Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell Pulls a Switcherooie


Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama?
Is anyone surprised? Hard to tell. Being a retired army general, a Republican and working for the last three Republican presidents, as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State for the last two, it might of come as a surprise to some.
This morning on Meet the Press, he finally gave his long-awaited endorsement, "because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of this campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities – we have to take that into account – as well as his substance – he has both style and substance – he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president."
Regarding McCain and Obama he said either, "man would be a good president." Powell praised Obama's "depth of knowledge" and "steadiness," while he was critical of what he described as McCain's uncertainty over how to deal with the economic crisis. He also talked about Sarah Palin as McCain's vice presidential choice. "She is a very distinguished woman and she is to be admired," Powell said. "But ... I don't believe she is ready to be president of the United States."
So, what does all this mean for those of us who want Barack Obama to win? It's extremely good. I like Colin Powell. I have liked him since he worked for the first George Bush. In fact, I was secretly hoping he would run eight years, or even four years ago. I would've voted for him, even though he's Republican. Alot of people would have. I read then, that he considered it, but something to do with his family, and safety concerns were part of what prevented him. Can you imagine how different our current situation would be, especially regarding the Iraq war, if he'd been elected, instead of the person who eventually gave him the conciliatory prize of Secretary of State. A position he could only bare for so long. (We can probably thank Rumsfeld for that.)
He has great military experience, and is exactly what Barack Obama needs resting and waiting on his side of the world boxing ring, like a sleeping giant whose expertise is just waiting to be unleashed. And unlike President Bush, Obama will actually listen to his advice.

17 comments:

The Bradfords said...

I wasn't really going to leave a political comment on your political blog, (I really just read it for the recipes), but I did form this idea after reading some of your personal comments. I don't know a lot about Colin Powell, but from what I do know I think he has enough morals to take a stand on issues, ergo he would never be elected president. Same goes for Mitt Romney. The men/women we elect president get elected because they don't take a strong enough stand on issues to offend the majority of the people. Some may disagree with me, but our presidents these days are real middle of the road politicians who are too chicken to do much (for example reversing Roe v. Wade). Maybe it's more important who we put in Congress. Who are you voting for in those races Miss Lula? Hmmm??? I'm going to quit reading your blog if you keep making me think and form opinions. All I was looking for today was a good cucumber dip recipe.

Lula O said...

And a good recipe it is, and I agree with your assessment of Powell. It's probably one of the reasons he never ran for office. This probably isn't a good example, but he's a little like the George Washington of our time. A great military persona that is looked up to, and well-liked by the people, regardless of party affiliation. Like Washington, he's the type you just annoint president, not elect.

And funny you should mention the local race for Congress. Apparently you didn't make it to my "Yard Sale for Bill Sali" that I had last weekend. After I fired off my "loose cannon", and herded away any Harry Kershna types, the election law police came by and took the 50 cents I earned for his campaign into custudy. It was unfortunate....

okbushmans said...

I am not at all surprised Colin Powell endorsed Obama, and I'm not surprised it came shy of 2 weeks from Election day. I think he is an honest and thoughtful man who has served our country beyond most people's capacity. What I do find interesting is what a key role he played in invading Iraq. I remember watching his testimony, with the aerial maps of possible WMD's, thinking "I'm so glad we've got his expertise". Come to find out the intel he received, was not accurate. Why would the Dem's want his endorsement when he is directly tied to the Iraq war? Personally, I would want his endorsement, he is a great man. I just find it hard to swallow that the whole Iraq tragedy is blamed soley on Bush/Cheney, the two-headed monster. If they were wrong, so was Colin Powell, Tony Blair, Condelezza Rice, UN inspectors, etc.
As far as the Powell-effect on Obama, it definitely won't hurt him. It will bring his campaign some 'gravitas'. But there is no talk of 3 former Sect. of State's endorsement of McCain in main media. But, let the score read Obama 1: McCain 0. You may celebrate now.

Lula O said...

Let's not forget Donald Rumsfeld. I would include him within the top three of the list, with Colin Powell fourth in my order of blame. I remember at the time, whether is was true or not, I'd felt like he's been snowballed a bit by a political machine, and then when he left the job it seemed to confirm it. He's never denied his role in the whole process, we don't know how much of a part he played, but the guy's not an idiot, I'm sure he played at least some part. I think he was embarrassed, but he will never say so, just like I've never heard him speak badly of President Bush. The guy has serious integrity.

As far as the other Sec's of State go (And Kissinger is a good one), it's not that Colin Powell was a Secretary of State that most people care about, although it helps. (I know, bad stuff just seems to bounce off the guy, it's almost irritating!) It's that his name is one history will remember, where others fall by the wayside.

Bray said...

I have always been a Powell fan. I have met him and heard him speak. I also believe he is a man of integrity. He is also smart smart smart. I don't believe he was a victim of the Bush Cheney political machine. After it all hit the fan he had the luxury of walking away and acting a little embarrassed about his role but that is the nature of his appointment, you can walk away. Bush couldn't walk away, he had to stay and finish the job the best he could with the mistakes they all made. Maybe privately Bush is just as embarrassed as Colin Powell but he had to take care of business and stay the course and try to find some good out of the mess that was failed intelligence and mistakes made.

Lula O said...

We'll never know exactly what went down; you may be right, I'll partly concede there. But Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, and others, it's hard for me to let them off easy. Only a tiny corner of the canvas was looked at, instead of the big picture, and we'll all pay for it for decades to come.

Bryce and Mandy said...

I think it is great that Colin Powell has endorsed Obama and I hope it helps some of the ‘on the fence’ voters choose Obama because Powell is so well respected by both political parties. Plus I know the whole military thing is an issue some have against Obama so hopefully this helps his cause. I think the reason it is getting so much press compared to McCain’s sec. of state endorsements is because Powell is a well-known republican but still wants Obama. He had to cross party lines to endorse him. Whereas I believe McCain’s sec. of state endorsements were from his same party so that wasn’t that big of a shock. I also find it interesting that a military man wants a president who wants out of a war. I think that speaks volumes about the war in Iraq. And to me it isn’t about going to war based on lies or mistakes, it is that we are still there and that is all Bush/Cheney. And yes, Powell had the luxury of being able to walk away but so does Bush. He can end this war, and I think he can do so with dignity but he refuses to until "victory" (whatever that is, and wasn’t it already declared?) is accomplished (and so does McCain). I don’t think of it as “raising the white flag of surrender” as Palin put it. They got Hussein out of power didn’t they? I find it funny that so many republicans want less government interference in their lives but then they support our government interfering in other countries. Which can be good of course but how long do we stick around trying to force our ways on others? Who is to say that if we left maybe the attacks would lessen? They seem to hate us so much I think us just being there is a big part of the problem.

Lula O said...

I just read Rush's comments on why Powell endorsed Obama. Because they are the same race. I'm not surprised he said it. Could that be possible? In truth I don't know. I only know myself and what I would do. In my case, am I more likely to vote for my own gender, than a man in an election? It depends.
If I know both candidates and what they stand for, I will vote for the one I agree with the most, regardless of gender. But if I don't know, nor are familiar with either of the candidates and am presented with a male or female on a ballot, I will almost always go with the female. Call it sexest, call it girl power, call it whatever you want.
I call it sticking it to the man.

okbushmans said...

Maybe Colin Powell wants to make something right out of something that has turned out to be a huge conflict. I am not willing to declare the Iraq war a failure or a mistake, although it was horribly designed and initially run. I have a brother who is in Iraw as a US political counselor and a good friend serving in Afghanistan. I would much rather have them home, but both have said that the US presence is not looked at by the majority of the citizens as a 'foreign presence' or 'invasive'. They are welcomed and grateful to be out of totalitarian rule. Yes, there were huge mistakes made, but we are not 'FORCING' our beliefs on them. They are writing their own constitution. They are making their own laws of the land. And they are slowly taking back their country. Ok....I'm off on a tangent. I'll stop while I can still be coherent!

Bryce and Mandy said...

I guess it all depends on who you talk to. I have two relatives who fought in Iraq and they say just the opposite. I do believe most are glad Hussein is gone though. Yes, they are writing their own constitution and making their own laws but we forced the idea of democracy on them. Who says it is going to work for them? Even Iraq’s prime minister warned the US to stop interfering with its countries political process. Just because democracy works for us does not mean it works for everyone. Bush said recently his goal in Iraq is to transform it into a democratic-capitalist modernity. He has said “these values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society.” But Iraq is an Arab country and no Arab country has been able to do this. Not even Jordan or Lebanon. It is very complicated to democratize Iraq because there is so much hositility between Shiites, sunnis and kurds. Just look at the Nicaragua occupation from 1912 to 1933 by the US where they attempted to install democratic institutions. The occupation provoked an insurgency led by Sandino and the Marines ended up leaving in 1933 without a democratic govt. Democracy wasn’t achieved until 1990 but it is still marred by extensive corruption. Were we supposed to stick around until then until democracy was achieved? This is the same for Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Good intentions through military force will not always work in cultures that are not congenial to democratic institutions. There have always been democracy problems in the Islamic world. Just because it works for us doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Just look at England, they are just fine with a monarchy. It is like my friend Christina, who was a high school history teacher, told me. Now, I am going to butcher this so correct me where I am wrong Christina. There is a pattern in government, it starts out with a dictator who becomes a tyrant and the citizens revolt and overthrow him. This leads to chaos and then a new leader emerges who ends the chaos. Then the pattern begins all over again. The reason America was able to get out of it was because when offered the crown, George Washington refused it. I’m not saying democracy won’t work in Iraq, we just shouldn’t assume it is the best way for everyone. Now I am going off on a tangent... :)

okbushmans said...

I will concede you can not force democracy. Especially in a nomadic or sectarian part of the world, where they are not defined by boundaries. However, there are middle eastern democracys in Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Afghanistan and now Iraq. Also, United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. Technically the Queen only has authority over 3 dependent territories, the Isle of Man, the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. Parliament, like our Congress, has authority over the laws and defense of the country. And the US didn't offer George Washington the crown. After the Constitutional convention, they elected him as the President. He was an unwilling leader, but one of the best. But he was elected as the President, not offered the crown as a King.
I have always said the US going into Iraq has never been a black or white issue. Was it wrong or right? Was the bad intel reason enough to go in? I don't know those answers. I obviously don't have the same information as the decision makers. But can I see the progress that has been made? Yes. Do I give credit of that progress to Gen. Petraeus and other commanding officers, and our troops, instead of the administration? Absolutely. I think we can all agree that Iraq now is better off than in 2000.

Bryce and Mandy said...

First off, people back then did want George Washington to be king but he didn't want it. They may not have offered it to him when they offered him the presidency but it was because they already knew he didn’t want it. It was widely known people wanted him to be king, especially his officers. His response to a letter suggesting it from one of his colonels on behalf of his officers said, "Let me conjure you then, if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or for posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind and never communicate, as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of like nature."

And my point about England is that their head of state is not elected like we do here. I wasn't referring to how they make or enact laws. In England they don't have a choice who is their King/Queen and it works for them. Maybe a constitutional monarchy would work in Iraq. That was my point, just because democracy works here doesn't mean it will or has to work everywhere else.

In my comment I said Arab nations haven’t been able to hold a democratic-capitalistic society and the Middle-east countries you mentioned having democracies aren’t considered Arab nations besides Iraq and Lebanon. And Lebanon has a parliamentary democracy. They elect parliament and then parliament elects the president so they too don’t elect their head of state. Of course they have a say in it by electing who goes to Parliament but again, not like we do things here.

My point is there are lots of ways to govern a country and they work differently in different places. There are so many factors to consider. To just assume our way is the best way for all other countries is a very narrow-minded way of thinking.

I do agree with you that I believe things are better off in Iraq than they were in 2000 but I believe it is because Hussein isn’t in power anymore. Whether or not we needed to go to war for that I don't know.

okbushmans said...

THe UK's head of state, or political leader is their Prime Minister, currently Gordon Brown. He is elected in a democratic vote. It was not the Queen who decided to aide us in invading Iraq. It was Tony Blair. It was Winston Churchill who lead the British armies during WWII. No, the UK is not identical to the US, but is still considered a democracy.
And Al Gore and I would also like to point out, that our President isn't elected by direct popular vote (vaguely similar to Lebanon). We have an electoral college who elect our President.
These are all minor details, which don't prove either point. I agree that our form of democracy is not a formula for freedom and prosperity for every nation. It must be desired by the people (which the first vote in Iraq had a higher turn out than in the US, which makes me think they want it more than some in the US do). But the basic principles behind democracy are, in my opinion, eternal. Giving the people the power over their governance. Freedom to choose. How they figure out the govt. structure to give that freedom, I could care less. And I think you would agree.

Lula O said...

Good grief, you guys. You definitely both know your stuff. I've learned more from reading these comments than my first year of world history class in college! But let's all agree, war is bad, peace is good. Let's give peace a chance here..and try a new subject. Tommorrow it will be....drumroll please...ENERGY (as in drill, baby, drill!) Ya-hoo

Bryce and Mandy said...

Wow, you are completely missing my point. But since you brought it up the actual technical head of state in England is the Queen. She serves as the head of the judiciary, commander in chief of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England, etc. The Prime Minister is considered the chief executive. He, in the monarch’s name, exercises all of the theoretical powers of the Crown. I don’t really see how who decided to go to Iraq in the UK has to do with anything I was talking about. And yes (good one with Al Gore by the way) I see your point about the Electoral College but it doesn’t really seem like Lebanon’s way of electing a president to me but to each his own. We don’t have anything to do with who the electors are; we don’t vote them into office like they do in Lebanon.
Anyway, I don’t think you are getting the point of my original argument. That democracy (and I mean our exact form of govt, not some variation) isn’t always the answer. So by your last bit in your comment it sounds like we agree :) Yeah for us!

Bryce and Mandy said...

Sorry Lula, I had already posted my comment before I noticed you had written one to declare a peace treaty :)

okbushmans said...

Olive brach extended...