Powell 4 Obama?

19 Oct

Chris Cillizza explains on WashPo’s The Fix blog, how Colin Powell’s endorsement of his opponent may be the final nail in John McCain’s presidential hopes.

It is widely rumoured that the retired General will offer his backing to Senator Obama on NBC talk show Meet The Press today. Cillizza points out that Powell’s support will shore up Obama’s foreign policy credentials – the one area where McCain still gets traction.


The Beltway rumour mill was right, Colin Powell today announced his endorsement of the Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama.

As a former Army General and Secretary of State in the Bush administration, Powell’s support will be seen as important in bolstering Obama’s foreign policy proposals, which include a “phased withdrawal” from Iraq.

Powell used the endorsement, made on NBC’s Meet the Press, to stress his long friendship with Obama’s rival, John McCain, but added that his vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, isn’t ready to be President of the United States.


I’ve just listened to the audio from the Meet the Press interview, and Powell stressed the GOP’s lurch to the right as an important factor in his decision. Powell’s ‘defection’ may prove to be decisive in cementing the support of centre-right Republicans – the much-discussed ‘Obamacans’ – who feel alienated by the appointment of Palin and McCain’s reliance on divisive political tactics.

Powell rejected the culture-war that McCain has embraced.

Commentators also mentioned the importance of Powell as a retired veteran, with regard to the ageing populations of Florida. Many former members of the military live in the crucial state of Florida and would be considered natural McCain voters.


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