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Is Powell paying back the neo-cons?

  • Oct. 20th, 2008 at 11:23 PM

It will be interesting to see the impact of Colin Powell's defection to Obama because nobody should be surprised that he is endorsing the Democratic candidate for president, regardless of the fact that both are black. Powell has always been on the touchy, feely side of the Republican party, even when he was tipped as a possible Republican presidential contender himself.

But what I have just learned, thanks to a new book by a Washington Post investigative reporter assessing Vice President Dick Cheney, was that while Mr Powell was secretary of state and a rival of Mr Cheney for George Bush's ear, the Cheney people used to refer to the state department to "an Al Qa'ida cell" because of the department's concern for "due process" for terrorists. (Here's another example of his famous caution: Madeleine Albright, the secretary of state under Bill Clinton, recalls in her memoirs Powell's reluctance to use force in Bosnia. "What are you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can't use it?" she said.)

So for Powell, his endorsement of Obama is payback time for the neo-cons. 

What do others think?


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ysabetwordsmith wrote:
Oct. 19th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
I've seen Powell do so many obnoxious things, I was suprised by this move. Pleased, but surprised. He'll have to do a lot more favorable things before I stop being suspicious. So I'm not really sure what he hopes to gain by this.
jessica_leah wrote:
Oct. 19th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
I think he evaluated the candidates and chose the one he feels is best. For elaboration on that, I would read/watch his statements on Meet the Press. He's been pretty darn direct.
sophia_sadek wrote:
Oct. 19th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Powell is a gentleman, not a thug
His actions remind me of a general from another era.
gizzi1213 wrote:
Oct. 19th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
I think to suggest a man of Gen. Powell's stature would endorse someone for such a petty reason is insulting. He evaluated the candidates. I watched "Meet the Press" this morning and saw his remarks in their entirety. He gave a thoughtful, well reasoned explanation for his decision. That is all anyone can do in making their decision on who to vote for in any election. Whether or not his words and opinion will matter to anyone I have no idea. However, I've been more than slightly disgusted with some Republicans/conservatives posting comments to newsvine and cnn saying he is now a "traitor" for supporting Obama. Not to mention the subtle suggestion by McCain that he "wasn't surprised" that Powell supported Obama. The inference is clear in that comment.
teagrl83 wrote:
Oct. 19th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
He might be
But I think wrapped up with paying back the neo-cons there is this rejection of the negativity of McCain's campaign. I felt he sounded very genuine in his criticism. Some of the results from the accusations have made a lot of people pretty uneasy. Couple that with his history with neo-cons, etc, it adds up, I think.
ariel817 wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Here are some selected excerpts from him on Meet the Press this morning and my thoughts..

I have said to Mr. McCain that I admore all he has done. I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years it has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that’s a choice the party makes.

I don't disgree, except where he then applies that to McCain, who clearly does not walk his party's line.

On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama, and I watched him during this 7-week period .... and also in, not just jumping in and changing every day.. Except where things like Georgia/Russia were involved.

And I’ve also been disappointed frankly by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently, or his campaign has, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers situation that’s been going on for weeks... Agreed, didn't like this divergence into Ayers crap - unless it was used as a (one of several) bullet points of lack of honesty.

And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that’s what we would be looking at in a McCain administration.

So, Powell shows his true political leanings by concern with two conservative appts to the Supreme Court, but here's why he's wrong and the situation is MUCH worse under President Obama. If McCain is President, he has to get appts through a Democratic super-majority (because they very well may get their 60), so you know he's going to have to go with moderate conservative appointments. Kennedy might not be the only swing vote, and suddenly you'd have 3 votes that go one way or the other, which is healthier thana completely politically polarized court. Now, Obama -- he's going to have potentially a filibuster-proof Senate - we're going to get ultra-liberal appointments like you won't believe!

I’m also troubled by…what members of the party say, and is permitted to be said, such things as, ‘Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, 'He is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian, he’s always been a Christian.'

But the really right answer is, 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?'

Okay, again, we're hanging McCain with what others have said. We all saw the video - as soon as she said Obama was Arab, he took the mic away, shook his head, said No. No. No, he's not, etc... He handled it fine. He shut it down immediately and admonished the ralliers to be respectful and focus on honest disagreements.

Now we have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know, but I’m troubled about the fact that within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

He contradicts himself within these two sentences. He's right, McCain is more in the middle (remember, even considered caucusing with the Dems in the Senate a few years ago), and if anyone can bring the party back towards the center, isn't it exactly someone like McCain? I don't follow his reasoning here.

I suspect, acknowledged or not, there is a tug of race, and fallout for his role in Iraq, since he has some major regrets that he's admitted to.
cupsmou wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama, and I watched him during this 7-week period .... and also in, not just jumping in and changing every day..

Except where things like Georgia/Russia were involved.

Except when he was talking about this, he was speaking solely on the subject of the economic crisis, and Georgia/Russia conflict was not even mentioned.
(no subject) - ariel817 - Oct. 20th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC) Expand
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(no subject) - ariel817 - Oct. 20th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC) Expand
grace_om wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
So for Powell, his endorsement of Obama is payback time for the neo-cons.

History will "pay back" the neo-cons. And with a bit of luck there'll be some criminal investigations too...

I haven't heard the full interview yet, but I don't believe Colin Powell would endorse Obama for any reason other than his belief that Obama is the better candidate.

I think the impact of his endorsement will be limited, but may weigh significantly with those independents and moderate Republicans who don't really want McCain, yet have doubts about Obama in the areas of foreign policy and national security.
jeffxandra wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
I know Powell felt hung out to dry with the testimony he gave before the Security Council, so I'm sure he has some hard feelings.

I doubt it was the ultimate reason, just some added benefit.
pennyann wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
I don't think his endorsement is totally about "payback time for the neo-cons". That is not to say he doesn't probably have some hard feelings about what went down between him and Dick Cheney, his place in the Iraq war business, etc. But I don't think that is what this is about... I think he too clearly spoke to why he feels Barak Obama is a better choice for where we are as a country at right now. I think that the fact that it is potentially turning out to be payback time for the neo-cons is merely a side effect of his endorsement, not the goal.

He said so many times that we need a "generational change", and I think he is absolutely right. I don't think it will hurt us one bit that someone who speaks so eloquently and inspirationally will be talking our allies into moving back into our corner a little more. I also agree that if you look at a "big picture" type snapshot of each of the parties, he is absolutely right when he defines the Republican party as "narrow" in focus.

To suggest that it was because he was also black and that's why he endorsed Obama is missing the big picture and narrowing the focus. Listen to the entire argument he made for Obama on Meet the Press, and you will find so many good reasons in there that have nothing to do with race, or anger at the neo-cons.

In fact, as a Moderate/Independent, I have to say he simply and succinctly stated the exact same reasons that I will be voting for Senator Obama in November.
ariel817 wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
You picked apart my pulling of specific quotes and showed where you disagreed with me. I'd like to see what quotes you heard that you find are good reasons.... I'm not trying to be rude or hateful, I'd just like your perspective, since obviously your opinion of what he said this morning is different than mine.

I used specific quotes, because I didn't want to just say "hey, I don't think he gave good reason.." I wanted to back up a general statement like that with what I thought was the proof to back my opinion. That's why I'd like to see what you found in what he said that leads you to think he had good reasons, and in fact mirrored your reasons for voting for Obama.

(no subject) - pennyann - Oct. 20th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC) Expand
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Found it! - ariel817 - Oct. 20th, 2008 05:29 am (UTC) Expand
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The press handling honesty - reallyoldman - Oct. 31st, 2008 12:37 am (UTC) Expand
reallyoldman wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
Powell defection
Gen. Powell's endorsement will reassure at least some uninformed voters that maybe Obama isn't a radical, Black Panther, Muslim terrorist after all.

I'll check Fox News. Now they've got to discredit Powell. That passage from the Woodward book should give them something to howl about.

Check The Daily Show for Fox prognostication on Powell's allegiance in "Colin Powell Sends Barack Obama a Special Signal With His Booty" on http://blog.indecision2008.com

Forget about Woodward, though. I expound on Powell's real history of palling around with terrorists on my livejournal.
polarisdib wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
What do others think?

I think that years ago when people were joking about the 2008 campaign being Powell vs. Clinton, I was getting really excited for voted for Powell, but as a successful line of character assassination has nearly destroyed Powell as a strong candidate for most elected offices, he now has carte blanche to do whatever he so pleases--including merely continuing in what he was doing at first, which is telling the truth and holding people accountable.

If he endorses Obama, that's his decision as a citizen. As a public servant, I could care less who he endorses just as long as he does a good job. The information about how the Bush administration treated him is disturbing, but not really all that surprising. My biggest fear is that in a decade or so people are going to forget, popular revisionism will take over, and people will be praising Bush as they praise Reagan today. Most people I talk to think that that's impossible, but I practically feel its inevitable.

timefeed wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)

tsmitty31 wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
I think Powell is looking for a position in the Obama administration.
nodjnopoint wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
I don't for a moment believe Powell is motivated by some petty sense of payback. With the exception of his damning appearance before the U.N., Powell has rarely exercised thoughtlessness and bad judgment. We all still look to him, to his experience, his wisdom and gravitas. In spite of everything, he's still got it.

Powell did a fine job of enumerating his reasons, recognizing that there would be those out there who would dismiss his pick for president as racially-biased. But when intellectual conservatives like Peggy Noonan, Chris Buckley, David Brooks and George Will cite similar concerns about McCain and his campaign (Buckley even going so far as to endorse Obama), what was their motivation for doing so? Payback? Come on.

I'm proud that Colin Powell can think for himself, and it would just figure that some in the Republican party (soon to be the new Dixiecrats, the way they're going) would say his genetics overruled his judgment.
bossiballs wrote:
Oct. 20th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Endorsing WHAT?
You could look at the history. I very much doubt whether he would be so shitty as to stand behind the enema of his obviously twisted ex enmity

You could look at what Colin Powell is looking at.

What he said, was "Transformational."

Which (for those of us at the deep end of "Change").

Would account for what his (Honourable, as ever) motives are.

He is privvy to the deeper aspects of Obamas Strategic Thinking.

And used to saying what he means, and meaning what he says.
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