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."
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: