On NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, a move the media today is seeing as both a major boost to Obama and a serious blow to Sen. John McCain. The New York Times reports in a front page story that Powell called Obama “a ‘transformational figure’ who has reached out to all Americans with an inclusive campaign and displayed ‘a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity’ and ‘a depth of knowledge’ in his approach to the nation’s problems.” The endorsement “was a major blow to Senator John McCain, who has been a good friend of Mr. Powell’s for decades.” The AP calls the endorsement “a stunning rejection” of McCain. USA Today says the “long-anticipated endorsement” is “perhaps the campaign’s most coveted.” McClatchy reports that “political analysts” said the endorsement “was a serious blow to McCain’s candidacy, particularly in swing states with large numbers of undecided voters.” The Wall Street Journal reports Powell’s endorsement gave Obama a “major boost” and dealt “a blow” to McCain. The Politico says Powell’s move “stunned both parties” and is “likely to help Obama convince skeptical centrists that he is ready to handle the challenges of commander in chief, and it undercuts McCain’s argument that he is better qualified on national security issues.”
It seems the endorsement impressed its intended audience quite a bit.
But I wonder who else this is supposed to impress. The fauxgressive Obamasphere, who claimed that their vitriol towards Hillary Clinton was because of her AUMF vote? I would imagine that most of them would be quite horrified that the man who sold the war to the American people with a vial of sugar and some cartoons was endorsing the only man courageous enough to be against the war before it started!!!1111!!!
The Obamaverse appears to be assuming that Republicans will suddenly conclude that Barack Obama is more ready to be President because Colin Powell says so. But this endorsement strikes me the same way as all the other high-profile endorsements of Obama did in the primaries. Every time he felt under siege (and the polls are tightening quite a bit among likely voters using traditional modeling – only a two-point difference), he would pull another Democrat out of his hat. He courted Democrats then, because he was looking for our votes. Now, he wants Republicans to vote for him, so he’s pulling out a Republican, whose “national security” credentials he and his running mate appear to believe will magically rub off onto him. But remember John Edwards’ endorsement of Barack Obama, which the media thought would help in Kentucky? Clinton went on to win the state by 35 points.
Personally, Colin Powell revolts me. As if his incredibly damaging lies to the U.N. were not enough to disgust me, it was recently revealed that he was in on the high-level dicussions in the Bush White House which resulted in the decision to legalize torture in America. He did not prevent the Geneva Conventions from being discarded, nor did he finally balk at lying to the U.N. and hundreds of millions of Americans about Saddam’s non-existent WMD’s.
I really wonder if a lot of Republican minds will be changed by his endorsement at this point. Judging by the likes of Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh (I won’t link to them, but they’re easy to find on Google), the base is unmoved. The key will be those Independents. Do they still venerate Powell? Will this push them over the edge?
In the end, it’s important, PUMAs, to remember that the only thing that matters is how you vote on November 4th. The media can tell you the election is over as often as it likes. But, much to their regret, they cannot change how you mark that ballot once you get into that private booth.
So keep the faith. The only voice that matters in the end is the voice of the people. Even Colin Powell can only vote once.
Cross-posted at Partizane