Saturday, October 18, 2008

Powell for Obama?

By Ben Trott

Guardian America editor Michael Tomasky has some interesting thoughts on the widespread speculation (Huffington Post, Politico, Washington Post, Seattle Times) that Colin Powell might endorse Obama on tomorrow’s Meet the Press, a US public affairs programme. Check out Tomasky’s video here.

Powell, a General, served as National Security Advisor to Reagan, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bush Sr. during the 1991 Gulf War, and as George W. Bush’s Secretary of State during his first term. He played a key role in arguing for the current war on Iraq. That Powell’s endorsement would be a blow for McCain is certain. He is without a doubt one of the few senior figures within the Bush administration who still commands a level of popularity amongst the population. What is less clear is both whether the endorsement could also prove detrimental to Obama’s message of ‘change’, or raise further concerns about his increasingly overt hawkish-leanings amongst potential Democratic voters.

Or perhaps Tomasky is right, and Powell’s (potential) endorsement will be seen as saying less about Obama and more about Powell’s own need to cleanse the stain of his role in the Iraq war by endorsing a Senator who opposed it from the beginning.

No comments: