Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president on Meet the Press

10 years ago

"Either one of them would be a good president, but which of them is the president we need now?" asked former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell on Meet the Press today. His answer: Barack Obama. Powell told Tom Brokaw:

"I've especially watched over the past six or seven weeks as both [candidates] have really taken a final exam with respect to this economic crisis we're in..." [Sen. Barack Obama] "displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiousity a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this -- picking a vice president that I think is ready to be president on day one. And not just jumping in and changing every day but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well...Mr. Obama has given us a more conclusive broader reach into the aspirations and needs of our people. He's thinking all villages have values...not just small towns have values..."

Here's the clip from Meet the Press so that you can watch the rest for yourself:

As you'll see, in his lengthy statement to Meet the Press Host Tom Brokaw, Powell also directly questions Sen. McCain's judgment, attributing his concerns to "daily" changes in McCain's approach to the economy, calling it "unsure" and indicative that, in his opinion, Sen. McCain didn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems. Powell added that while she is to "be admired," he thinks Gov. Palin is not ready to be president, which he describes as the job of the vice president. Powell also says that he is concerned about anti-Muslim statements made by Republican Party leadership, (specifically excluding John McCain from this criticism), what he describes as the increasing move to the right of the Republican Party and the effect that could have on Supreme Court appointments, among other issues.

On Whose Shoes Are These Anyway, Verite Parlant blogs, "I view Powell's endorsement as better late than never and hope it will wake up some people who've bought into the Obama is anti-American smears."

Over on Writes Like She Talks, Jill Zimon blogs, "No sharper mind. Someone I know says that he’ll be Obama’s Secretary of State. Attacks many myths and wrong-directedness of McCain campaign."

What is the power of Powell's endorsement on the outcome of Election 2008? Yglesias notes ambivalence on both the left and the right toward the former Secretary of State:

"Liberals generally find it hard to forgive Powell’s key role in selling the Iraq War to the public, and with some good reason. Still, he’s one of the most popular figures in public life and though he’s not well-liked by the hard-core rightwing either, he’s definitely identified as a Republican. His endorsement helps ratify the post-Palin trend toward McCain solidifying his base but losing his once-formidable support from moderates."

Powell's sought-after endorsement has been the subject of speculation for months. Earlier this week, Fox News published an article suggesting the retired general would endorse Obama because he danced at an 'Africa Rising' event in London England. The article, entitled Hip-Hop-Dancing Colin Powell Fuels Speculation He'll Endorse Obama Colin Powell showed off his hip-hop moves at an 'Africa Rising' celebration in London Tuesday, fueling speculation that the former secretary of state is about to endorse Barack Obama for president begins "Colin Powell has his dancing shoes on, fueling speculation that he's gearing up to do the Obama Two-Step..."

Blogger Megan Garber, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review's The Kicker was one of many to respond:

"Um, what? The fact that Powell is doing trying to do a hip-hop dance means he's endorsing the black guy? Seriously, Fox?

"Oh, but wait. The logic is more subtle than that. It's not so much the dancing that's fueling the Powell-endorsing-Obama speculation; it's the more general fact that the African-American icon supports African-American culture. Therefore--evidence!--he must be supporting the African-American candidate..."

What do you think? Are you influenced by Gen. Powell's endorsement? Do you think this endorsement will have any effect on the outcome of Election 2008?

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