Powell Endorses Obama - The Intrepid

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell Endorses Obama

Sunday morning, Colin Powell appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to endorse Democratic candidate Barack Obama. In the interview, Powell criticized the negative tone of McCain’s campaign. Powell stated that he was particularly disturbed by the attempts of McCain and Palin to tie Senator Obama to William Ayers, a 1960s radical and former leader of the Weather Underground. “I thought that was over the top,” said Powell. “It was beyond just good political fighting back and forth.” Powell also applauded Obama for his “calm, patient, intellectual, and steady approach” to America’s problems and credited him for a strategy that is “more diverse and inclusive way [to reach] across our society”

Powell’s endorsement comes at difficult time for the McCain campaign. Recent national polls suggest that McCain trails Obama by 10-points and statewide polls indicate that McCain is under siege in states Bush comfortably held in 2004.

Powell’s endorsement is also likely a blow to McCain personally, as the two have been friends for decades. Although, McCain responded to the endorsement on Fox News saying, “We’re longtime friends. This doesn’t come as a surprise.”

Whether this will have any effect on the race is debatable. Powell is an influential part of the more pragmatic side of the Republican Party and he and his associates have frequently spoken out against the Bush Administration’s course in Iraq. While his endorsement might sway soft Republicans upset with the war, foreign policy is not the main issue this election. The few remaining undecided or soft voters are making their decision based on the two candidates economic proposals.

Powell’s endorsement makes the foreign policy wing of the G.O.P. look divided and defeated, but Americans are going to vote with their wallets.