Monday, October 20, 2008

Thank you, Mr. Powell

Yesterday, retired general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President. Watch his comments and endorsement below. It's worth the seven minutes.


After Secretary Powell went before the U.N. on behalf of the Bush Administration and "made the case" for preemptive war in Iraq, I lost some respect for the general. In going before the Security Council he was doing what he's always done in his career: he was being the good soldier. At times, that is called for, needed, and necessary. This was not one of those times. I wish Secretary Powell had resigned over the order he was given to be party in an egregious, outright set of lies that led us to the mess we are in today in Iraq.


Secretary Powell is, overall and one historical moment of bad judgment not withstanding, a man of principal. He is measured, thoughtful, and not easily impressed. He does not give an endorsement strictly along party or demographic lines. For those who think Mr. Powell is endorsing Mr. Obama because he is black, they gravely underestimate Mr. Powell. And for those who think Mr. Powell is a sell-out to his party for endorsing Mr. Obama, they need to take a long, hard look in the mirror. It wasn't that long ago that our ancestors were emigrants, foreigners, and slave owners. America is for everyone and everyone's sacrifice and service matters--regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or politics.

Mr. Powell's endorsement of Mr. Obama sends a loud and clear message that America is and must be for everyone.

Thank you, Mr. Powell.


Jess said...

This post is great. Torsten and I had the exact same conversation yesterday as far as the speech to the UN and how he should have resigned instead, but that other than that he's a good and respectable person, and the way he framed his endorsement of Obama was perfect. I have never understood why the problem with saying that Obama is Muslim is that it's untrue--the problem is that such a thing could be considered a problem at all.

talkingbudgie said...

Colin Powell has always openly been a swinging voter. He's worked for every administration since Ford, so it doesn't surprise me one bit that he decided to endorse Obama after working for Bush.

I always have been a huge fan of Powell's.

Anonymous said...

To tell you the truth, I've been very unforgiving of Mr. Powell for endorsing the Great Lie that launched a thousand bombs in Iraq.

He's been so unapologetic about it. But then, apologies mean nothing nowadays; they are so easily expressed with a side of shoulder shrugs and frat-boy style mia culpas. So who needs meaningless apologies anymore?

I do. If Hilary had apologized for voting for the Iraq war, she would have had a better chance at the presidency, in my opinion.

Fine. Powell jumped parties and endorsed Obama. Good. McCain deserved it.

But I still won't find it easy to trust him from now on if Obama gives him a cabinet position. Anybody who could think so little about the consequences of sending young Americans off to a warrantless war just doesn't earn my trust.

- Phoebe

Anonymous said...

Sorry for ranting on your awesome blog, Tewkes.

I AM glad Powell endorsed Obama.

- Phoebe

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Jess: I have never understood why the problem with saying that Obama is Muslim is that it's untrue--the problem is that such a thing could be considered a problem at all.

Precisely! Our narrow-mindedness and fears about names, religious affiliations, and skin colors continue to baffle and astonish me. As America, we should be above such petty "ideals". I hope I live to see the day when we have a woman, Muslim, American of Asian descent named Anna Sigramprath or something as president!

Eliza: You make an excellent point: Powell never has voted strictly along party lines and has served in both Republican and Democratic administrations. He would make an excellent president as well.

Phoebe: I hear you. I've struggled with my feelings about Mr. Powell. At the end of the day, though, he remains one of the few voices in Washington that is measured and reasoned.

Should he apologize? Yes, absolutely. Will he ever? Perhaps not in the near future, but I suspect that in a few years we'll see a memoir or autobiography or papers will be released that show us Powell was opposed to the Iraq debacle and he'll express regret.

And no need to apologize for your rant. This is rant-friendly zone. Everyone's rant is welcome here!

Virginia said...

Colin Powell made a decision to step up to the plate at this place and time. Good for him. Has he made decisions he probably regrets....probably yes. I have too. All I know is I must do better. Perhaps those are his feelings. I cannot speak for him, only myself.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

VJ: That's what I think, too.

I just received a transcript of Powell's "Meet the Press" appearance. I think somewhere in there he expresses regret for being the closer on the case for preemptive war. I'll cull through it and post something later.

foundinidaho said...

I love Colin Powell. I always got the impression he was horribly torn when he endorsed going into Iraq. I'm sure he would take it back if he could. I think his endorsement of Obama is huge.

Only problem, they're already spinning that it's because he's black.

As if. If that was the case, he'd have endorsed Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton and THAT obviously wasn't going to happen. How racist.