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City of Brass

Powell endorsement imminent?

Colin Powell is going to be on Meet The Press on Sunday morning, and speculation is rife that he will endorse Barack Obama:

Retired Gen. Colin Powell, once considered a potential running mate for
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), now may endorse his opponent, Sen. Barack
Obama (D-Ill.), according to Republican sources. But an air of mystery
surrounds Powell’s planned live appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the
Press,” and no one is sure what he will say.

Powell’s unassailable national security credentials could sway voters
who are vacillating about whether Obama is ready to be commander in
chief, and his endorsement of the Illinois senator would make a
national security emphasis by McCain in the election’s closing days
extremely difficult.

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Powell, 71, a professional soldier for 35 years, has advised the last three Republican presidents.

The general’s camp is being coy about what he might or might not say on
Sunday. But some McCain advisers suspect, without being sure, that
Powell will endorse Obama.

“It’s going to make a lot of news, and certainly be personally
embarrassing for McCain,” a McCain official said. “It comes at a time
when we need momentum, and it would create momentum against us.”

Powell has certainly been very high-visibility of late. In an African-American festival in London past Tuesday, he was seen on stage doing an impromptu hip-hop dance, which is an image that my brain has difficulty processing. More importantly, he also made a equally rare statement about racial self-identity:

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Powell
— who has yet to back a candidate — told the audience: “I stand before you as an African-American. Many people have said
to me you became secretary of state of the USA, is it still necessary to say that you are an African American or that you
are black? And I say yes, so that we can remind our children.”

“It
took a lot of people struggling to bring me to this point in history,”
Powell told the audience. “I didn’t just drop out of the sky. People
came from my continent in chains.”

It’s likely that Powell is also thinking about his legacy – after all, he was once considered a front-runner for the GOP nomination back in 2000, only to decide not to run. Bush was elected instead, and tapped Powell’s credibility to buttress the WMD-driven case for war against Iraq. Since it is now known that there were no WMD, Powell’s credibility practically vanished overnight. I think he may see endorsing Obama as a kind of redemption, a chance to play kingmaker of sorts.Let’s see what happens tomorrow morning… I haven’t had the urge to watch MTP in years, but the prospect of Powell’s endorsement is going to give MTO a solid ratings boost, I suspect…

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