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Colin Powell’s October Surprise

I’ve written before about the elder statesman, Colin Powell, who served as National Security Adviser and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Today, Colin Powell officially announced his support for Barack Obama for President with a little more than 2 weeks to go until the election. Good for him.

His statement, which was released on NBC’s Meet the Press, goes to the very heart of the matter about why the GOP will lose on November 4th, and not just for the Presidency, but across both houses of Congress. Powell forcefully criticized his own party for what he called its “narrow focus” on irrelevant personal attacks instead of the major challenges to the American people. Powell went on to say McCain’s choices in the last few weeks — especially his selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his vice presidential running mate — had raised questions in his mind about McCain’s judgment:

“I don’t believe [Palin] is ready to be president of the United States. By contrast, Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware is ready to be president on day one.”

Powell also expressed disappointment with the GOP’s apparent determination to question Obama’s religion and heritage, speaking directly to members of the right who seem to think Obama is a Muslim or an “Arab”. Although Powell once again reiterated that Barack is neither, he addressed the larger question which was brought up in the comment thread of one of my earlier posts – “The really right answer is what if he is?” Powell said, praising the contributions of millions of Muslim citizens to American society. “I look at these kind of approaches to the campaign, and they trouble me,” Powell said. “Over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party has become narrower and narrower.”

That’s exactly right Mr. Powell. What if he was? In this incredible country of ours, your race, religion, sexual orientation or heritage shouldn’t be the litmus test for job fitness. This nation needs to move beyond the fear and mistrust of the “not like us” promoters. Colin Powell thinks Barack Obama is the man that will help us do just that. I happen to agree with him 100%.

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  1. Good for him. Goes some way to making amends for his part in convincing the world that the invasion of Iraq was justified on the grounds of weapons of mass destruction. I think he realised quite early on what a gaffe that was and has been contrite ever since, which has won my respect. I hope his candour regarding the GOP’s narrow focus will help push some waverers to the Democratic cause.

    Although I’m based in the UK, I’ve been following the US election extremely closely, because what happens in the US affects the world. If the McCain/Palin ticket wins I think it’ll be bad news all over the world.

    Here’s hoping for Obama/Biden! I wish everyone outside the US could vote, too; then it’d be a landslide!

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