Irony of ironies for the racists, Colin Powell’s endorsement may very well have been the loosening of the final lugnut on a wheel of the McCain Straight Talk Express bus, causing the campaign to go into the ditch.
There is no way McCain will say anything to imply that Powell’s endorsement has anything to do with his being black. That would doom his candidacy.
As for loose nuts coming off rusty old wheels, I’m not surprised that the following came from Rush Limbaugh. It shows how scared he is of the impact of Powell’s endorsement.
Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race. OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with. I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star [general] and secretary of state and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let’s hear it for transformational figures. ( Email sent to Jonathan Martin of Politco)
I am disappointed in George Will however. This is what he said when asked on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos about the impact of Powell’s endorsement:
Some impact. And I think this adds to my calculation — this is very hard to measure — but it seems to me if we had the tools to measure we’d find that Barack Obama gets two votes because he’s black for every one he loses because he’s black because so much of this country is so eager, a, to feel good about itself by doing this, but more than that to put paid to the whole Al Sharpton/Jessee Jackson game of political rhetoric. (Watch video here)
If anybody connected directly with the campaign says that Powell endorsed Obama because of his race I am certain they will be rebuked.
Obviously racist supporters of McCain/Palin are already dismissing the endorsement for this reason, but their votes were always solid. At least those that don’t go to Palin rallies just to ogle her. I bet some of them won’t vote at all, those that are even registered that is.
I thought Powell fired a not too subtle shot across the McCain/Palin bow implying that he might reconsider his decision not to get involved in campaigning if the negative personal attacks like the Ayers thing continue.
McCain does not want Powell actively involved in campaigning for Obama because he knows how popular he is with many moderate Republicans. McCain needs the votes of moderate Republicans and some Reagan Democrats to win. It is likely he just lost a few who were still wavering and who watched all seven minutes of the Powell endorsement. That’s where the power came, not just the fact of the endorsement, but of the reasons laid out. (Photo, President Ronald Reagan and then National Security Adviser Powell in 1988.)
Some people have questioned whether Powell is really in touch with the black experience inasmuch as Democrats often consider that any African American who’s a Republican has “sold out”. I wondered about whether he grew up affluent and discovered the following:
“Powell was born in Harlem, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan in 1937 to Jamaican immigrant parents and was raised in the South Bronx. He also has Scottish, and other ancestries. Powell attended Morris High School, a former public school in The Bronx, New York City, from which he graduated in 1954. While in school, he worked a local shop where he picked up Yiddish from the shopkeepers and some of the customers. He remembers some of his Yiddish to this day. He gained a bachelor’s degree in geology from City College of New York attaining a “C” average… ” (Wikipedia) City College is the free university open only to residents and considered on par with Harvard. It was there that he was in ROTC.
In another part of the interview Brokaw asked him about his role in the lead-up to the Iraq war. Of course many Democrats have been highly critical of him and view him as the only person who could have stopped the invasion of Iraq. I thought Powell’s answers were evasive and defensive. You can read his answer here and judge for yourself.
It seems to me he’d rather not discuss his relationship with the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney. But he made it clear even before this interview, and again during it, that he is a moderate Republican and to me that means not a neocon. Here’s a quote:
Powell was the subject of controversy in 2004 when, in a conversation with British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, he reportedly referred to neoconservatives within the Bush administration as “fucking crazies”.. from Powell’s political views on Wikipedia
I don’t recall any evidence that he embraced any of the underlying neocon philosophy, although he did have to work with the likes of Wolfowitz and Cheney.
I think Obama can and should show he’s willing to work with moderate Republicans currently in Congress*, and that if asked he shouldn’t rule out asking Powell to have a role in the administration. Brokaw mentioned a few possibilities, one of them was as some kind of envoy to work on the Palestinian Israel conflicts. The Yiddish he learned as a child might come in handy. Can you see him teamed with Bill Clinton? Now that would be some star power to rival the Star of Bethlehem. If we can only find the third Magi…
*such as senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine, Gordon Smith, OR, Arlen Spector, PA, Norm Coleman, MN, Richard Lugar, ID, George Voinovich, OH., John Warner, VA and Chuck Hagel, Nebraska.
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