Liberty Gazette

Powell endorses Obama: less about race, more about survival

Posted in Editorial by libertygazette on October 21, 2008

There has been a clamor over Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, declared on Meet the Press. What is all the excitement about? Those who assumed that Powell’s relevance was somehow linked to WMDs in Iraq may have to rethink the affect of this strategic former US general’s endorsement. It is true that he was the “voice of reason” the American people looked to while making the decision to enter Iraq in 2002. His opinion has always carried a lot of weight in times of crisis.

The issue of concern is the timing of his endorsement. Though his arguments are sound, event the most hopeful Powell apologist may need to take another look. Powell has held his tongue for the entire campaign, until now. The driving force that pushed his whole-hearted support could be that the polls are swinging in Obama’s favor. This expert strategist may believe himself to be one of the few right-wing rats that can escape the sinking GOP ship. His protest of the war in Iraq, though too late to matter, is a credential that could save his political career.

The idea that Powell is supporting Obama on the basis of race is ridiculous. If Powell harbored any racial motives, this would have been vetted during his long and distinguished military career. The fact that Powell has supported Obama probably has more to do with political survival in the face of a Democratic House, Senate, and White House. Besides, of all the past republican secretaries of state still alive, at least one was bound to support Obama. Right?

Here is the sad possibility. Joe Biden recently stated that Obama will be tested by the world in his first six months of office. He asked the Seattle, Washington crowd to support Obama even if they did not agree with his actions in the matter. Could it be that Obama and Biden recognize the occasional necessity of strong military action? Could it be that Powell is being groomed as the next administration’s scapegoat? We know that Obama and Biden are promising changes. If the anti-war ticket has to take decisive military action, it would be convenient to have a fall-guy on hand.

If this was to happen and Powell was used as a scapegoat by the Obama campaign, this would be the second time in his political career that he has been the face of a very poor foreign policy decision. Unfortunately, it would be very easy story to sell to the media. It would be like accusing a felon of committing a felony again. The evidence of habit would be against Powell. I wonder if Powell has thought of this angle.

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