This morning on Meet the Press, General Colin Powell announced his endorsement of Barack Obama for president. This is a big deal. Not only is General Powell a Republican, but he was once thought to be the man most likely to be America’s first Black president.
Powell stated that his choice was based on a number of factors; including the direction of the Republican party, the way McCain has dealt with the economic crisis, the selection of Sarah Palin as VP and the negative direction the McCain campaign has taken. Powell elaborated on the current state of the McCain campaign, blasting him for inciting the idea that Muslims are terrorists, and continuing to bring up William Ayers instead of focusing on real issues. He went even further, stating that members of the Republican party should be called out for perpetuating these rumors and often hate filled sentiments of behalf of the McCain campaign.
Powell made it clear that Obama has proved to him that he is ready to be president. I found it interesting that Colin Powell specifically stated that he is not voting for Barack Obama for the sole reason that he is Black. He thinks of that as a source of pride but in no way based his decision on race. I tend to believe this, simply because if Powell was basing his decision on race he most likely would have come out with it much earlier.
I am thrilled with this endorsement. General Powell is a widely respected political figure with a wealth of knowledge on the current political and military climate. All the independent and undecided voters will likely see this as yet one more reason to jump on the Obama/Biden bandwagon. As a Barack Obama supporter, I could not think of a better endorsement for the ticket to receive. And the icing on the cake? This endorsement followed a variety of unexpected and influential newspaper endorsements for Obama/Biden. What a week! A win in the debate, newspaper endorsements galore and a thumbs up from Colin Powell – I imagine the Obama campaign must be thrilled.
Tom Brokaw did a great job with the interview. He highlighted the ideological differences between Powell and Obama, pressed Powell on his past decisions regarding the war and really gave him the time to elaborate on the reasoning behind his various decisions. What is most amazing to me is that the man who endorsed Bush/Cheney is now voting Obama/Biden. Talk about a 180 degree turn.
All in all a terrific way to end the week. This will certainly dominate the news cycle for a couple of days, and it can only help the Obama/Biden campaign. With only a few weeks left, the Obama campaign must be feeling pretty good.