Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama today was not a big surprise. He has been hinting at it for months. The shock is in how deeply a man who was Secretary of State a few years ago has broken with his own party. Powell not only rejected McCain/Palin but the entire direction of the GOP.
What may pushed Powell to publicly endorse Obama was the GOP’s terrorist smear against Obama, They’re trying to connect him to 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.” Powell said he has “heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion [that Obama’s] a Muslim and might be associated with terrorists.”
Here is the video:
He made it clear that he feels that this the wrong direction for the nation, “This is not the way we should be doing it in America. I feel strongly about this particular point. We have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way. And John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.”
He also said that the section of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate impacted his decision, “She’s a very distinguished woman, and she’s to be admired,” he said. “But at the same, 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.”
The endorsement itself wasn’t that big of a surprise. Powell has been friends with John McCain for a long time, so the fact that he didn’t endorse McCain earlier signaled that he had some reservations. In his public speeches, he had been non-committal but speaking well of Obama. Powell has been informally offering Obama advice since he came to the Senate. This endorsement is titanic for Obama because Colin Powell is one of the most respected public figures in the United States. Everyone in the left, right, and middle respect him.
I believe that the decision to go to war in Iraq caused him to break with the GOP. The Bush Doctrine violates everything Powell stands for, and the speech he gave at the United Nations with the doctored intelligence as evidence will haunt him forever. One gets a sense that by endorsing Obama, Powell is telling America just far the Republican Party has wandered off course.
He has seen it from the inside with his own eyes, which gives him even more credibility. McCain is already trying to brush off this endorsement, but Colin Powell may have delivered the kill shot not only to John McCain’s presidential campaign, but to the entire Republican Party this morning.
Quotes came from Politico