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Calling B.S. On The Timing of Colin Powell's Obama Endorsement

Nine weeks ago, August 17, 2008, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown wrote the following:

Here's a prediction: Colin Powell is going to endorse Barack Obama.

I'm not pulling this out of thin air. I'm basing my forecast on a series of phone calls that I received this week. I can't say who called me, but I can tell you one of the questions I was asked:

"What do you think the reaction would be if former Secretary of State Colin Powell - a Republican - introduced Democrat Obama at his big acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium after being made the nominee?"

My reply: "It would seal the deal. It would be the presidency."

I don't think Powell will go to Denver for the Democratic National Convention, but based on the recent conversations, I have to believe that something big is in the works.

Brown wasn't the only one who had that story, Bill Kristol reported similar details.

In hindsight it appears very clear that the Powell endorsement was a done deal in August. In fact, if your read Powell's words a certain way it confirms Brown and Kristol's stories. From the interview.

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.

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.

Now you can read that as that he made the decision a couple months ago or within the last couple months, but given the prior reports it seems clear that the decision really was made before the Democratic convention.

So the whole section of Powell's reasoning, the post convention campaigning, the VP selection of Gov. Palin, the economic issues, etc. are window dressing - none of those items could have played any role in Powell's decision since they all came well after the decision was made.

Powell's endorsement stands on its own, it's the use of these strawman justifications that bely the real story behind this endorsement that I question. The real story, when it comes out, should be far more interesting...


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Comments (25)

"none of those items could ... (Below threshold)

"none of those items could have played any role in Powell's decision since they all came well after the decision was made."

You want us to believe that you know what's in the heart and soul of Colin Powell? No man can ever know the soul of his Brother.

"none of these items could have played any role"?

You've got to be kidding me?
You're snide remarks will do nothing to tarnish the image of this great statesman and patriot.
This just makes you look petty and weak.

"This just makes you lo... (Below threshold)

"This just makes you look petty and weak."

Which places Kevin about ten orders of magnitude ahead of you.

"The Race Must be Over th... (Below threshold)
Rich K:

"The Race Must be Over then"
MSM: War's over, man.Obambi dropped the big one. ( Powell Endorsment)

REAL Americans : Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Joe Biden: Germans?
Joe the Plumber: Forget it ,their on a roll.
REAL Americans : And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...
................. the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!

Short pause when whipped american voters agree its over but then,

REAL Americans: What the hell happened to the America I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with McCain, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Obambi, he's done! ,Biden done!,Pelosi,Reid......

PALIN: DONE! REAL Americans are right. Conservative, but absolutely right. We gotta take these liberal bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.( Vote McCain)
REAL Americans: We're just the guys to do it.
Whipped Americans: Let's do it.
REAL Americans: LETS DO IT!!!!!

What are you talking about?... (Below threshold)
Stop the Slander:

What are you talking about? Colin Powell has always said that if he makes an endorsement it would be after the debates. If Colin Powel was everything you are saying he would have endorsed Obama during the primaries. Stop the slander.

I commented on the reason o... (Below threshold)

I commented on the reason on another thread. I think Colin was to announce the last week of October, as the October surprise. But Joe the Plumber changed that timing. Obama was hemoraging votes so they trotted out Colin, as if half the dems even know who he is. ww

What's disturbing and disin... (Below threshold)

What's disturbing and disingenuous is that it would take Powell so long to make a decision about whom to support for president. Give me a break. The differences are clear in policy and personality. This was obviously choreographed by the Obama campaign for maximum impact.

The audacity of Powell's decision has been discussed at length.

Powell once said he wouldn'... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Powell once said he wouldn't run for president because of ...the color of his skin. This is apparently an important issue with him.

He said that, PL? Can you p... (Below threshold)

He said that, PL? Can you provide a quote to prove that?

Willie, Colin Powell has more name recognition than any of the dozens (hundreds? who cares!) of former generals who have endorsed McCain. So while his name recognition would be lower than 100% among voters, it's probably higher than the aggregate of all other generals endorsing a candidate (unless Zombies Patton and MacArthur steps into the fray). McCain has four former Secretaries of State endorsing him. The rightwing media has actually helped blow this endorsement out of proportion by suggesting, fairly or otherwise, that it is racially motivated and politically crass. McCain didn't say that, but comments to this effect by folks like Limbaugh will only harm McCain's chances.

Powell was tired of being c... (Below threshold)

Powell was tired of being called 'Uncle Tom' because he served in the Bush Administration. He wanted to be 'loved' again by the MSM. He wanted to get a job with an Obama Administration so he could show his face again within the DC cocktail circuit.

and of course, Obama immediately said that Powell would have a place.

It's the Chicago Way...Give a little tribute to the 'boss' and you get set for life.

Dream on Hyper. The same le... (Below threshold)

Dream on Hyper. The same left rags say the same negative things about Rush et.al., and the day moves on. The average undereducated voter doesn't even know or care. Only you and your ilk. ww

hyperbolist why do you thin... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

hyperbolist why do you think he didnt run for president? It's rather common knowledge.

The most disingenuous part ... (Below threshold)

The most disingenuous part of Powell's statement in endorsing Obama was his being "troubled" by personal attacks on Obama, including "alleged" connections to Ayers and "false intimations that Obama was Muslim" without sparing a word for the outlandish attacks on McCain and Palin. Then he followed up with saying:

"I look at these kind of approaches to the campaign, and they trouble me."

The McCain campaign has not intimated that Obama is a Muslim. Hillary's campaign started that. And the "alleged connection to Ayers" is not 'alleged'. There are many connections to Ayers.

No. Powell gleefully put his beer goggles on as soon as he saw which way the wind was blowing - and the left, who excoriated Powell in the past for disagreeing with the Clinton admin over gays in the military and his testimony about Iraq's "ongoing weapons development program" now call him a great statesman.

I won't go so far as to imply that Powell is endorsing Obama because of color. But at this point I will call him a disingenuous opportunist.

Hyper is saying "cool!" bec... (Below threshold)

Hyper is saying "cool!" because dozens, maybe hundreds, of generals endorsing McCain aren't as well known.

Hyper contradicts himself on this concept of numbers. He has implied in the past that a larger percentage of people agreeing on an issue makes it right and now he claims a larger percentage of people "(hundreds? who cares!)" agreeing on something means nothing.

Powell endorsed after he ag... (Below threshold)

Powell endorsed after he agreed to serve in Obama's cabinet. Gotta support the new boss. Powell met Obama two weeks ago. "Obama told NBC's "Today" show Monday that Powell "will have a role as one of my advisers."

Well, timing is everything.... (Below threshold)

Well, timing is everything.

Here is the blog of Andy Martin, the one who is filing the lawsuit for the COLB in Hawai'i:


I would have been disappoin... (Below threshold)

I would have been disappointed had Powell endorsed McCain. He was a lousy Sec.of State and had many opportunities to distinguish himself. At the State department he didn't take leadership by telling the entrenched bureaucrats to get on board with the boss. He was worried more about his image with the liberals than being a stand-up person. He said as a general he didn't do politics, please, generals are more politician than soldier.

Is it about race?Onl... (Below threshold)
Norris Hall:

Is it about race?
Only one person knows for sure...and that's Powell
Of course, Powell claims that he's not happy with the "rightward shift" of the Republican party. But is there any merit in his accusation???
Listen to Republican Senator Michelle Bachmann
Click to watch Senator Michelle Bachmann's interview on Hardball
So...what do you think??. is Colin Powell was just being overly sensitive, or does he have a point???

Oyster, you know who doesn'... (Below threshold)

Oyster, you know who doesn't seem to care about a majority of retired generals supporting McCain? The electorate. I don't think that a consensus makes for a true belief, Oyster, except when it's relevant--e.g., scientists reaching a consensus on something scientific, or lawyers reaching a consensus on something legal in nature. In this case, I would argue that the generals' endorsement would be a testament to McCain's military credentials, but like every other opportunity, his campaign has failed to capitalize on it--hilariously so.

Willie, nice of you to acknowledge that Rush's dittoheads are undereducated.

McCain doesn't need to capi... (Below threshold)

McCain doesn't need to capitalize on support from retired Generals because he has his own record.
It is funny that just before a poll from
Military Times, showing overwhelming support for McCain, comes out Powell tries to preempt it with his weak endorsement.

Hyper, if you want to play ... (Below threshold)

Hyper, if you want to play childish parsing games, go play in your own country. We have more then enough jackbooted liberals in this great country. ww

Exactly where was I playing... (Below threshold)

Exactly where was I playing a "childish parsing game", Oh Wild One? Do you consider everyone to the left of centre "jackbooted"? What about these disgusting monsters? I'd compare them to Nazis, but at least Nazis could form coherent sentences and practised good hygiene.

Pretzel, I think Powell didn't run for President because the liberal activists within the Democratic organization are still pissed off at him for the stunt at the United Nations that helped sell the war on premises that turned out to be false, and he's too liberal to be a Republican candidate. As for whether he was too non-white, that wouldn't have been an issue within the Democratic party, as Obama's successful candidacy makes obvious.

hyper~Th... (Below threshold)


The rightwing media has actually helped blow this endorsement out of proportion by suggesting, fairly or otherwise, that it is racially motivated and politically crass.

As usual, you're full of shit. Colin Powell:

"I stand before you tonight as an African-American," Mr Powell said. "Many people have said to me, you became secretary of state of the USA, is it still necessary to say that you are an African-American or that you are black? And I say, yes, so that we can remind our children. It took a lot of people struggling to bring me to this point in history. I didn't just drop out of the sky, people came from my continent in chains."

And I agree with Willie. You miss-read comments a lot to support your own silly argument. Don't misquote someone to try to prove a point. Willie said: "The same left rags say the same negative things about Rush et.al., and the day moves on." and then he said,"The average undereducated voter doesn't even know or care. Only you and your ilk."

Stop putting words in someone's mouth to keep the fight going, or just to be annoying. That's what Willie means by immature. And if you will notice, the "undereducated voter" reference included you. Fortunately, your voting privileges to not exist in this country.

Thanks LeMedusa. Hyper may ... (Below threshold)

Thanks LeMedusa. Hyper may vote if ACORN registered him. ;) ww

Hey Hyper you moron, Im tal... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Hey Hyper you moron, Im talking about 1996 and 2000.

artist: Irving Berlin lyric... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

artist: Irving Berlin lyrics
title: What Can You Do With A General?

When the war was over, why, there were jobs galore
For the G.I. Josephs who were in the war
But for generals things were not so grand
And it's not so hard to understand

What can you do with a general
When he stops being a general?
Oh, what can you do with a general who retires?

Who's got a job for a general
When he stops being a general?
They all get a job but a general no one hires

They fill his chest with medals while he's across the foam
And they spread the crimson carpet when he comes marching home
The next day someone hollers when he comes into view
"Here comes the general" and they all say "General who?"
They're delighted that he came
But they can't recall his name

Nobody thinks of assigning him
When they stop wining and dining him
It seems this country never has enjoyed
So many one and two and three and four star generals






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