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Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama on NBC's "Meet the Press." Turned off by McCain focus on Ayers. Transcript

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UPDATED with Obama campaign react, Colin Powell interview after "Meet the Press" and transcript

WASHINGTON--Barack Obama picked up a key endorsement Sunday from former Bush administration Secretary of State, retired Gen. Colin Powell, who made the announcement on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Powell, the son of immigrant parents from Jamaica who rose to the top ranks in military and government, told Tom Brokaw he will cast his vote for Obama but won't go out on the stump with him. Powell was critical of the John McCain campaign: its embrace of negative tactics, emphasis on Bill Ayers and sharp right turn.

He praised Obama's "ability to inspire," pick for vice president-- Joe Biden-- and for running an "inclusive" campaign crossing racial, ethnic and generational lines. Powell said Obama was a "transformational" figure and was clearly troubled by McCain tapping Sarah Palin because he praised Biden as ready to lead from day one.


Obama called Powell and thanked him for his endorsement and said how honored he was to have it, spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Gibbs said Obama told Powell he looked forward to taking advantage of his advice in the next two weeks and hopefully over the next four years in their ten minute talk.

Powell served under four presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and President Bush. This is one of Obama's most major endorsements--and his biggest Republican name. Powell's nod comes at a time where McCain and Sarah Palin have been portraying Obama as risky because of his associations, stressing his relationship with Bill Ayers, a former terrorist now a University of Illinois-Chicago education professor.

Powell's endorsement undercuts those arguments and also shores up Obama in states with a large military population.

Brokaw asked if race played a role in Powell's decision. Powell is one of the leading African American figures in the nation. "If I only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, ten months ago," Powell said.

Taking questions from reporters outside of the NBC Washington Bureau after taping the show, I asked Powell about the role McCain's negative campaign tone against Obama played in his decision.

"It troubled me," he said.

"We have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education problems. We have infrastructure problems. We have problems around the world with out allies.

"And so those are the problems the American people want to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who is a Muslim and who is not a Muslim.

"Those kinds of images going out on Al Jazeera are killing us around the world."

TRANSCRIPT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact:

Jennifer L Tartikoff
212-664-2271
jenny.tartikoff@nbcuni.com


IN A "MEET THE PRESS" EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE GENERAL
COLIN POWELL ENDORSES SENATOR BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT

(New York) - October 19, 2008 - Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell
(Ret.) endorses Sen. Barack Obama, D-Il., in an exclusive interview with NBC's
Tom Brokaw on "Meet the Press." Powell, who had been courted by both Obama and
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., breaks his recent silence and shares his reasons for
crossing party lines to endorse Sen. Obama.

Below is the "Meet the Press" Transcript for Sunday, Oct. 19 -- if used,
mandatory credit: NBC News' "Meet the Press"

MR. TOM BROKAW: Our issues this Sunday: He served as President George W. Bush's
Secretary of State and was once called the man most likely to become the
nation's first African- American president. He has been courted by both the
Obama and McCain presidential campaigns and said this last month:
(Videotape)

GEN. COLIN POWELL (RET.): I have been watching both of these individuals. I know
them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I'm going to vote for yet.
(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: Is he now ready to make an endorsement in this presidential race?
What are his thoughts on the major issues facing the country and the world? Our
exclusive guest this Sunday, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell.

Then, with 16 days to go, Decision 2008 heads into the home stretch. What states
still are in play? We will hear the latest on some new state polls with NBC's
political director, Chuck Todd. Also, insights and analysis on the race to the
White House with David Brooks of The New York Times, Jon Meacham of Newsweek
magazine, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's "Morning
Joe."

But first, General Colin Powell, welcome back to MEET THE PRESS.

GEN. POWELL: Thank, thank you, Tom.

MR. BROKAW: We indicated in that opening, there is a lot of anticipation and
speculation about your take on this presidential campaign. We'll get to that in
a moment. But in your old business we might call this a tour of the horizon.
Whoever's elected president of the United States, that first day in the Oval
Office on January 21st will face this: an American economy that's in a near
paralytic state at this time; we're at war in two different countries,
Afghanistan and Iraq; we have an energy crisis; we have big decisions to make
about health care and about global climate change. The president of the United
States and the Congress of the United States now have the highest disapproval
ratings that we have seen in many years. In all your years of public service,
have you ever seen an incoming president face such daunting challenges?

GEN. POWELL: No. I have seen more difficult times in our history. I think about
the early '70s when we were going through Watergate, Spiro Agnew, Nixon period,
that was not a good time. But right now we're also facing a very daunting
period. And I think the number one issue the president's going to have to deal
with is the economy. That's what the American people are worried about. And,
frankly, it's not just an American problem, it's an international problem. We
can see how all of these economies are now linked in this globalized system. And
I think that'll be number one. The president will also have to make decisions
quickly as to how to deal with Iraq and Afghanistan. And also I think the
president has to reach out to the world and show that there is a new president,
a new administration that is looking forward to working with our friends and
allies. And in my judgment, also willing to talk to people who we have not been
willing to talk to before. Because this is a time for outreach.

MR. BROKAW: Given the state of the American economy, can we continue our
military
commitments around the world at the level that they now exist?

GEN. POWELL: We can. I think we have to look as to whether they have to be at
that level. But we have the wealth, we have the wherewithal to do that. (Clears
throat) Excuse me, Tom. We have the ability to do that. And so, first and
foremost, we have to review those commitments, see what they are, see what else
is needed, and make sure we give our troops what they need to get the job done
as we have defined the job. We have that ability.

MR. BROKAW: If you were called into the Oval Office on January 21st by the new
president, whoever it happens to be, and he said to you, "General Powell, I need
from you your recommendation on where I begin. What should be my priorities?"
Where would you start?

GEN. POWELL: I would start with talking to the American people and talking to
the world, and conveying a new image of American leadership, a new image of
America's role in the world. The problems will always be there, and there's
going to be a crisis come along in the 21st or 22nd of January that we don't
even know about right now. And so I think what the president has to do is to
start using the power of the Oval Office and the power of his personality to
convince the American people and to convince the world that America is solid,
America is going to move forward, and we're going to fix our economic problems,
we're going to meet our overseas obligations. But restoring a sense of purpose,
a sense of confidence in the American people and, in the international
community, in America.

MR. BROKAW: What's not on the screen right now that concerns you that should be
more prominent in the minds of the American people and the people running for
president?

GEN. POWELL: I think the American people and the gentlemen running for president
will have to, early on, focus on education more than we have seen in the
campaign so far. America has a terrible educational problem in the sense that we
have too many youngsters not finishing school. A third of our kids don't finish
high school, 50 percent of minorities don't finish high school. We've got to
work on this, and my, my wife and I are leading a campaign with this purpose.
Also, I think, the new president has to realize that the world looks to America
for leadership, and so we have to show leadership on some issues that the world
is expecting us to, whether it's energy, global warming and the environment. And
I think we have to do a lot more with respect to poverty alleviation and helping
the needy people of the world. We need to increase the amount of resources we
put into our development programs to help the rest of the world. Because when
you help the poorest in the world, you start to move them up an economic and
social ladder, and they're not going to be moving toward violence or terrorism
of the kind that we
worry about.

MR. BROKAW: Well, let's move to the American presidential campaign now, if we
can. We saw at the beginning of this broadcast a short tease of what you had to
say just a month ago. Let's share with our viewers now a little more of Colin
Powell on these two candidates and your position.
(Videotape, September 20, 2008)

GEN. POWELL: I'm an American, first and foremost, and I'm very proud--I said,
I've said, I've said to my beloved friend and colleague John McCain, a friend of
25 years, "John, I love you, but I'm not just going to vote for you on the basis
of our affection or friendship." And I've said to Barack Obama, "I admire you.
I'll give you all the advice I can. But I'm not going to vote for you just
because you're black." We, we have to move beyond this.
(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: General Powell, actually you gave a campaign contribution to Senator
McCain. You have met twice at least with Barack Obama. Are you prepared to make
a public declaration of which of these two candidates that you're prepared to
support?

GEN. POWELL: Yes, but let me lead into it this way. I know both of these
individuals very well now. I've known John for 25 years as your setup said. And
I've gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the past two years. Both of them
are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the welfare
of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president. I have
said to Mr. McCain that I admire all he has done. I have some concerns about the
direction that the party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the
right than I would like to see it, but that's a choice the party makes. And I've
said to Mr. Obama, "You have to pass a test of do you have enough experience,
and do you bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that
you would be a good president." And I've watched him over the past two years,
frankly, and I've had this conversation with him. I have especially watched over
the last six of seven weeks as both of them have really taken a final exam with
respect to this economic crisis that we are in and coming out of the
conventions. And I must say that I've gotten a good measure of both. In the case
of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to deal with the economic
problems that we were having and almost every day there was a different approach
to the problem. And that concerned me, sensing that he didn't have a complete
grasp of the economic problems that we had. And I was also concerned at the
selection of Governor Palin. She's a very distinguished woman, and she's to be
admired; but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for
some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United
States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question
in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made. On the Obama side, I
watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he
displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an
approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I
think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and
changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a, a
definitive way of doing business that would serve us well. I also believe that
on the Republican side over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican
Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower. Mr. Obama, at the same
time, has given us a more inclusive, broader reach into the needs and
aspirations of our people. He's crossing lines--
ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines. He's thinking about all villages
have values, all towns have values, not just small towns have values. And I've
also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain
has taken recently, or his campaign ads, on issues that are not really central
to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers
situation that's been going on for weeks
became something of a central point of the campaign. But Mr. McCain says that
he's a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him? And
why do we have these robocalls going on around the country trying to suggest
that, because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had
with Mr. Ayers, somehow, Mr. Obama is tainted. What they're trying to connect
him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that's inappropriate.
Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one
another, and that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made
the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are
looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they
trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor
Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with
two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be
looking at in a McCain administration. I'm also troubled by, not what Senator
McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said
such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct
answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian.
But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with
being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there
something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he
or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop
the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is
not the way we should be doing it in America. I feel strongly about this
particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay
about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the
tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had
her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you
could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart,
Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death.
He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have
a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star
of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an
American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11,
and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we
have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as
nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within
the party, we have these kinds of expressions. So, when I look at all of this
and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of
them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now?
Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period
of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire,
because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all
across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical
abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he
has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful
president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational
figure. He is a new generation coming into the world-- onto the world stage,
onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack
Obama.

MR. BROKAW: Will you be campaigning for him as well?
GEN. POWELL: I don't plan to. Two weeks left, let them go at each other in the
finest tradition. But I will be voting for him.

MR. BROKAW: I can already anticipate some of the reaction to this. Let's begin
with the
charge that John McCain has continued to make against Barack Obama. You sit
there, as a man who served in Vietnam, you commanded a battalion of 101st, you
were chairman of the Joint Chiefs, you were a national security adviser and
secretary of state. There is nothing in Barack Obama's history that nearly
paralyze any--parallels any of the experiences that you've had. And while he has
performed impressively in the context of the campaign, there's a vast difference
between sitting in the Oval Office and making tough decisions and doing well in
a campaign.

GEN. POWELL: And he knows that. And I have watched him over the last two years
as he has educated himself, as he has become very familiar with these issues. He
speaks authoritatively. He speaks with great insight into the challenges we're
facing of a military and political and economic nature. And he is surrounding
himself, I'm confident, with people who'll be able to give him the expertise
that he, at the moment, does not have. And so I have watched an individual who
has intellectual vigor and who dives deeply into issues and approaches issues
with a very, very steady hand. And so I'm confident that he will be ready to
take on these challenges on January 21st.

MR. BROKAW: And you are fully aware that there will be some--how many, no one
can say for sure--but there will be some who will say this is an
African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American
because of race.

GEN. POWELL: If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight,
10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have
the highest respect and regard for, John McCain, and somebody I was getting to
know, Barack Obama. And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled
on this. And I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an
African-American to become president. And should that happen, all Americans
should be proud-not just African-Americans, but all Americans--that we have
reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It
will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world.

MR. BROKAW: You have some differences with Barack Obama. He has said that once
he takes office, he wants to begin removing American troops from Iraq. Here's
what you had to say about that: "I have found in my many years of service, to
set arbitrary dates that don't coincide with the situation on the ground or what
actually is happening tends not to be a useful strategy. ... Arbitrary deadlines
that are snatched out of the air and are based on some lunar calculation is not
the way to run a military or a strategic operation of this type." That was on
February 10th of this year on CNN. Now that you have Barack Obama's ear in a new
fashion, will you say to him, "Drop your idea of setting a deadline of some kind
to pull the troops out of Iraq"?

GEN. POWELL: First of all, I think that's a great line, and thanks for pulling
it up. And I
believe that. But as I watch what's happening right now, the United States is
negotiating the-an agreement with the Iraqi government that will call for most
major combat operations to cease by next June and for American forces to start
withdrawing to their bases. And that agreement will also provide for all
American troops to be gone by 2011, but conditioned on the situation as it
exists at that time. So there already is a timeline that's being developed
between the Iraqis and the United States government. So I think whoever becomes
the president, whether it's John McCain or whether it's Barack Obama, we're
going to see a continued drawdown. And when, you know, which day so many troops
come out or what units come out, that'll be determined by the commanders and the
new president. But I think we are on a glide path to reducing our presence in
Iraq over the next couple of years. Increasingly, this problem's going to be
solved by the Iraqis. They're going to make the political decisions, their
security forces are going to take over, and they're going to have to create an
environment of reconciliation where all the people can
come together and make Iraq a much, much better place.

MR. BROKAW: Let me go back to something that you raised just a moment ago, and
that's William Ayers, a former member of the Weathermen who's now active in
school issues in Illinois. He had some past association with Barack Obama.
Wouldn't it have been more helpful for William Ayers to, on his own, to have
renounced his own past? Here was a man who was a part of the most radical group
that existed in America at a time when you were serving in Vietnam, targeting
the Pentagon, the Capitol. He wrote a book about it that came out on 2001, on
September 11th that said, "We didn't bomb enough."

GEN. POWELL: It's despicable, and I have no truck for William Ayers. I think
what he did was despicable, and to continue to talk about it in 2001 is also
despicable. But to suggest that because Mr. Barack Obama had some contacts of a
very casual nature--they sat on a educational board--over time is somehow
connected to his thinking or his actions, I think, is a, a terrible stretch.
It's demagoguery.

MR. BROKAW: I want to ask you about your own role in the decision to go to war
in Iraq. Barack Obama has been critical of your appearance before the United
Nations at that time. Bob Woodward has a new book out called "The War Within,"
and here's what he had to say about Colin Powell and his place in the
administration: "Powell ... didn't think [Iraq] was a necessary war, and yet he
had gone along in a hundred ways, large and small. He had resisted at times but
had succumbed to the momentum and his own sense of deference--even obedience--to
the president. ... Perhaps more than anyone else in the administration, Powell
had been the `closer' for the president's case on war."
And then you were invited to appear before the Iraq Study Group. "`Why did we go
into Iraq with so few people?' [former Secretary of State James] Baker asked.
... `Colin just exploded at that point,' [former Secretary of Defense William]
Perry recalled later. `He unloaded,' Former White House Chief of Staff] Leon
Panetta added. `He was angry. He was mad as hell.' ... Powell left [the Study
Group meeting]. Baker turned to Panetta and said solemnly, `He's the one guy who
could have perhaps prevented this from happening.'"
What's the lesson in all of that for a former--for a new secretary of state or
for a new national security adviser, based on your own experience?

GEN. POWELL: Well, let's start at the beginning. I said to the president in
2002, we should try to solve this diplomatically and avoid war. The president
accepted that recommendation, we took it to the U.N. But the president, by the
end of 2002, believed that the U.N. was not going to solve the problem, and he
made a decision that we had to prepare for military action. I fully supported
that. And I have never said anything to suggest I did not support going to war.
I thought the evidence was there. And it is not just my closing of the whole
deal with my U.N. speech. I know the importance of that speech, and I regret a
lot of the information that the intelligence community provided us was wrong.
But three months before my speech, with a heavy majority, the United States
Congress expressed its support to use military force if it was necessary. And so
we went in and used military force. My unhappiness was that we didn't do it
right. It was easy to get to Baghdad, but then we forgot that there was a lot
more that had to be
done. And we didn't have enough force to impose our will in the country or to
deal with the insurgency when it broke out, and that I regret.

MR. BROKAW: Removing the weapons of mass destruction from the equation...

GEN. POWELL: I also assure you that it was not a correct assessment by anybody
that my statements or my leaving the administration would have stopped it.

MR. BROKAW: Removing the weapons of mass destruction from the equation, because
we now know that they did not exist, was it then a war of necessity or just a
war of choice?

GEN. POWELL: Without the weapons of mass destruction present, as conveyed to us
by the intelligence community in the most powerful way, I don't think there
would have been a war. It was the reason we took it to the public, it was the
reason we took it to the American people to the Congress, who supported it on
that basis, and it's the presentation I made to the United Nations. Without
those weapons of mass destruction then Iraq did not present to the world the
kind of threat that it did if it had weapons of mass destruction.

MR. BROKAW: You do know that there are supporters of Barack Obama who feel very
strongly about his candidacy because he was opposed to the war from the
beginning, and they're going to say, "Who needs Colin Powell? He was the guy who
helped get us into this mess."

GEN. POWELL: I'm not here to get their approval or lack of approval. I am here
to express my view as to who I'm going to vote for.

MR. BROKAW: There's a summing up going on now as, as the Bush/Cheney
administration winds down. We'd like to share with our audience some of what you
had to say about the two
men who are at the top of the administration. At the convention in 2000, this is
Colin Powell on President Bush and Dick Cheney at that time.
(Videotape, July 31, 2000)

GEN. POWELL: Dick Cheney is one of the most distinguished and dedicated public
servants this nation has ever had. He will be a superb vice president.
The Bush/Cheney team will be a great team for America. They will put our nation
on a course of hope and optimism for this new century.
(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: Was that prophetic or wrong?

GEN. POWELL: It's what I believed. It reflected the agenda of the new president,
compassionate conservatism. And some of it worked out. I think we have advanced
our freedom agenda, I think we've done a lot to help people around the world
with our programs of development. I think we've done a lot to solve some
conflicts such as in Liberia and elsewhere. But, at the same time, we have
managed to convey to the world that we are more unilateral than we really are.
We have not explained ourself well enough. And we, unfortunately, have left an
impression with the world that is not a good one. And the new president is going
to have to fix the reputation that we've left with the rest of the world. Now,
let me make a point here. The United States is still seen as the leader at the
world that wants to be free. Even though the numbers are down with respect to
favorability ratings, at every embassy and consular office tomorrow morning that
we have, people will be lined up, and they'll all say the same thing, "We want
to go to America." So we're still the leader of the world that wants to be free.
We are still the inspiration of the rest of the world. And we can come back. In
2000, it was moment where I believed that the new administration coming in would
be able to achieve the agenda that President-elect Bush had set out of
compassionate conservatism.

MR. BROKAW: But it failed?

GEN. POWELL: I don't think it was as successful--excuse me (clears throat)--I
don't think it was as successful as it might have been. And, as you see from the
presidential approval ratings, the American people have found the administration
wanting.

MR. BROKAW: Let me as, you a couple of questions--quick questions as we wrap all
of this up. I know you're very close to President Bush 41. Are you still in
touch with him on a regular basis? And what do you think he'll think about you
this morning endorsing Barack Obama?

GEN. POWELL: I will let President Bush 41, speak for himself and let others
speak for
themselves, just as I have spoken for myself. Let me make one point, Tom, both
Senator McCain and Senator Obama will be good presidents. It isn't easy for me
to disappoint Senator McCain in the way that I have this morning, and I regret
that. But I strongly believe that at this point in America's history, we need a
president that will not just continue, even with a new face and with some
changes and with some maverick aspects, who will not just continue, basically,
the policies that we have been following in recent years. I think we need a
transformational figure. I need-- think we need a president who is a
generational change. And that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama. Not out of any
lack of respect or admiration for Senator John McCain.

MR. BROKAW: And finally, how much of a factor do you think race will be when
voters go into that booth on November 4th?

GEN. POWELL: I don't know the answer to that question. One may say that it's
going to be a big factor, and a lot of people say they will vote for Senator
Obama but they won't pull a lever. Others might say that has already happened.
People are already finding other reasons to say they're not voting for him.
"Well, he's a Muslim," "He's this." So we have already seen the so-called
"Bradley factor" in the current--in the current spread between the candidates.
And so that remains to be seen. I hope it is not the case. I think we have
advanced considerably in this country since the days of Tom Bradley. And I hope
that is not the case. It would be very unfortunate if it were the case.

MR. BROKAW: Finally, if Senator Obama is elected president, will there be a
place for Colin Powell in that administration? Maybe as the ambassador at large
in Africa or to take on the daunting task of resolving the Israeli/Palestinian
issue?

GEN. POWELL: I served 40 years in government, and I--I'm not looking forward to
a position or an assignment. Of course, I have always said if a president asks
you to do something, you have to consider it. But I am in no way interested in
returning to government. But I, of course, would sit and talk to any president
who wishes to talk to me.

MR. BROKAW: You're not ruling it out?

GEN. POWELL: I would sit and talk to any president who wishes to talk to me, but
I'm not anxious to rule it in.

MR. BROKAW: General Colin Powell, thank you very much for being with us this
morning. Appreciate it.

GEN. POWELL: Thank you, Tom.

# # #

50 Comments

He is a traitor. It was the Republican party that gave hims every opportunity right up to being Secretary of State. But, of course, it is not about race.

I have always respected this man and thought that he was one of the few people, who served under Bush, to be honest. I trust his judgement. I'm voting Obama/Biden.

what general powell said this monin was heart warning. i have the utmost respect for that man. i beieve sen mccain is a good person but, keeps telling lie to tryand win this election.i don't trust him. what put the nail in the coffin is when he choose that running mate. goc palin couldnt run a chicken house,let alon te us of amercia. that is scary.

Colin Powell is a republican of the utmost integrity. He emulates Obama in his calm demeanor, his eloquence and his intelligence. This is what the U.S needs in these difficult times to help restore peace to this world. We can no longer continue to think of just the USA, we do need to think of ourselves as "citizens of the world." GO OBAMA!


Note: Please do not publish my e-mail address

I applaud General Powell for endorsing Senator Obama. I shows he is leader who knows what it takes to make our country great. As a democrat, I would have voted for Gen. Powell if he were running for US President. I feel that Senator Obama will make an awesome president. He has clearly demostrated that he is capable of leading diverse groups of people and is clearly a true representative of this great country!!!

God Bless America!!!

This is the type of "Across Party Lines" Barack needs. Just makes me wonder......How would the Republican Party praise Powell if he were to run.

I WAS BEGINNING TO THINK THAT THERE WERE NO HONORABLE REPUBLICANS LEFT.

Colin Powell just upgraded his respect in my opinion, that is what you call going across party lines and for the first time this month i heard a republican actually make sense of what they were talking about. Powell hit it right on the head about the story of the 20 yr old killed in Iraq. So what if he was muslim? Isnt that what americas all about FREEDOM??? This has been a nasty election but i think the Democratic party is better suited to lead htis country for the next EIGHT years. McCain needs to be reminded this is not the 70's.

Republicans will regret not giving Romney the nomination.

I have always admired and respected Colin Powell...until now

Great. A man we all respect whose wise consul was ignored by the ignorant neo-cons of the shrub presidency to our chagrin weights in with SOUND and correct endorsement. The Negative ads, the Palin VP, and the swerve to the right turned me off Mccain already.

Colin Powell is a man of distinction and he was 100% correct in his assessment of the whole election this year.

An angry ex POW with samo policies would sink this country further in the mud. We need to correct for the failures (plural and many) of the last 8 years.

This man is one of integrity and loves his country. He is not narrow minded to support the Republican party just because you have always been Republican. We need to really look at the facts. The character of both individuals and consider how that will impress his decisions in the oval office. We need to look at the substance and not what party we have been involved over the years. We may want to ask, what has our president done the last 8 years that is a member of our party? I received this and wanted to share;

Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around?.....think about it.
Would the country's collective point of view be different?

Ponder the following:
What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including
a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe
disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while
he was still married?
What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain
killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
(The Keating Five were five United States Se nators accused of corruption
in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings
and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?
What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included
disc ipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?
What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many
occasions, a serious anger management problem?
What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?
What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?
You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality,
do you really believe the election numbers would b e as close as they are?
This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes
positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in
another when there is a color difference.
Educational Background:
Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)
vs.
John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899
Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism
Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in
the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.


I always respected Powell. He's a good man. If Powell would have opted to run for president, he would have had my vote. My respect for him just got greater.

I think that Gen.Powell the very essence of what America is about (education,country,honor and respect),which is what this country was built on.With his endorsement of Obama,I believe all Americans who love this country,will certainly take notice.

Powell's time-sensitive, calculated endorsement comes at a time when he squanders very little of his political capital and influence. He could have made this annoucement, and made his denouncements of McCain's numerous nasty and unfounded attacks, at the peak of the frenzied, mass maniacical Republic party falsifications at Obama. Now that millions of change-seeking Americans have already publicly taking their stand to support Obama, giving of their time, money and sweat, his final coming out of his Republic closet is no less dramatic than the emergence of Joe the plumber. Powell, it's a little bit too late and too less costly to now take a stand. Where were you when it really could have cost you the wrath of your party? If he's really genuinely supportive of Barrack, he should get out effective immediately and translate his "words" of endorsement into action, and begin tirelessly campaigning for the next president of these United States, Barrack Obama.

As a Republican I will be voting for Barack Obama Because of the choice GOP Vice President Palin , it is scarely. The negative campaign it too much to swallow. We have tannished our image around the world by castigating other races.The only President who can restore that is OBAMA/BIDEN

I thought General Powell endorsement was right on. Powell put a lot of thought into his decision making, I truly believe race or color had no part in Powell's endorsement.

The voice of reason!

I'm very disappointed with Powell's endorsement of Barack, and my respect for Powell has been shaken. You think you know an individual's character by his actions and comments, but for some reason Powell has done just the opposite of what I think he has portrayed for the years.
It worries and troubles me that Powell thinks quote:

"the next individual to serve as president of the United States will have to reach out to the world community, and he believes Obama has both style and substance to be successful in that role. I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming into, onto the world stage and the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama,"

Isn't this about what Barack's desire is....to be a world leader at America's expense and downfall to socialism. Barack is a seeker of world power and because of his views, I am afraid, he seeks to bring America down to where radicals think we should be.

God help America.

Thank You General Powell!

It' s amazing to see the real thought & emotion this man (Colin Powell) brings out of people given his recent endorsement_ clearly the General remains influential!

A small disclaimer- I am 28 yearold, african american, a Republican since highschool, and a working professional.

I agree with Powell's remarks on both candidates, and I also agree with an ealier writers remarks about Mitt Romney (I voted for Romney during the Primary-ROMNEY/RICE 2012).

I voted for McCain given his policy agenda on National Defense, Healthcare, and Education. Unfortunately there's been little dialogue during the debates on Social Security. As a 28 yearold i've paid roughly 27K into the system (i'd like a choice to invest my employee contribution for the opportunity of higher return).

Also, the federal government takes almost 15K right off the top off my income and I can tell you as a single man "trying" to make it, this p*&#@# me OFF.

General Powell clearly (at least in what he articulated) weighted other issues more so in his assessment, but given the current climate domestically I feel many voters are looking for a change of policies in the White House.

All things being equal, if the current Administration were ending its term during the Economic Climate of the Clinton Year's I doubt Obama's message would be resonating in the manner it is......TIMING IS EVERYTHING.

Nevertheless, as a moderate - I fear that General Powell's thoughts are ideas that have already crossed the minds of many Americans.

.......until Election Day!

First of all it is no surprise to many that General Powell is backing Obama, but to suggest that Obama's campaign is completely positive...to say that he personally does not attack is totalling misleading.
The news came out recently that McCain's negative ads were three to one of Obama's, but if Obama is putting out 4 times as many commercials it is simple math to conclude that by mere numbers Obama's campaign puts out more negative ads. Also to suggest that Obama rises to the experience of integrity of Senator McCain is ridiculous. His level of disclosure is more important than his associations...you can only say so many times I wasn't aware that "he or she" had radical views (Jeremiah Wright Bill Ayers Acorn etc.) No African American can sit in an African American church for 20 years and be clueless to his pastors message.

I admired and respected Colin Powell...until today.

No dob you're wrong, it's the current President, George W. Bush which you elected twice for office have been successful at bringing American down where radicals think we should be.

This endorsement speaks volumes and I believe it will be a needle mover for two relevant voter segments this election: (1) moderate Republicans who are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the extreme rightward direction of the McCain-Palin campaign and (2) people who are holding back on Obama-Biden primarily because of foreign policy and national security concerns.

Aside from the blemish on his record in relation to the Iraq war, General Powell still garners tremendous respect from the vast majority of Republicans, and every Republican President in the last three decades has sought his advice on National Security and Foreign Policy issues. I hope that General Powell's endorsement will sway the votes of some members of the two above-mentioned segments away from John McCain and Sarah Palin and towards Senators Obama and Biden.

This election is still too close for my comfort, and the news about General Powell aside, it will be important for those of who support Senator Obama to get to the polls on election day (or sooner if you can!) and vote not only to ensure his victory, but also to demonstrate the greater sense of unity and solidarity our country desperately needs right now.

Comments welcome: http://whenelephantsfly.blogspot.com

I was very disappointed to hear Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama. What a traitor ! I is only through Republicans that he had the position he had. I always thought of him as a man of integrity and intelligence. He can't tell me it is not because of race. Wait until he will have to share his wealth with the blacks on the " gravy line ". They're all waiting !

Kudos to General Powell! And to those who lost their respect for him, you have a right to your opinion but one wonders how you got to that point!
Tio those who think that this was black supporting black saya a lot about how they think. One wuld first say that they have no regards for the intellect of Gen Powell, but it actually speaks volumes of their lack of intellect and I suspect racism in some! Deflect deflect deflect!

I know you mentioned that you thought that Obama Muslim affilation concerned you....I thought about you when I saw Colin Powell on Good Morning America this morning.

I am an african American independent who lost alot of respect for Collin Powell for his support of the Bush/Chenney Crime Organization, though i have not lost admiration for his great accomplishments, and service to our country.He has now restored himself in my book for reaching across party lines and endorsing the best person to run our country,and seeing his party(Republicans) for the shallow,bigited,hateful,uneducated,ignorant, racist they truly are!!!!


Thank you Collin Powell!!!!!!!!

I think it is amazing that Obama gets sooooo much press and praise for getting one living former secretary of state to endorse him while McCain has 4 including democrates plus many, senior staff in the armed forces, AND other EXPERIENCED polititian. Is this media bias or what?

As a retired US Air Force Veteran, I salute General Powell!!! I stood and applauded my tv set when I heard Gen Powell's endorsement this morning! Just when I had given up on all Republicans, a true statesman emerges from their party!!! General Powell said today what has been on the minds of most of us, throughout this campaign!
God bless America and God bless General Colin Powell!!!!!

Kudos for acknowledging this young Muslim American who died serving his nation. I wonder how many Muslim soldiers serve their country with integrity. The media should look into it and talk about it. As for General Powell his decision to support Obama is a wise one.

Im not sure if Brokaw knew Colin Powell would endorse Obama,he seemed genuinely surprised. He is openly a Republican and a McCain supporter.

I was a Republican until this election. Colin Powell's announcement echoes my own thoughts in my decision this election to support and vote for Mr. Obama. He will make a great president and will make a better America for our children.

"The ark of a moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
America realizes sublimely that she must look to the end of her moral universe. Therefore, as a nation, America has moved beyond race. We must cover majority shame with repentance and minority pain with forgiveness.
Political persuasion has always been an indicator of race as reflected in the small numbers of minority race members of the republican party and the larger numbers of minority race members of democratic party. The policies of the republicans have favored the rich characteristically in the rise and fall of Bush-Cheney politics.
American comes behind the world in the way she has dealt with her minority population. That time had to come to an end.
It's different now. Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama's presidential hope confirms the fact that blacks must get over being black and whites must get over being white.
When it comes to race, we must take the high road. Unity and diversity defines us not disunity and opposition.
Somebody, wake up Senator John McCain!

Powell said he was troubled that some Republicans — he excluded McCain — continue to say or allow others to say that Obama is a Muslim, when he is a Christian. Such rhetoric is polarizing, he said.
"He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is , what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America," Powell said. "Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?"
--------------------------------------
In the last three years the media has been replete with people defending the testimony of Islam, remonstrating against the violent acts of September 11, stipulating that this was not, nor ever has been an example of Islam, since Islam is a religion of peace, evidenced by a prophet of peace, exampled by a history of peace.


We need to understand who these people are who are perpetrating these acts, and then we need to ask what their goal is, and from where they get their authority?
These groups of Muslims around the world who are carrying out the violent acts against the West go by many names. In Lebanon they are known as the Hezbullah (The party of God), in Palestine the Hamas, in Egypt, the Islamic Jihad, and in the United Kingdom by both the Muhajiroun, and the Hizb ul Tahrir (the party of liberation), etc.
Many pundits in the West seek to dismiss these militant elements as irrelevant extremists, representing only a small minority of the Muslim community. Recent research shows, however, that they are rapidly growing in numbers and importance, and are prepared to die for what they believe.

According to a poll taken in March 18 of 2004 , of four mainly Muslim nations, , by the Pew Global Attitudes Project of the Pew Research Center, around 31% of Turks now support the radical movement of Osama bin Laden, while in Morocco it is 45%, and in Jordan it is 55%. Of particular concern, according to this poll, support for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, one of Islam’s largest countries, has risen to 65% of the population, or roughly 80 million people, and this in a country which now possesses atomic weapons!

Following the recent Iraqi war, and the atrocities uncovered in the Abu Ghraib prison, that figure has probably moved even higher; and this, in a strong Western environment, situated outside the traditional world of Islam.

While not all Muslims are evil terrorists, we cannot neglect to take these fundamental features of Islam into consideration.

It is evident to even a half-wit that Powell endorced Barack to redeem his own legacy. He is a sour, bitter old man who left the Bush Administration because he didn't feel he had received the attention he felt he deserved. Bush just didn't seem to heed his advice as he did others in his Cabinet. Maybe, there was a reason why. In my opinion, Powell couldn't run for President because of wife instability issues, so he settled for being Secretary of State. When it didn't pan out the way he would have liked, he left, never looking back and showing no allegiance to his job or Party. Now he has a chance through BO to redeem his legacy, and that it just what he is doing. Does he realize that all he comes across as is a turncoat. What a despicable, resentful old has-been!!!

i was very surprised to learn that colin powell endorsed obama and that obama's camp thinks that this was a great endorsement. mr. powell was one of the chief architects for the iraq war and spoke in front of the un promoting it. it is funny what short memories people have. he left the white house supposedly because he later found out about the lies that took us to war and how the war was being run. mr powell never spoke out against the adminstration when it could have made a difference in the execution of the war. now all of a sudden he is anti-mcain and pro- obama. clinton was villified for just simply voting for the war but now powell is a great ally to obama and gets a pass. i have been a democrat all of my life but obama is simply not ready and has not yet earned what he is trying to achieve. remember when democrats respected and admired mcain so much that they were wishing that kerry picked him to be his running mate in 2004? why now is there so much hatred for this man? for the first time in my life i may vote for a repulican. i am sure i am not the only democrat feeling this way.

I am trying to get a hold of this Socialism crap perpetrated by those who have many life choices and now FEAR they will be lost in the abyss of the American Economy because of FAIR DISTRIBUTION of her goods and services, if Senator Obama is elected president.

Working class is a synonym for people living above their means. It does not matter the salary which an individual makes, it is the debts each incur from living far above their means. Please understand the Middle class and Working class is the one and the same except in philosophical reasoning as to which is better. Each is barely a few paychecks away from being deposited unto the street curb with their belongings. This is quite apparent from the mortgage crisis. Of course one has a higher yearly income, but as we can tell from this recent Economic Financial Bailout, it is apparent the only difference is Wall Street gets to burn cash as though it is Monopoly money and Main Street and Degrading Street suffers from the abuse of nefarious, unscrupulous moneyed people who don?t care if your elderly parents or grandparents are thrust into the streets.

I guess I am tired of the Socialist tag placed upon Senator Obama when in actuality what government around the world recently did not step in to invoke Social Intervention.

Social interventionism is an ideology which involves the intervention of a government (excuse me but the American government) or an organization in social affairs. Such policies can include provision of charity of over $800 billion (poor tax-payerers money) in bailouts for rich people - who simply didn't care.

And seek financial welfare to alleviate social and economic problems of rich people facing financial difficulties; continued provision of the best health care; best education for their rich children. How many of the Wall Streeters and Banking executives do any think are worried about paying college tuition for their children's children-children education in the future; terms for staying employed though screwing up a banking financial institutions bottom line and other goodies such as selling off stock before it plummet completely into nothingness.

If there are those who are this concern -SCARED- Senator Obama will do this to the country, well I want my fair share or a few opportunities to screw up this terrible in my personal life and be bailed out as well with him as the president.

I know some in America still have extreme hate for others, but I also know half of America's citizens cannot continue to behave as a television show such as "Leave It To Beaver" or "Father Knows Best" and not think the "Cosbys" and the "Jeffersons" which preceded that show really thought others were not going to MOVE ON UP! Yes, we have our "Eyes On The Prize" and that means the White House eventually one day. Guess what? It finally has arrived and there is nothing to be afraid of except your personal fears itself!

Mr. Colin Powell thanks for the endorsement. You waited as long as you could for your party's nominee to change his tone and rhetoric in their campaign. I commend you for waiting that long and now realized it is time for a different approach and have now endorsed Senator Barack Obama. There will be those who say you have nothing to lose or have lost respect for you. They will even call you a traitor such as Kathy in the first post. But you stayed with your parties nominee until finally making a calm decision to go with the Democratic candidate. I guess Kathy wanted you to have Blind Allegiance to the hatred that has been spewed forth.

Kathy is speaks volumes about your character instead of Mr. Powell.

Again thanks for your endorsement General Powell.

Colin Powell was made a 5 star General and Secretary of State from GOP Presidents Reagan Bush 41 and Bush 42. His son Michael was appointed to the FCC by Clinton sponsored by Senator John McCain. Powell is an ingrate too liberal for the GOP. Powell is doing it because Obama is an African American and Powell is uncontrollably for Affirmative Action which makes black pople token hires. They are smart and with a good ducation can attain good jobs on their own.Powell also claims he is scared of GOP Justices which means he is for abortion period.

I think it is strange that mainly women are so opposed to what Powell is saying and are the main ones calling him a traitor. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that he is standing in the way of a woman becoming Vice-President in your eyes? Is that all that matters to some of you? Sometimes it's the insiders who are obviously aware of the true face of the government who you refuse to see. He's a has-been in your eyes but he reflects seriously what a lot of people are truly thinking. If you can't see McCain as a vengeful old man then I can only assess that he resembles you in many ways.

Right on Dolores. Powell is a has been. He was never a very good at anything he did ,quite mediocre. He was just a solid guy not very controversial, never rocked the boat. He endorsed B.O. becuase he is black. That's the only reason. He might even find a job with B.O.s people. They would love to snap him up so they can look legitimate.

I had lot of respect for the this GUY and then he lost it after his united nation venture on Iraq War. I am independant and feel he is few person in USA who can speak truth and stay on that. I always wonder when why Mcain never reply to the woman who said she will not VOte to Obama that he is Muslim, because Mcain never trusted on America People. If he have said the truth with Boldness, he would have earn respect of more people, rather he answer with fear that he might loose the Vote of Hard core repulican. And now I am glad I hear the answer from General Collin Powell

Thanks Mr. Powell of reminding us our Values.

General Powell clearly and effectively expressed the thought process that every thinking American voter should be going through right now. The Democratic and Republican parties exist only to provide a way to organize voters and select candidates.

The job of every American voter is to consider the substance, integrity, and stance on the issues of each candidate. After due consideration, the responsibility of every American voter is to vote for the candidate who they believe can provide the most effective leadership for the good of the entire nation.

I do not agree with either candidate's health care plan, nor do I agree completely with either candidate. I do not expect to agree completely with the candidate I vote for in any election. I do, however, intend, in each election, to vote for the candidate I believe will best serve and represent our country and the American people throughout the world community.

Elections are not a matter of making sure your party wins. Elections are not a game to be won. Elections are an opportunity for the American people to select the candidate who will best carry out the wishes of the American people and who will make every effort to do what is best for the American people, for our country, and for the rest of the world community.

The tone of this presidential campaign saddens me, as it does many Americans. We need to remember that each candidate was chosen by their party because their party believes they have the right stuff to lead. The Republican and Democratic parties both vetted all of the candidates who ran for their experience, their skill, and their ability to lead. Each party then held a convention to give party members an opportunity to vote for the candidate the majority of the American people wanted to run in the presidential election.

Since each party has already vetted their candidates, the job of the candidates through their campaigns and the job of the American people throughout the campaign process is to fairly evaluate the candidates on the ISSUES.

Over and over again, throughout this campaign, the American people have said they want to hear where the candidates stand ON THE ISSUES. And, yet, Senator McCain continues to listen to his obviously misinformed advisors and continues to conduct a mudslinging campaign designed to instill fear in the American people. I have to say, again, that this saddens me. And, furthermore, it distracts from the real issues.

John McCain has shown his true character in the negative tone of his campaign. And it lacks the integrity he claims to have. McCain has shown no independent thoughts and is, by his own admission, woefully lacking in his knowledge of the economy. He has surrounded himself with questionable advisors and he chose a running mate who has no obvious knowledge of current affairs, the economy, or international issues, She couldn't name one magazine she had read recently, she said that, until she'd been asked to run for vice president, she hadn't paid much attention to what was going on in Washington, and she says that she has international experience because she can see Russia on a clear day from Alaska and our planes fly over international air space to keep an eye on Russia (which is commanded by the military, not the governor).

I find it shocking that otherwise educated and intelligent Republicans continue to support Senator McCain and have joined him in slinging mud, instead of insisting that their candidate run a positive campaign and focus on the issues. This demonstrates a mob mentality, not a clearheaded, clear-thinking people who are making an effort to select the candidate who is going to do the best job for the America we love.

PLEASE, to all Americans, please remember that elections are not a game to be played to win. Elections are an opportunity for the American people to vote for a leader and representative who will do the best job possible for our country.

You can vote for the man who crashed seven planes, believes in smearing the character of others, graduated near the bottom of his graduating class, spent taxpayer money to fund his campaign, left his first wife after she was seriously injured in an accident to have an affair with and marry a wealthy woman who undergoes plastic surgery, so she can keep her husband, a man who believes the world is a dangerous place that requires continued war, a man who has an obvious anger management problem that could land us in yet another war, a man who served his country as a prisoner of war and no doubt suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome as do the majority of Vietnam POWs, a man who is not respected by the international community, a man who may be senile as shown by his inability to remember his debate partner's name and his inability to read a teleprompter, and a man who selected a running mate who thinks that she has national security experience because she can see Russia on a clear day.

Or you can vote for the man who earned the respect of his classmates and was the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, a man who still believes that the American Dream is possible and is willing to work hard to bring it to all Americans, a man who represents hope in much the same way President Kennedy represented hope for our nation, a man who, as a community organizer, united a community to improve its situation, a man who raised millions of dollars, through his leadership ability, to fund his own campaign for President without tapping into taxpayer dollars, a man who has the respect and support of the international community (remember the crowds he drew in Germany and throughout his European trip), a man who has a history of reaching across party lines and has a demonstrated and successful history of sitting down and talking to people he disagrees with and reaching agreement with them, a man who has the support and confidence of Warren Buffet, the richest man in American, and General Colin Powell who has worked for four United States Presidents, Caroline Kennedy who wrote, in a letter to the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/opinion/27kennedy.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) that, in Senator Obama, for the first time in her life, she has a found a man who can be the president who inspires her and her children's generation the way her father inspired us, Senator Edward Kennedy who is a much-respected member of our political community, and Oprah Winfrey, the wealthiest woman in America.

Do you really think that Warren Buffet and Oprah Winfrey would support a candidate who they think would ruin their businesses with taxes? These are two very savvy business people who only make well-thought-out business decisions.

Caroline Kennedy has, repeatedly, refused to openly support any presidential candidates. Do you think that Caroline Kennedy would do this if she didn't truly believe in Senator Obama's ability to lead our nation? She stepped into the limelight to support Senator Obama because she believes that he is the candidate who can best serve the American people in this time of crisis. She even agreed to be on his vice presidentail selection committee.

Barack Obama has proven, over and over again, that he is a true diplomat and the only candidate in this election who has the skill, ability, and wide-ranging respect, both nationally and internationally, to improve our current financial situation and to guide us in our quest to restore our standing in the world.

You can vote for the man best suited for the job. Or you can vote according to your party and help complete the ignominious downfall of the United States that President Bush initiated.

The decision of who you vote for must be made with a clear head. I ask you to please put your emotions and competitiveness aside and approach this election in the same spirit and manner that our Founding Fathers meant elections to be approached. Just as a husband and wife must make decisions for the good of their entire family, not just for one member of their family, We, the American voters, must approach each election and, especially, this one, with clear heads. We need to put our emotions aside. We need to stop taking every little comment personally. We need to carefully evaluate the facts and the issues with an unbiased mind and vote for the candidate who has consistently demonstrated throughout this campaign that he has our best interest as a nation at the heart of his campaign.

I believe that man is Barack Obama. He represents the hope that America was, is, and can continue to be for us, for our children, and for generations to come.

There are those who are calling Gen. Powell "traitor" for taking a stand for the UNITED States of America. True traitors take stands for personal gain. Colin was probably more likely to get "goodies" from McCain than from Obama, and he waited, evaluating - must be that good general military study the terrain first before attacking strategy - gathering all the data. Personally, I came out for Obama earlier; but then, I didn't have to worry about being publicly called "traitor" just because I'm reg'd
elephant but am voting for a donkey. Colin has expressed, far better than I ever could, the reason I've volunteered to make calls to talk to undecideds to help them get as informed as I am, and as obviously General Powell is.
-CR-
American first... "PARTY" when the work is done

I've known of Colin Powell since Vietnam. He remains, perhaps solely, able to balance his loyalty, compassion and reason in American politics. As John McCain spoke of Barack Obama's eloquence during the recent debate, I was reminded of Gen. Powell.

My respect for him wavered once. As the loyal Republican, he made the Bush administration's case for the Iraq War before the United Nations. I listened and never forgave him for it. Until this interview with Tom Brokaw.

If I had a dream, every American would see him in this interview in the next ten days.

Colin Powell has played a role of a dirty politician. He has been a manipulator of facts and a trouble maker. He provided all the wrong information to the president and lectured around the world with power point presentation confirming WMD. He was never like a soldier but as a corrupt person who has done unrepairable damage to the millions of people round the world. As a traitor he would be hated for centuries to come. He has no regards for people who gave his so much & he was mean to undermine McCain.

John McCain answered at the spot to the full spirit of the question in the most appropriate way in a challenging situation. McCain didn't offend anyone & even praised Obama during the middle of a fierce campaign. The lady was a dedicated supporter of McCain but he took the microphone off her when she started speaking about her fear for not knowing about Obama's past & his commitment. Lots of people are still questioning!! Obama never talks about it. He can break the doubts by providing details but he is still quite selective with the truth.

Obama’s supported are even now making bad comment about McCain & Palin. Obama wouldn't have shown that level of presence of mind or appreciation of opponent at the spur of the moment in spite of getting so much coaching.

It's ok Mr. Powell, lots of us got fooled. Hopefully we can contain the damage until we select the next president.

So, how's the "change" working for everybody? Hmmmm? And you, Mr. Powell, still feel the same way?

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 19, 2008 8:17 AM.

Obama raises $150 million in September--smashing previous one month record. was the previous entry in this blog.

Lynn Sweet asks Colin Powell about the negative tone of the McCain campaign. Video is the next entry in this blog.

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