Monday, September 15, 2008

Powell: Obama Win Would be "Electrifying"

The very popular retired Republican general and former Bush Secretary of State is still not ready to endorse a candidate, but this should definitely be heartening to Obama supporters who feel their candidate could use the sort of "electric jolt" they would get from Powell's endorsement. Since both candidates are pushing factors such as change and bipartisanship, this would be a real feather in Obama's camp (cynicism about race notwitstanding). A few interesting excerpts:
The election of an African-American president “would be electrifying,” Powell told a George Washington University audience, “but at the same time [I have to] make a judgment here on which would be best for America.

“I have been watching both individuals, I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I am going to vote for. And I'm interested to see what the debates are going to be like because we have to get off of this ‘lipstick on a pig’ stuff and get into issues,” he said.

“As always, he is holding his cards close and waiting for more information," one adviser close to Powell told CNN’s John King.


“I have voted for members of both parties in the course of my adult life. And as I said earlier, I will vote for the candidate I think can do the best job for America, whether that candidate is a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent,” he added.

Powell also offered praise for Obama, calling him an “exciting person on the political stage.

“He has energized a lot of people in America,” said Powell, who briefly weighed his own run for the White House in the mid-1990s. “He has energized a lot of people around the world. And so I think he is worth listening to and seeing what he stands for.”

Last month, a Powell adviser told CNN that "he likes and admires John McCain, and that would be a factor in anything he does if he decides to get more involved."

Another source close to Powell said that he has known McCain for more than three decades “and likes him, and is looking for a reason to vote for him. He hasn't found it yet."


Vicki Cana said...

Glad to see you are back, and hoping your friend's healing will progress speedily.

Powell's liking McCain aside, why does he need to 'look for'[=searching in a haystack?] a reason to endorse him? I would think that Sen. Obama has been offering REASONS that do not need to be 'looked for'. How meaningful can Powell's endorsement be if he has to wait till he cannot find anything in McCain to endorse?

Charles M. Kozierok said...

Thanks Vicki.

I think Powell legitimately is torn. He likely doesn't agree with Obama on many key issues -- Powell *is* a Republican, after all. At the same time, he must also know by now that McCain stands for pretty much everything Powell has rejected in the Bush administration. So he may well still be undecided.

It's also possible he is just waiting to time the announcement for maximum effect, either with or without the cooperation of the Obama campaign.

Either way, I find it encouraging, and even this sort of talk helps Obama.