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Powell Obama endorsement undercuts McCain

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WASHINGTON -- Retired Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement Sunday of Barack Obama, while coming late in the game, massively undercuts Obama's critics and undermines John McCain's selling points about being the maverick and military man the nation needs at this point in history.

"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," said Powell in his sweeping endorsement.

"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."

There is no better voucher for Obama than Powell.

One of the nation's most popular figures, Powell, President Bush's first secretary of state and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at one time was seen as potentially the first African-American president.

A Republican who comes from the moderate wing of the party, Powell is the son of Jamaican immigrants who has served in four administrations: Ronald Reagan's, George H.W. Bush's, Bill Clinton's, and under the current president.
'That's inappropriate'

Powell's validation of Obama, during an interview with Tom Brokaw on NBC's "Meet the Press" and comments with reporters afterward, comes as McCain and Sarah Palin are struggling to find a message that resonates as they are falling behind Obama as Election Day nears and early voting has already started.

They have been portraying Obama as risky, a friend of a terrorist, and a socialist who wants to redistribute personal wealth.

Indeed, it was the negative course of the McCain campaign -- with its recent emphasis in stump speeches, in ads and millions of robocalls to battleground states on Obama's association with Bill Ayers, the former Weather Underground terrorist who is now a University of Illinois-Chicago education professor -- that led Powell to favor Obama and significantly repudiate McCain.

"I've also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Sen. McCain has taken recently, on his campaign ads, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about," Powell said.

"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."
Says GOP 'further to the right'

The GOP "Big Tent" has not been welcoming of late to moderates like Powell, and he said McCain and Palin were taking the party "further to the right."

Throughout the campaign in this post-9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan war era, Barack Hussein Obama has been denying that he is a Muslim and affirming his Christian faith. Not that McCain is saying it, said Powell, but other Republicans are calling Obama a Muslim no matter the facts. But Powell said he found the implicit religious bigotry troubling.

Said Powell powerfully, "He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, 'What if he is [a Muslim]?' Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?"
'I don't believe she's ready'

To frost the cake, Powell said he questioned McCain's judgment regarding Sarah Palin.

"I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president," Powell said.

The news came as the Obama campaign announced that he raised $150 million in September alone for the general election, more than double the month before and his best ever.

McCain, taking public financing, is limited to spending $84.1 million between the convention and Nov. 4.

What is problematical for McCain is not just the praise Powell heaped on Obama, but the scorn he piled on McCain.

23 Comments

The USA, not to mention the world, is not ready for an Obama presidency. His lack of experience is a good reason alone. Public speaking alone does not a president make. His ideology would take our country backwards, and plummet our nation to the tolerance of new levels ofimmorality. Infanticide is obviously murder, which is exactly what partial-birth abortion is. This country confesses that "ALL men are created equal." (emphasis mine). De-valuing human worth and legitimizing immorality would bring about four years this country cannnot afford.

If ever there was a Voice of Reason in the Republican Party, it was that of Colin Powell yesterday.

It is sickening to see Powell parading himself around as a Republican, but, in truth is a RINO, and has been for some years now. How could he possibly endorse McCain when Obama had already promised him a position in the Administration? I hope Obama is aware that it is the same Colin Powell, who, because of his disagreements with President Bush, decided to give up and become a quitter.

Powell needs to be reminded that it was George H.W. Bush who promoted him to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and it was George W. Bush who promoted him to Secretary of State. Without both of those men, Colin Powell is just another retired General. So, he shows his loyalty to them by acting as a Republican to endorse a Democratic candidate. It just goes to show that sometimes, blood runs thicker than brains! I am sure that, when he disagrees with the "rookie" Obama, and finds out that the true Foreign Relations "hothead" is Joseph "the pleasureizer" Biden, he will again pick up his toys from the sandbox and go home. He is not a fighter and he will not stay where the going gets tough. I heard him speak at an NSBA (school board) convention in Chicago and he made a huge amount of money saying nothing except talking trash about the current administration and laughing at China. What a repulse he was! Maybe someday he will learn the value of true loyalty to those who have shown loyalty to you. But, that is a stretch since his true colors are now known and he is, for all intent and purposes, excommunicated from the Republican Party. Good luck Mr. Sellout!

I am a retired millitary person who has always considered myself to be an American first, and assocaited with a political party second. I have great admiration and respect for Colin Powell. Any man that would resign rather than be appart of an obvioulsy unneccessary war, is the type of man who's oppinion comands respect. I also agree with his assesment of the religouse aspect if the campaign.

Thanks

It is a sad day when someone like General Powell uses the position of trust Americans have given him to support a person bent on destroying American and all we stand for...The general has his fact 180 degree's out of phase...

Mr. Powell - by your endorsement, you may have just helped to elect someone who openly critisized your judgement regarding the Iraqi war, who will decimate our military, who is a most liberal senator, who literally will destroy our way of life as we know it. Out with capitalism - in with socialism - way to go!!!!! What an overwhelming disppointment in someone I had always admired. Perhaps it is the glasses that you look through have distorted your view - or maybe the color of your skin (Juan Williams quote!)

He has just gained alot of respect from the American people since he was the former Secretary of state during the Bush Administration. I like to see truth despite party labels. Republican or democrat... Obama is the one with the most content in his ideas!

Most people saw this coming. And Powell's comment on Meet The Press yesterday indicated why - he doesn't want a conservative Supreme Court. It is because Obama is an extreme pro-Abortion candidate. While some say that he's backing Obama because of Race, I have to question this assertion: given Powell's intelligence that A) the modern abortion environment stems from the Eugenics movement (Margaret Sanger - originally intending to sterilize and/or exterminate blacks); B) that Planned Parenthood conducts 79% of it's "business" in minority communities; and, C) that 1/3 of the total number of black Americans currently U.S. citizens have been aborted...thus, it is clearly impossible to argue that Powell supports Obama exclusively for the reason that he is black. It is the culture of death that Powell espouses.

Powell's endorsement is also notable because he has finally raised an important question- *why should it matter if Obama WERE Muslim?* Muslim doesn't mean fascist, any more than an indicidual violent American pro-life abortion clinic bomber should be taken as a Christian Fascist who represents all Christians. Finally someone is making sense- Powell did an honorable thing last night. The whole 7-minute endorsement clip is worth watching:
http://pageslap.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/colin-powell-endorses-obama-and-finally-raises-the-muslim-question-properly/

Bush, Cheney and Rice would not listen to Powell when he was Secretary of State. Why would they speak to him to him now after they created this mess for the United States? So Powell rejects the McBush and Condoleezza Rice not for their failures, but because of race? Perhaps those racists that post comments should look at the photographs of Rice. How can they claim that it is a race issue?

Wasn't it Powell who floated the WMD argument in front of the UN?

Mobile weapons lab and such?

Yep. Sure was. Based on that, I couldn't care less who he endorses.

Just another political shill.

And you think Mc Cain would be better. Mc Cain and Palin ? Sarah Palin !!!? Are you serious these two are the worst possible scenario ever presented to the American people. I've been Republican for a long time but Mc Cain and Pallin come on ! is this a joke or what ?

To Stan McGee: Powell was promoted to the Joint Chiefs of Staff or was the BEST MAN selected? Are you saying that the ONLY reason that Powell was selected was to provide FAVORS to the Republican Party later? Do you mean Quid Pro Quo? Obviously you think that Colin Powell should be a DRONE for the Republican Party just because G.H. Bush selected him for a job that he was well qualified to perform.

And since when did G.W. Bush promote Powell to Sec. State. He nominated him and the Senate approved his selection. Again, you want him to Cow Tow to the Republican Party just because he was selected for a job that he performed quite well. Even though the Bush admin provided him with faulty intel pertaining to reasons for invading Iraq.

To Jack Lohrey: Yes Obama critizied Powell for his judgment? Obviously Powell found out that the G.W.Bush Admin was feeding him garbage intel and as a result he did not want to continue as Sec. State. I applaud him for no longer wanting to be associated with an administration that would LIE to the American Public in order to further their own PERSONAL agenda.

Powell's endorsement of Obama is that of an honored, experienced government servant using his intellect to come to a decision regarding which presidential candidate it best for the job. The Repugs who are now angry with him are towing the same tired GOP line that Powell repudiates-- that of hatefulness,devisiveness, anti-intellectualism. Get a life, Flat Earthers! Your time is near. It's time to put down your bibles and use your brains.

The Powell endorsement makes no difference whatsoever. It merely looks like another "Oprah endorsement," with "the brothers and sisters" taking care of the "brothers and sisters."

Its obvious with the blunders of Obama, such as wanting to meet with Iran without preconditions (something Powell never would have done) leaving Iraq before ground conditions allow stability (something Powell wouldn't endorse, though he did endorse the Iraq War)

Powell hasn't given much valid reason for endorsing someone as inexperienced as Barack Obama (except for some fluff about the economy.)

It doesn't hold any way and is pretty transparent to the voting public that this is a racial "brother thing," and something most didn't expect from Powell.

I think it hurts more than helps.

Give me a break! You say Obama is not ready and you think Palin is? Gen. Powell is entitled to his opinion and I am relieved to see that some politicians, as respected as Powell, do not vote for a party, but instead, vote for an individual. Many Americans believe in the freedom of speech until it conflicts with their own opinion. How convenient!

No One is pro-abortion. Under Clinton...abortion rates went down...Voting on social/moral issues weakens the country. Policy runs countries...it will not affect your life if someone has to have an abortion...but republican trickle down...excuse me...trickle overseas philosophy will never work. So go ahead and worry about what people do with their personal life while you lose all your money. Read about the "Southern Strategy"...you guys were duped.

Reading throught these blogs it is easy to pinpoint the racists and the simpering apologists for the 'plantation' that America is becoming.
More intersting are the balanced and considered opinions of those who know Powell as the leader with courage and who see Obama as the leader with substance. McCain & Palin-- insult to the intelligence.

Funny how Republicans keep attacking Obama about his "inexperience" or anything else irrelevant like Ayers, Wright, etc. Because they sure have nothing good to say about their own guy besides war hero.

From the bailout to Palin to the new mortgage buyout to his ridiculous trip to Washington to his weakness in listening to Karl Rovian proteges rather than running his own campaign, McCain has proven he is not ready to be President.

Remember why you hate Bush? He listened to the wrong people, Cheney, Rumsfeld, conservative think tanks. McCain will do the same thing, and ruin the country. If this was 2000 it would be a far different story, but 2008 McCain is a far cry from 2000 McCain, to the point they're different people.

McCain is a shell of a man now. Perhaps he was once great, but the office of President isn't based on seniority like in a union job. He gets no passes just because he's old.

@ Rik Eischen

On behalf of the world I'd like to say that we are ready for Obama! McCain is 72, he will not have to live through the changes he makes now.

Clean yourselves up, get a systems that provide decent health care and fair tax for all.

Capitalism is good, but Capitalism in excess is not.

I am glad that Colin Powell decided to endorse Obama. I had made my own clear decision last week based on some of the exact points that he cited.
Obama knows how to try to get people to work together and respect one another. He wants to engage the intelligence of others.
If people don't stop fighting one another at home, in communities, in the Federal Government and between governments, all you have is continuous destruction as people try to stand on top of and dominate one another.
McCain is too viscious, judgemental and erratic to be a President and represent this country to the world. His judgement re:Sarah Palin was POOR judgement for the Country , though a good strategy to strengthen his own campaign and Ego. Without attacks McCain and Palin would have nothing to say. They are not people who can get their country to do anything but relish conflict. That is what war mentality is about.
That is the mentality that rules their world.
Both McCain and Palin actually sound like immature bullies. What a turn-off!
I would never listen to them as their twisted intelligence and narrow world views are not engaging my respect.

And if it isn't obvious to you that Palin is another power-hungry Big-Oil State opportunist, then you are not awake. This country already learned the danger of Big OIL people in the White House!
NO THANKS!!

I too have already decided on who wll receive my vote. General Powell made another wise choice in backing Obama. McCain, while I do believe to be an honorable man, has made a very poor choice in a VP candidate. Is the fact she considers herself a maverick a reason to choose her? I think not and aparently so do the majority of voters. McCain has lost touch with the issues concerning americans and he seems to be on his way to becoming a bitter man. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin cold very well be the two poorest choices ever in a presidential election. Well, maybe second poorest. GW Bush and D Cheney might actualy be the first, or a close second.

It is refreshing to see that there is still values left in our leaders. I am very happy that Gen Powell decided to speak out. It is however evident that although we are emancipated our minds are still enslaved. I am trobled to see some of the most racial comments because of this endorsement, it was not so for SEN Mccain when he got the endorsement of Liberman. Think America are we ready for Sarah Palin to become President if Mccain croaks or starts to loose his memory tomorrow? Believe me he is not far form those mentioned. I mean he is 72 for crying out loud. Sarah Palin is presented more like a celebrity not president material. She signs autographs and appear on late night shows looking more like a member of the cast not a guest on the show. are we sure we want this person to decide the fate of our sons and daughters? Can you imagine, this is the same person that cannot accept responsibility for her own actions. Think of her in the White House when Mccain is rendered helpless, she is now running her own campaighn because her views are not that of his. We need to become wiser and put our differences aside to make a great decission for the future of our Country.

The double standard has to stop. It is astonishing that the rest of the world can see past color but we are still stuck on it. For all those sitting out there being mad and angry for no reason, just think do you think it would have been the same acceptance rate for Obama if he was the one with the flawed record of a pregnant teenage daughter, and misuse of power. I think not, his running days would have ended. So it is evident that some of us are not thinking about what is in the best interest of this country, but how long must i hold on to my traditional beliefs. If you want to be somebody and go somewhere then we need to wake up and pay attention AMERICA!

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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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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 20, 2008 9:01 AM.

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