Hillraiser Turner considers the McCain option

Lifelong Democrat Caren Turner doesn’t plan to vote for Democrats out of a sense of nostalgia. In fact, she’s not sure she’s going to vote Democratic in the coming presidential election.

Turner, a Hillraiser who worked as part of the powerhouse New Jersey fundraising arm called the Group, was among those Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) holdouts who yesterday took part in a feel-out session with a surrogate of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ).

Of the group formerly known as “The Group,” Michael Kempner last month indicated his absolute adherence to the Obama campaign, as did the Rev. Reginald Jackson; John Graham and others last week sat down with Mark Alexander, senior policy advisor to Obama.

When it comes to presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.), Graham and others are getting there, and they plan a unity bash for State Party Chairman Joseph Cryan next Thursday.

But Turner’s not even close yet, and there were a number of factors in the primary that led her to this point.

“I believe the DNC (Democratic National Committee) is broken,” said the New Jersey native whose lobbying firm, Turner GPA, is based in Tenafly.

“The apportionment system is broken, the caucus system is broken, and the way Florida and Michigan were handled was appalling,” she added. “The bottom line is that as the owner of a lobbying business, I am appalled by the inefficiency of a system that should have been winner take all.”

In addition to the process flaws, Turner saw rampant misogyny on the trail, which neither Obama nor the party condemned, in her opinion. Among the guilty party, as Turner sees it, stands MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, who suggested the only reason Clinton is a U.S. Senator is because “her husband messed around.”

“This is a Yale Law graduate,” objected Turner, a member of Together4us, the Hillraiser website founded by businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

“I’m not proud of the way the party has handled itself,” Turner said. “I’m not proud. I am going to look carefully at the Republican platform.”

In Westchester, New York on Wednesday, two dozen Hillraisers chatted with Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive and McCain diehard.

“We’re reviewing strategic alliances with other groups that are like-minded, and we’re advocating that Hillary be shown respect by being nominated at the convention in a roll call vote – and we’d like her debt paid down,” Turner said.

Clinton on the ticket with Obama might get Turner to a place where she is more comfortable, she admitted, in addition to commitments by the DNC to more forcefully recruit candidates who are women.

Hillraiser Turner considers the McCain option