I've been watching this Presidential Race with great curiosity, even flip-flopping a couple of times on who I would vote for in November. Personally, I'm not a big fan of either candidate. Barack Obama seems to get by, in my opinion only, too much on charm and charisma. John McCain, well, there's not a doubt in my mind he's a "Great American" and that he has sacrificed a lot for his country, but I've seen nothing to tell me he can make the right decision at the right time.
And now, Former Secretary of State and Four Star General Colin Powell has come out with a fairly strong endorsement of Barack Obama. What's also interesting is that in 2007 Powell donated the personal maximum to John McCain's campaign.
Here's some pertinent blurb:
Colin Powell appeared on the NBC program Meet the Press to announce that he would be voting for Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. Powell referred to the Republican candidate, John McCain, as a "friend of over 25 years," but cited several points that had led him to decide in favor of Obama. Powell said that in response to an ongoing financial crisis "Mr. McCain was a little unsure as to how to deal with the economic problems we're facing." He said of McCain's choice of Vice-Presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, "I don't believe she's ready to be President of the United States."
Speaking of the Democratic candidate, Powell mentioned Obama's "intellectual vigor" and what he described as the inclusiveness of Obama's campaign, as opposed to the "narrower and narrower" approach of the Republican party. Powell was dismissive of the McCain campaign making "almost a central issue" of Obama's association with William Ayers, calling it "a stretch." He said that he was disappointed by the Republican party's move to the right, and Palin's indications of a further trend in that direction. In particular, Powell mentioned that "high-level" Republicans had repeated to him the rumor that Obama is a Muslim. Powell said, "He's not a Muslim. He's a Christian; he's always been a Christian," and condemned the notion of Islamic faith as a disqualification from the Presidency. He told the story of a Muslim American soldier who died in the Iraq war, and asked, "Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim kid thinking he or she could be President?"
Meet the Press host Tom Brokaw asked Powell for a response to the sentiment that Powell might be endorsing Obama because both Powell and Obama are African-American. Powell said that if that were the basis for his decision, he could have made an endorsement "six or eight months ago."
I think what I find most interesting is Powell's near-condemnation of the GOP. Personally, I fully expect the GOP to roll out every negative attack ad and misleading rumor they've got left in their bag this coming week, but at this point it looks to be nothing more than shouting at the wind.