Becker Blog

The world according to Brian Becker

Powell Puts Country First

Posted by Brian Becker on October 19, 2008

Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama is not only significant, it was powerful. The right wing nut jobs are already out there throwing Powell under the bus by saying he only endorsed the democrat because they are both black, but anyone who actually watched him explain his decision on Meet the Press this morning should have a hard time believing that. Not only did he explain the decision clearly and eloquently, his words were a harsh indictment of the republican party and the McCain campaign’s dirty divisive tactics in recent weeks that should have republicans taking a hard look in the mirror about the direction that their party has taken in recent years. If they continue down that path, no doubt about it, more and more prominent and respected moderate republicans will come forth expressing disgust for the party.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The republican party is not a “big tent” party anymore, and Powell’s statements proved that this is the case. He said he was concerned about the party moving further and further to the right, and that their divisive tactics are driving more and more people away, rather than bringing people together. The pick of Sarah Palin was obviously a way to bring those on the far right back into McCain’s camp, and Powell thinks she is not ready to be President.

The most important thing that he said in his endorsement, though, is in regards to the rumors about Obama being a Muslim. Of course, Obama is not a Muslim, but Powell took it a step further which I have been waiting for someone well known and respected to say on national television for a long time. So what if he was? What is wrong with being a Muslim in this country? According to Powell, high ranking officials in the G.O.P. are spreading this rumor as if it were a slur, and that someone of the Islamic faith could not possibly be President. This kind of hatred is not what America is about, and it reflects poorly on us all that we allow such discrimination to flourish. Muslim-Americans have fought and died for our country! Faith is not something that should disqualify someone for any elected office in the United States, and Powell’s recollection of this picture made the case better than I had thought possible. This needed to be said, and I’m glad he did.

This endorsement is important because Powell is such a respected figure in American politics, especially among military families and conservatives. If Powell says Obama is ready to be Commander-in-Chief than that carries a lot of weight, pretty much taking the issue off the table. I’m sure that a lot of the fence sitters, especially the conservative leaning ones, will look at this endorsement and reconsider their leanings toward McCain. Although a lot on the far left will dismiss this endorsement because of Powell’s role in selling the Iraq war, he remains a respected figure in both the right and the middle of the political spectrum.

It also could not have come at a more opportune time for Barack Obama, or a worse time for John McCain. Opportune for Obama because early voting is starting in many states this week, and has been going on in some states already. Bad for John McCain because there is so limited time left to make the case for his candidacy, the condemnation of his campaign by such a respected figure in his party could hurt him considerably. Not only that, an endorsement of this magnitude will likely take up two or three days of the news cycle which McCain desperately needs. With Obama having such a gargantuan lead in campaign cash, any free media he gets is good for him, but he will have a tough time capturing back the news cycle for a few days, which has been a tactic of his all along.

Watch his endorsement here in case you missed it.

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One Response to “Powell Puts Country First”

  1. notalwaysright said

    On CNN–Cafferty’s blog you said that John McCain is a divider and Barack Obama is a uniter. Seriously?!

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