As you've likely heard by now, former Secretary of State (and longtime Republican) Colin Powell announced on Meet the Press yesterday that he would be voting for Barack Obama for president. Powell made a strong and persuasive argument as to why Obama could be an “exceptional” president, praising his “intellectual vigor” as well the inclusive nature of his campaign and overall vision for America.
But just as incisive was his criticism of John McCain’s campaign and of the Republican Party, which he said has moved too far to the right and has become, in contrast to Obama’s broad vision, narrower in scope.
Among Powell's litany of complaints were McCain’s erratic reaction to the financial crisis; the injection of William Ayers as a central figure in the campaign; the use of Muslim as a slur; and, perhaps most damning, McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, whom Powell says is not ready to be president.
(Curiously — and not surprisingly — The New York Times published a piece this morning suggesting that Powell’s own legacy also might have been a driving force in his decision to endorse Obama. Powell deservedly took a lot of heat for essentially legitimizing the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq back in 2003. Is this Powell’s way of paying back his old buddies for using him to sell the war?)
Strong stuff. In case you missed it…
And here’s another interview Powell did yesterday in which he defends Obama from charges that his tax proposals amount to socialism.