Powell not necessarily in McCain’s corner

April 10, 2008

Colin Powell was President George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s supporting the presidential bid of fellow Republican John McCain.

“I’m looking at all three candidates, I know them all very, very well, I consider myself a friend of each and every one of them, and I have not decided who I will vote for yet,” Powell said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Powell, like McCain, is a military veteran who publicly supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and he served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War in 1991.powell.jpg

But while McCain wants a continued U.S. military presence there, Powell said the armed forces will simply be unable to maintain 140,000 troops in Iraq beyond next year.

Whoever is president next year, “they will face a military force, a United States military force, that cannot sustain, continue to sustain, 140,000 people deployed in Iraq,” Powell said. “They will have to continue to draw down at some pace.”

Powell said he was impressed with fellow African-American Barack Obama, despite the Democratic Illinois senator’s relative lack of experience.

“Sen. Obama, he didn’t have a lot of experience in running a presidential campaign, did he, but he seems to know how to organize a task and he seems to know how to apply resources to a problem at hand,” Powell said.

“So that gives you some indication that (despite) his inexperience in foreign affairs and domestic affairs, he may be somebody who can learn quickly.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage. 

Photo credit: REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won (Powell speaks at the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul October 17, 2007)


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The point that most people miss Sec. Powell hit on the nose. The supposedly novice Senator Obama has run a better focused, financed and efficient campaign than the Senator with all the experience.

“Sen. Obama, he didn’t have a lot of experience in running a presidential campaign, did he, but he seems to know how to organize a task and he seems to know how to apply resources to a problem at hand,” Powell said

So when the phone rings at 3am Senator Obama wont make some knee jerk reaction but seek counsel before making a decision. Imagine a President who knows he doesnt know everything and will seek opinions from those who will help him make the best decision.

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

It is fundamentally important to understand Powell’s observation. A campaign is a perfect sample of an administration that a candidate can provide to the public that shows his ability to the task of the presidency. Obama has proved his efficency. Powell’s statement about Obama is an endorsement!

Posted by Ann Coumo | Report as abusive

I admire Colin Powell. Had he run for president under any platform, I would have voted for him. As for OBAMA, after sitting in church 20 years with Jeramiah White…it would be like voting for George Wallace and all his KKK buddies…I just cannot justify a vote for racism — even if that racism is coming from a black man’s preacher.

Posted by evilyn | Report as abusive

Good for Powell to be an outside and independent thinker – all people should be and not simply think simply along race or party…

We are seeking one President! Whoever the candidate is on the Democratic Party ticket the party-line should be unifying a brokedown nation.

Posted by Adam | Report as abusive

Powell hit the nail on the head, sure, except he was on the wrong board, entirely. And so are most of the tea leaf readers out here. Why?

Simply because ‘quiet’ racism is a better match for ‘out loud’ media/misogynist Hillary hatred.

if you look a little more closely, and can actually manage to read and think in close proximity to each other, you’ll notice Powell’s praise of Obama also used the words ‘seems’ and ‘may’ in rather significant clauses. I think they refer to that as wiggle room.

I’ve worked with, and befriended, many Veterans here in the US who spent time in North Vietnamese POW camps, and in my estimation, Senator McCain ‘might’ not have as many screws loose as the average, similarly disadvantaged individual.

I’d imagine that counts as a ringing endorsement to these other buffoons.

Posted by Brian Stegner | Report as abusive

If you really want to judge Obama based on his preacher take the time on youtube to view these FULL sermons.

I think we can both agree it is unusual that this guy preaching for 30 years, the most revered preacher in a 99% white denomination (United Church of Christ that is countries biggest denomination) that the idea that Wright’s message was somehow consistent solely of these ideas is laughable. Why isn’t there a testimonial of anyone that ever met him or visited his church, black or white?

The two most controversial things said he was actually CRITICIZING, and quoting others like Tony McPeak who said them strangely on Fox News coverage. Why is he attributed with the statements that he is quoting, citing, and criticizing?

His statement “God Damn America” in the full speech is consistent with my understanding of the Christian Bible (as Wright states) and I am not even Christian. The Bible has stories of countries that commit so much sin God decides he has to destroy them. It is a very strong theme in Christianity that if our moral compass is broken we become a world where we are all sinning, are all unethical this great experiment by god may be over. Reverend Wright if you viewed the whole speech was suggesting that when religion is used as a tool in political context where a politician will follow up promoting policies that destroy our social fabric with “God Bless America” they are really saying “God Damn America,” as they are asking the country to be damned with their actions. I really don’t think this is a controversial idea in Christian circles.

The only controversial statement in it (of the 30 years of his preachings Fox News turned into 30 seconds) was in the idea that AIDS was put in black communities to destroy them. While I strongly disagree with this in a poll 5 years ago 1/3rd of blacks think this is at least possible, in a poll last year 1/2 of blacks feel racism and discrimination is as bad as it was 50 years ago. While I don’t agree with these beliefs should we denounce this half of the black community? Or figure out how to transcend it. Reverend Wright’s church has a large focus on Africa and the African American community. Ronald Reagon was slow to act on AIDS as the victims were mostly gay, black, poor, or promiscous. This is well documented. More blacks have died of aids BY FAR in Africa than Jews in the holocaust because of our governments inaction and not caring and I am Jewish. He could have discussed how so many blacks have aids because it is not politically correct for politicians to support sexual education and making birth control available and blacks and the poor disproportionately suffer. This would be a strong argument, he just picked a different one.

Besides the fact that John McCain went on Fox News the next day to affirm that Obama’s values are different than those expressed by Wright (which means something as Obama and McCain are opponents) and Mike Huckabee has said in his 30 years of preaching probably said a similar amount of things controversial in the heat of the moment lets look at the preachers of these other figures.

McCain’s preacher made a comment that the catholic church is “a whore.” Does that mean McCain feels catholics are inferior….Hillary’s preacher once praised Hitler, does that mean she shares that view.

Can we assume that all Christians believe that me (a jew) is going to go to hell for it……and similarly someone growing up in a part of the world where they never heard of christianity will be punished for it. Based on that should I not vote for a Christian until they denounce this.

This is really ridiculous. If Reverend Wright’s sermons were so bad they would play the full sermon and let us hear it, not a few words of each. They were already exposed by CNN for manipulating them when the full ones were played.

Honestly, if you were asked to give your views on domestic and international policy, views on our society its problemsa nd how to fix it mixed in with discussing your religion 3 times a week for 30 years would you not say anything controversial.

I am not even a Christian and am educated enough to know that in a preachers sermon he doesn’t spend all the time talking about problems like Fox News is suggesting with how the clip was edited. A sermon is four parts.

– Setup (setting up the situation)
– Problem
– Solution
– Relating it to Christianity

I don’t see ANY setup, solution, or relating to Christianity in these Fox News clips, and unless someone can prove to me (someone that has seen 10 of Wrights sermons before this controversy) that Wright just talks about problems these entire speeches that is ridiculous.

It is a testament to Obama’s character with it clear for year now that Fox News has a goal to use mischaracterizing Obama’s preacher as a political weakness that Obama hasn’t thrown Reverend Wright under the bus. He was smart enough to see how the media would treat him in not inviting him to his convocation where he announced his candidacy, he knew they would make it a problem.

Look at Obama’s book “Audacity of Hope” which was one of Reverend Wright’s sermons. Does it seem realistic that someone giving sermons about hope would be giving sermons preaching hate and discusing these issues like nothing has changed and these problems won’t go away?

This is the same Fox News that destroyed Howard Dean’s campaign by manipulating the sound on a tape to give him a funny yell and playing it 24/7 for weeks…..Same Fox News that destroyed John Kerry with the Swiftboat fake story….The reason the Iraq War didn’t end 3 years ago was because of Fox news….Fox News is the most racist channel in the history of broadcasting. They have no credibility.

I don’t think if nobody who has been to Wright’s church or met him or knew of him is attesting to him being a bad guy, there is no negative article written about him before Obama ran for President and this is the most decorated and award winning preacher in the biggest denomination in the country who has been given honorary doctorates at 8 of the top top universities in the country somehow we would just be finding this out now and there would be no negative articles on him prior.

It is a testament to Obama that this and the Rezco things are the only scandals found. With the Rezco thing one person who funded his campaign a small amount and that he purchased his house from happened to after Obama bought the house be caught in a scandal. Nobody has found any favor Obama did for him, any bill he voted for that helped the guy and nobody has said anything other than that Obama bought the house at a fair price.

So Obama buying a house for a fair price for a guy that later got indicted and that Fox News found 5 lines in over 3000 preachings that they edited to offend people that is the best they have on Obama, give me a break,he is more clean than any candidate ever.

The biggest line in Obama’s speech “I can no more denounce Obama than I can the African American community” we can all say the same thing about our respective communities. Is it our job to denounce the minority of people in each of our respective racial communities who have views that have hateful implications to prove we don’t have them. We are supposed to tell everyone we think these people are inferior to prove we don’t share their views, is that it?

So Obama who grew up raised by a white woman (who got a PhD in intercultural equality) and white grand parents, and in high school had almost all white friends, and worked 10 years organizing white cathlic churches (him not being catholic) served 8 years in Illinois serving equally white constitutiones and white colleagues, was respected by blacks and whites in the senate (respected by McCain) is 46 years old and must have been a racist all this time. Give me a break.

If Wright was so bad they wouldn’t edit it in a way that takes away all the context they would show it to you as it is. His preachings have been on television for 20 years, how come there is no article or record of anyone complaining?

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Powell come on home. Obama 08!!

Posted by Sidmore | Report as abusive

It is a shame that Mr. Powell allowed GWB and company to use him in a way which ruined any chance Mr. Powell had for a run at the Presidency.
I know I will never forget the speech he gave at the UN. I could see it in his eyes at the time that he didn’t even believe what he was saying.
Next to the assassinations of JFK and Dr. King that was the blackest day for America.
When you get down to it Hillary is the best hope for our country.

Posted by Hadyn | Report as abusive

The only current proof we have about capability and performance on the candidates is how their campaigns are being run.
Obama is running an efficient and solvent campaign while on the Clinton side there are unpaid bills as small as $600.00 over 60 days past due, and no return phone calls to the creditors.
This not only speaks about administration skills but also about how much disdain Clinton and her campaign administrators have for the small businesses that have provided the services to them on the campaign trail.

Senator Clinton actions speak louder than words.

McCain can talk about all the reasons to continue fighting in Iraq with an enemy that is never going to go away, the enemy is there because we are there.
McCain and anyone else that supports our presence in Iraq are blind to the fact that we are depleting our human, military and financial resources to the point of no return, all for no good reason.
God forbid that something happens that requires our military intervention, we will not be able to protect America or anyone else.
These guys are blind.
Obama is the only candidate that offers hope and will do what it takes to change the gloomy destination that the current administration has mapped out for us. He has young kids and looks to the future as a parent, no other candidate has that investment on the future of this country.

Posted by Ernesto | Report as abusive

Hadyn – Scary revalation that the fringe left you represent doesn’t count in it’s top three blackest days for America 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Dave – Next time, type it in Word and hit F7 before posting. Then, see a psychiatrist.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Powell has to be the only crony out of the Bush adminstration that has any sort of decency and ethics. So much so he had to bail ship half way down the stream because he was rowing in the wrong direction. You see, Powell REALLY believed that they were doing the right thing, or he never would have been on board. But he was subverted by those who had hidden intentions and as soon as they became blatantly obvious, he cut free from this sinking ship and as such, is the only Bushie that still has any sort of credibility when it comes to the American people. Even Condi will not come clean when all is said and done. I still say that Powell could have beaten Bush in 2000 and could still win today. He exudes honestly.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

I saw an intervierw wity Colin Powell He aslo stated that HE ADMIRED OBAMA FOR NOT THROWING HIS PASTOR UNDER THE BUS. HE ADMIRED HIM for sticking to the pastor that brought him nearer to his faith. So if you respect Powell, respect his view and put the Rev Wright non issue to bed.

Posted by nancy | Report as abusive

Dave….Excellent post. I admire and thank you. I’m just afraid that the people that read that….. that don’t agree will not even give it any thought and consideration. Sort of like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. But it was perfectly stated. Perhaps you can write letters to the editor of all the PA papers.

Posted by nancy | Report as abusive

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