20 October 2008

Powell endorses Obama

Growing up during the first Gulf War, Colin Powell was always one of those familiar names, even if I didn't know who or what he was. Later, as perhaps the most respectable member of W's cabinet, I learned more about him as a politician. This week the former Republican Secretary of State threw his political weight behind his party's enemy, Barack Obama:

I particularly appreciate his comments at about 4:01 of that video, especially this:
"...not about who's a muslim and who's not a muslim...We have got to say to the world, 'it doesn't make any difference who you are, or what you are. If you're American, you're American!'"

Here's the reaction from the pundits:

Perhaps the best quote from Powell's endorsement came from his appearance on Meet the Press:

The best quote comes at 4:31 when he says:
"I'm also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said such things as: 'Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well, the correct answer is: he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is: What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is: No, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she can be President? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion: he's a Muslim, and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America."*

Now, there are certainly issues with Colin Powell, especially regarding his part in the Iraq war. But this kind of thing, especially the quote above, makes me think that at the very least, while I'll never agree with him on most things, I can respect him as a human being, something I can't say of quite a few republicans.

*For more on that story he referenced about the soldier near the end of the clip, head over to Shakesville.


John said...
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John said...

I've been neglecting my Blog, or I would have beaten you to this. When I watched Meet the Press, my jaw dropped. I was impressed to say the least, and have been disappointed that no one had said as much before. This is something I would have liked to have heard from Obama, instead of vehemently denying Islam and driving a wedge between the two religions. It would have been a perfect message to tie into the Unity he spouts daily.

Dennis said...

"This is something I would have liked to have heard from Obama"

Yeah, for the most part I agree. The one thing I would say in his defense is that if he came out and said so, it would almost look like he was lending credence to their accusations. Personally, I think it's time for religion to be as relevant to the presidential race as eye color...