WASHINGTON – This week may see the biggest presidential inauguration in US history, but conservative uber-pundit Bill Kristol has vowed to leave Washington until the Obama mania subsides.
For his part, right-of-center radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh declares he will be "the last man standing," and will never give in to fervour surrounding new president Barack Obama.
While much of the United States is all aflutter about the inauguration of a Democrat, some conservatives -- embittered by losing the White House for the first time in eight years -- say they will sit out the inauguration festivities.
"I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance,'" Limbaugh said on his program last week.
The arch-conservative radio commentator has said he is immune to Obama's message of hope and reconciliation, and said he has every reason to be unmoved, even if a large number of Republicans have joined the bandwagon.
"I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed," he said.
Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, took umbrage in a recent column in the New York Times at the "presumption" of Obama's handlers of linking the president-elect's inauguration to that of his idol, Abraham Lincoln.
"It might be a good idea if, when he takes the oath, Obama makes sure that the Good Book is open to Proverbs 16:18, and its reminder that 'Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,'" he wrote last month.
Opinion polls Sunday showed that four of five Americans are eagerly anticipating the dawn of the Obama era -- a number suggesting that a large percentage of Republicans are among the supporters feeling the love for the nation's first African-American president.
But leading Republican pundits have slammed Obama's proposed mammoth economic stimulus proposal as a waste of taxpayers' money, and they have gone out of their way to accentuate the negative -- even in the face of overwhelmingly positive polling for the next president.
Byron York, a commentator with the conservative National Review, predicted the honeymoon would be brief, once voters realize that Obama's positions on pulling troops from Iraq, and sending them from Afghanistan, differ from theirs.
"This is something that is not talked about enough," he said on "Fox News Sunday" adding Obama and his team "may not get the kind of American support that they thought they would."
Kristol meanwhile said, ideological differences aside, the crush of visitors thronging the US capital this week was more than enough reason to skip town.
"With millions of people expected to descend on Washington for the inauguration, with the Metro (subway system) overloaded, and roads and bridges closing ... I have to admit that getting out of town seems like a pretty good idea."