Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell Backs Obama

So refreshing to hear from an intelligent patriotic American words that express my exact feelings on the issues that are so important in this election....thanks Colan Powell!

Powell Backs Obama and Criticizes McCain Tactics

WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president on Sunday morning, calling him a “transformational figure” who has reached out to all Americans with an inclusive campaign and displayed “a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity” and “a depth of knowledge” in his approach to the nation’s problems.

The endorsement, on the NBC public-affairs program “Meet the Press,” was a major blow to Senator John McCain, who has been a good friend of Mr. Powell’s for decades. Mr. Powell, a Republican, has advised Mr. McCain in the past on foreign policy.

“Mr. McCain says that he’s a washed-out terrorist,” Mr. Powell said. “Well, then, why do we keep talking about him?”

After the program’s taping, Mr. Powell told reporters that the thought of attacking Mr. Obama for Mr. Ayers was “over the top.”

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Here is the entire article:

October 20, 2008
Powell Backs Obama and Criticizes McCain Tactics
By ELISABETH BUMILLER and JEFF ZELENY
WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president on Sunday morning, calling him a “transformational figure” who has reached out to all Americans with an inclusive campaign and displayed “a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity” and “a depth of knowledge” in his approach to the nation’s problems.
The endorsement, on the NBC public-affairs program “Meet the Press,” was a major blow to Senator John McCain, who has been a good friend of Mr. Powell’s for decades. Mr. Powell, a Republican, has advised Mr. McCain in the past on foreign policy.
Mr. Powell told Tom Brokaw, the host of “Meet the Press,” that he had been disturbed in recent weeks by the negative tone of Mr. McCain’s campaign, particularly its focus on Mr. Obama’s passing relationship with William Ayers, a 1960s radical and founder of the Weather Underground. The McCain campaign has sought to promote the idea that Mr. Obama is “palling around with terrorists,” in the words of Mr. McCain’s running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, because of Mr. Obama’s weak links to Mr. Ayers.
“Mr. McCain says that he’s a washed-out terrorist,” Mr. Powell said. “Well, then, why do we keep talking about him?”
After the program’s taping, Mr. Powell told reporters that the thought of attacking Mr. Obama for Mr. Ayers was “over the top.”
Mr. Powell, who was secretary of state in the first term of President Bush, also said that he was concerned about Mr. McCain’s selection of Ms. Palin as his running mate and had come to the conclusion that she was the wrong choice.
“She’s a very distinguished woman, and she’s to be admired, but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president,” Mr. Powell said during the taping.
Mr. Powell offered Mr. McCain a small dose of solace by calling him a different kind of Republican and said that he believed Mr. McCain would make a good president. The problem, he said, was that the Republican Party had moved further to the right “than I would like to see it,” and that over the last several weeks the approach of the party and Mr. McCain “has become narrower and narrower.”
Mr. Powell told later reporters that he believed that Mr. McCain would continue to carry forth standard Republican policies. “As gifted as he is, he is essentially going to execute the Republican agenda, the orthodoxy of the Republican agenda, with a new face and a maverick approach to it, and he’d be quite good at it,” Mr. Powell said. “But I think we need a generational change.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. McCain shrugged off the endorsement by Mr. Powell.“Well, I’ve always admired and respected General Powell,” he said. “We’re longtime friends. This doesn’t come as a surprise. But I’m also very pleased to have the endorsement of four former secretaries of state” — Henry A. Kissinger, James A. Baker III, Lawrence Eagleburger and Alexander M. Haig — “and I’m proud to have the endorsement of well over 200 retired army generals and admirals. I respect and continue to respect and admire Secretary Powell.”
In offering his endorsement, Mr. Powell became the highest-profile Republican to add his support to the Democratic ticket. Although he told Mr. Brokaw that he would not campaign for Mr. Obama in the final two weeks of the race, he did not rule out accepting an appointment in an Obama administration, whether it were a formal position or a more advisory role.
When Mr. Brokaw asked if Mr. Powell would be interested in perhaps serving as an ambassador at large in Africa or taking on the task of resolving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinianas, Mr. Powell replied: “I served 40 years in government and I’m not looking forward to a position or an assignment. Of course, I have always said if a president asks you to do something, you have to consider it.”
Mr. Powell’s endorsement exposed a fundamental policy rift in the Republican party’s foreign-policy establishment between the so-called pragmatists, a number of whom have come to view the Iraq war or its execution as a mistake, and the neoconservatives , a competing camp whose thinking dominated President Bush’s first term and played a pivotal role in building the case for war.
Mr. Powell, who is of the pragmatist camp and has been critical of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war, was said by friends in recent months to be disturbed by some of the neoconservatives who have surrounded Mr. McCain as foreign-policy advisers in his presidential campaign. The McCain campaign’s top foreign-policy aide is Randy Scheunemann, who was a foreign-policy adviser to former Senators Trent Lott and Bob Dole and who has longtime ties to neoconservatives. In 2002, Mr. Scheunemann was a founder of the hawkish Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and was an enthusiastic supporter of Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile and Pentagon favorite who was viewed with suspicion and distaste at the State Department when Mr. Powell was its secretary.
Mr. Powell met with both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama in June in preparation to make a possible endorsement. He has said repeatedly in recent months that he wanted to wait until after the political conventions and the presidential debates before making a decision.
Mr. Powell’s support of Mr. Obama was not a surprise to people who know him well and within Washington’s foreign policy establishment, but the Obama campaign welcomed it as a powerful reassurance to voters about Mr. Obama’s national-security credentials. Other voters, however, could discount it as an action of a disgruntled member of the Bush administration or as simply the support of one African-American for another. Mr. Powell also told reporters on Sunday that he was troubled that a number of Americans believe that Mr. Obama is a Muslim, although he did not directly link that supposition to the McCain campaign. At a recent town-hall style meeting during whih an audience member said she thought that Mr. Obama was an “Arab,” Mr. McCain replied, ” “No, ma’am, he’s a decent family man.”
“These are the kinds of images going out on Al Jazeera that are killing us around the world,” Mr. Powell said. “And we have got to say to the world it doesn’t make any difference who you are and what you are. If you’re an American, you’re an American.” Mr. Obama called Mr. Powell at 10 a.m. to thank him for the endorsement and told him “how honored he was to have it,” said Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama. The two spoke about 10 minutes.“He said he looked forward to taking advantage of his advice in the next two weeks and hopefully over the next four years,” Mr. Gibbs said.
Michael Cooper contributed reporting.

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Native of the Philadelphia "Kensington and Alleganey" northeast area. I spent 4 years in the Air Force (Titan-II missles in Tuscon Arizona). I Am currently retired, and among other adventures I spent 28 years working for AT&T in Telecommunications. I've lived in Florida for 33 years....20 years in Hollywood Fla., and 13 years North Florida. I've been married 42 years, and am a proud father of three adult offspring. All of them contributing to society in a very useful and creative manner.