Prominent Clinton Supporter Coale Mines Support for McCain

By Natalie Gewargis

Sep 2, 2008 10:36am

The legendary Tammy Haddad snags a scoop for Newsweek, sitting down with prominent Washington DC attorney John Coale — a fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY — at the Republican convention, now backing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

"Well I’m here to go from supporting Hillary, who I campaigned with, I campaigned with her husband, her daughter, her whole family, brothers, and the mother, over a period of months, big Hillary supporter, pretty big fundraiser for her, I’m here to support John McCain for president," said Coale, husband of FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren.

Coale has given thousands of dollars in donations to Democrats over the years. He was a prominent supporter of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in 2004, raising money from lawyers who had like him worked on lawsuits against the tobacco industry. When Kerry endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, Coale subjected him to a "tongue-lashing," in the words of the New York Times.

"I think John McCain is basically what Obama says he is and what Obama is not," Coale said. "McCain brings people together, he has an incredible record of integrity."

Coale griped about sexism against Clinton, said Obama isn’t experienced enough to be president, and argued that the Democratic party has "been taken over by the moveon.org types."

He indicated that Clinton’s mother, with whom he was traveling, will "be fine" with his decision to back McCain. He says he’s "been traveling around with Carly Fiorina recruiting Democrats for McCain," and there are some prominent Democrats who have joined him, to be named later.

Coale also says that he told Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, to not attend the August 18th meeting with Fiorina in Scranton, Penn.

"I urged him not to go and told him it would embarrass his sister, but he has a mind of his own," Coale said, adding that Rodham asked Fiorina "about McCain’s Supreme Court picks."

- jpt

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