Monday, October 20, 2008

Why Colin Powell's Endorsement Matters

Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press this weekend. I watched for a bit and decided to watch Fox News for a couple hours when I got home from my grandmother's house. From the time I turned False News on they proceeded to find every African-American conservative pundit they could to come on and refute Powell's decision. It was both ridiculous and hilarious at the same time. I counted 1 African American who favored Obama to 13 that did not. Kinda funny since I've seen polls that 86% to 95% of African-American voters are voting for Obama. But this is atypical of Fox and friends' brainwashing techniques and I'm not here to talk about them.

Colin Powell:

Mr. Powell, former G.W. Bush Secretary of State, endorsed George W. Bush in 2000. Then again, so did Iran. The key is that Bush won, and I feel partly due to Powell's (not Iran's) endorsement. Unfortunately, Bush decided to not play nice with Mr. Powell after his attempt to keep Bush in check caused Bush's Chief of Staff, Andrew Card to ask for his resignation. While this was a significant blow to Powell's ego, he stood firm as a conservative moderate Republican through the 2006 Democrat romping in the House & Senate.

Enter John McCain & Barack Obama:

Colin Powell supported John McCain at the start of the race. He even contributed the maximum to the McCain campaign. He has known Mr. McCain for 25 years and has expressed similar views on homeland security and foreign policy. All of this pointed to Powell endorsing John McCain for president as long as things laid out correctly in Powell's mind. Faux News was already not so sure. In fact, Bill Kristol stated that Powell would endorse Obama and give a speech at the Democratic National Convention. That didn't happen. Afterwards, Powell told CNN News in February 2008 that "I will vote for the candidate I think can do the best job in America—whether that candidate is a Republican or Democrat or an Independent."

In February 2008, I truly believe Powell was leaning towards his Republican roots and was voting McCain. However, Powell is a decisively tactical man. He knew that in order to make an educated decision he would need to see things from both perspectives. This meant he would need to meet with Barack Obama and John McCain to discuss their ideology and how it meshed with Powell's own ideas. Around the end of June, 2008 he did. At the time of these meetings in June of 2008, Colin Powell was still undecided. I believe Powell when he said this was a very tough decision. I believe Powell when he says race had nothing to do with his decision.

Cynics like antisocialism (a favorite conservative commenter of mine) will see this as a man who stuck with the color of his skin. Conservative professional liar & drug user, Rush Limbaugh has also made his feelings known. However, I think Colin Powell said it best when Tom Brokaw asked, "there will be some that say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race." Powell responded, "If I had only 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 for, John McCain and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama. And it was only within the last couple of months that I settled on this."

Colin Powell is still a Republican. This endorsement doesn't change that fact. Unlike most Republicans he can cross party lines to support the belief that Obama's qualifications as a inspirational leader, his picking of a good VP candidate who will help in foreign affairs (unlike Sarah "My IQ is 83" Palin -- no, this still hasn't been refuted) and his ability to motivate people in ways that not many other presidents have been able to (i.e. John F. Kennedy).

Some people will say (to borrow from Faux News' brainwashing technique) that Powell was saving this for an "October Surprise." I think that is a bogus claim and here's why. Most political announcements that seek real airtime in the 24hr news cycle time slots we have today will do so on Monday or Tuesday. This allows the news media to hammer hard and spread the story at a much quicker pace. However, Powell did this on the 2nd worse possible news day (1st being Saturday and 3rd being Friday), which is Sunday. Had he been timing this as a political stunt, he would have done so on Mon-Thur news cycles. He didn't. Powell also stated that he will not be campaigning for either candidate. Had this been a political stunt, Powell would have announced it on a Monday and campaigned for Obama afterwards. This is not happening.

Why this Endorsement Matters:

This endorsement matters because of one very simple fact. Colin Powell's endorsement was incredibly well spoken. It showed a gut wrenching decision by a man who was forced, through no fault of his own, to cross party lines to vote. Had Obama been white and McCain still run the same nasty campaign, Powell would have still voted for "white Obama". He sees past color of skin. It is one of the many things that makes him a great man.

Negativity has finally lost, everyone. I am proud of the majority in America waking up to the idea that hatred and negativity are not the way of the future. We need a new world order, and the first step is to bring America together. It's time to look past the time I had in Tennessee and look forward to a future without bigotry and claiming white privilege or the "Bradley Effect." It's time to forget color of skin when picking a presidential candidate.

Please take the time to watch the below video if you haven't seen it. It's well worth spending 12 minutes of your life seeing.

9 comments:

freedomofspeech said...

Very well said RedWing. While I don't think the hardcore republicans will give a sh#t, I do think independants and the black vote that were leaning McCain may switch back to their roots because of it.

I do think you should do a write up on that nasty woman from Minnesota that said democrats were not pro american or something like that. I believe she now may lose a race she was going to easily win. Use those killer researching techniqes and tell me about it.

Grandma said...

Having grown up in Colin Powell's era I know a little about him. He's a middle of the road republican who's done well with his career, but made a few mistakes along the way as well. I don't consider his endorsement traitorous as I've been reading on other blogs. This whole idea of America being split amongst "pro america" and "anti america" citizens is ridiculous and about as far fetched as you can get. If that were the case we'd be heading towards another civil war. I think it's just fine for a man to pick a candidate no matter what the reasoning, as long as it's legal. So what if it was racial? So what if it wasn't? Powell picked Obama for his inspiration. Inspiration is not racial. Just my opinion.

Betty "Grandma"

Norris Hall said...

Is it about race?
Only one person knows for sure…and that’s Powell.
Powell claims that he’s not happy with the “rightward shift” of the Republican party.
Any merit in his accusation???
Listen to Republican Senator Michelle Bachmann
Click to watch Senator Michelle Bachmann’s interview
So...what do you think??. Is Powell just imagining things?

AntiSocialism said...

I was watching CNN the day that Powell announced this. The following was never mentioned by any anchor (that I'm aware of), but came across the ticker at the bottom of the screen. It stated something to the effect of Obama would offer him a position in his administration. Has to make you wonder if this is a career move or if he truly feels the GOP has gone too far right.

PowellisRight said...

"It's because he's black."

That is such an easy - and weak - answer to give when it comes to
former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president.

Radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh made it clear that's what he thinks; Pat Buchanan, who would be a leader of the White Citizens Council if this was the 1950s, said as much; and even conservative columnist George
Will tried to pin that on Powell.

All are wrong.

But what is so fascinating to watch these GOP-lovin' folks, and the others who blindly follow their every word, is that they have lavished Powell with effusive praise for years because they saw him as race neutral!

Powell, and his successor as secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, have been portrayed as their kind of Republicans because they aren't seen as black. They sort of occupy the rarefied space reserved by whites for Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey - African Americans who are not about their color (well, maybe not Oprah, who
has been tagged for being a traitor for supporting Obama. Why, they say? "Because he's black"!).

Their reaction to Powell's endorsement is the reality of being black in America: if you do everything the way the Limbaughs, Buchanans and Wills want, you're perfectly acceptable in their world. But the moment you actually use that clear and independent mind they said they love to support the person that you think is right for the job, then it's because they are black. I know the feeling. I get the emails from white viewers who question my skills, integrity and credibility by assigning race as the sole reason I'm on CNN. Forget the fact that I've put 17 years into this line of work.

Powell is a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; national security adviser; and has served on the ground with our troops. He has served directly with four presidents and knows presidential timber when he sees it.

To Limbaugh, Will and Buchanan, put your fake race analysis away and give this accomplished man his due. He made a thoughtful, careful and meticulous decision over the course of several months, and gave one of the most compelling endorsements I have ever seen. He used his intellect and knowledge of the office and tried to convey that to the nation.

Powell wasn't a black man supporting Obama. He is an American hero who has always, and will continue, to put country first.

bill said...

They hacked the Ohio Secretary of State's website. They were pissed off because they lost a court fight to purge thousands of Democrats' names off the eligible voter's list. Read all about it here. This is an Associated Press article and it's for real - including the intimidation and death threats...

bill said...

Oops, sorry. I forgot to leave where you can read the article:

www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20081020/UPDATES01/81020026

RedWing said...

Bill,

That link isn't working for me.

RedWing said...

Here's another link to the same story.

Click Here