The Eloquent Endorsement of Obama by Colin Powell

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a prominent Republican political and military leader endorsed Barack Obama for President. What made the endorsement so powerful was not simply that it was from a long standing Republican, but that it was so well thought out and articulated. Powell hit just about every salient reason for supporting Obama:

The Economy: Powell pointed to John McCain’s unsteady handling of the current economic crisis as compared to Obama’s cautious, reasoned and reassuring approach.

The Vice Presidential Choice: Powell highlighted the terrible example of judgment exercised by John McCain in his choice of Sarah Palin for his Vice Presidential nominee.

A Campaign in the Gutter: In perhaps his most powerful point, Powell discussed his disappointment with the tone of the Republican campaign and the extremes they are willing to go to win. In a statement made after his appearance on “Meet the Press”, he mentioned Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann and her recent appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball”:

Ms. Bachmann is the closest we have come to the fictional Senator John Iselin from the 1962 film “The Manchurian Candidate”, in which Iselin states:

I am United States Senator John Yerkes Iselin, and I have here a list of two hundred seven persons who are known by the Secretary of Defense as being members of the Communist Party!

Ms. Bachmann came off sounding as much a fool as the buffoon Iselin, or his real life inspiration, Joe McCarthy.

Perhaps, Powell made his most convincing observation when he discussed the misconception that Barack Obama is a Muslim and expressed his dismay not so much about the misidentification but about the tacit value judgment being placed on Muslims.

Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That’s not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel particularly strong about this because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay, was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards – Purple Heart, Bronze Star – showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the head stone, it didn’t have a Christian cross. It didn’t have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith.

And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life.

via Colin Powell Invokes Image Of Fallen Soldier

Headstone of fallen Muslim US soldier (from Huffington Post)
Headstone of fallen US Muslim soldier (from Huffington Post)

In contrast to the Republican’s divisive xenophobic approach, Obama has run what Powell calls an inclusive campaign.

In less than 30 minutes, Colin Powell did more to clearly explain the appeal of Barack Obama and the shame of the Republican party than any other public figure to this date.

If you are undecided and still need a reason to vote for Barack Obama, you need only watch Powell’s appearance on “Meet the Press” to arrive at the inevitable conclusion.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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7 thoughts on “The Eloquent Endorsement of Obama by Colin Powell

  1. Powell’s endorsement of Obama does not verify Obama’s judgement, but rather brings Powell’s judgement into question. Powell says that Obama is ready to lead … WHY? … Regardless of Powell’s last minute endorsement, Obama is still the most liberal senator in congress … who accomplished nothing in his meager 3 years in office, except voting present 160 times, and campaigning for President, as well as associating with anti-American racists and domestic terrorists … and, taking America down the road to socialism. Obama betrayed a friendship of 20 years, for personal ambition. Powell betrayed his friendship with McCain. McCain did not betray his fellow prisoners, even during 5 years of torture. These facts speak volumes about who these men really are, and whether or not we can trust them.

  2. Excellent post, R. Thanks for posting the photo as well. Powell’s description of it was touching and profound, but I’m glad to see it with my own eyes. Wow…

  3. Lottie, you’re welcome … the photo does speak volumes.

    Howard, unfortunately you haven’t said anything that hasn’t been said already from some really old tired arguments. For starters, people don’t vote “present” in the US Senate. Obama voted present while in the Illinois legislature, where such a vote achieves certain political objectives.

    Rev. Wright may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s hardly an anti-american racist. Unlike Palin’s husband, he has never been affiliated with any group that wanted to secede from the United States. In fact, Wright served his country much as McCain did, admittedly without the years in the Hanoi Hilton.

    Bill Ayers is not a domestic terrorist. He is a college professor and education advocate. When he was involved in domestic terrorism Obama was eight years old. Howard, you know this and yet you repeat the same ludicrous talking points. C’ mon!

    If it’s socialism you want, take a peek at the bailout bill that loads of Republicans just signed onto. We don’t need Barack for socialism …. we’re well on our way there. ;-)

    Finally, if Powell supported McCain cos he likes having a beer with him, then we really haven’t come very far from our Bush fiasco have we? Powell should be respected for putting friendship aside for the good of his country.

  4. Howard,

    Gen. Powell did not betray a friendship, he made a Presidential endorsement. Maybe he had a higher standard than “Is this my buddy?” Being a military man — one of the most-decorated military men alive today, by the way — he understands that one doesn’t make big decisions based on who’s your friend. You do what’s best for the country, even if it hurts.

    He took a lot of time spelling out why he made his decision, and although I disagree with his choice, I get his reasoning. (Frankly, I think that if you’re going to go with one of the two major candidates, Sen. Obama is the one to choose.)

    Moreover, I find it difficult to challenge Gen. Powell’s judgment. The man has spent his entire life in service to this country, and to accuse him of making an endorsement for personal ambition is a cynical and reprehensible charge, completely indefensible based on the man’s history.

    Feel free to disagree with him — but the man has earned a hell of a lot more respect than to be accused of anything other than doing what he thinks is right.

    (Sorry, Rutherford, I’ve been steaming about comments I’ve read about Gen. Powell all day, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to brain-dump.)

  5. Very well stated, Wickle. This isn’t some high school Mr. Popularity contest where everybody votes for their best friend. There’s much more at stake here, and it’s disturbing to know that some people don’t seem to understand that.

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