain.

--Matthew Mosk

By Washington Post editors  |  August 16, 2007; 5:15 PM ET
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