Sunday, October 19, 2008
Lying Athwart History Getting Run Over.
You can read Powell's reasoning in the Meet The Press transcript. (Here.) He goes on at some length.
My impression of Powell's endorsement is that it seems based mostly on the personal characteristics of the candidates and only partly on the issues. Powell compares the behavior of Obama and John McCain during the past 7 weeks of the campaign and prefers Obama's confident demeanor. So, put Powell in the same category as those who believe Obama's demeanor denotes moderate policies. Wishful thinking not based on any apparent facts but time will tell.
Powell also questions the choice of Sarah Palin. He believes she is not ready to be president. He also claims Joe Biden is ready, "on day one" as he put it. At least Powell should be given credit for making the right comparison here: Palin versus Biden, not Palin versus Obama, the way most people do. However, there is little in Biden's career that suggests he is ready to be president. His strong suit is experience but that experience hasn't stopped him from being wrong, wrong, wrong on serious foreign policy issues. Most famously, his partition plan for Iraq. To put it plainly, the Dufus of Delaware is a foolish man. He's a man of average intellingence who believes himself smarter than most everybody else. If Obama and Biden win the election, I will get down on my agnostic knees every day and pray that Obama serves his full term.
To the extent, Powell's decision is based on issues, he chooses Obama as the anti-conservative choice. For example, Powell says he is concerned that a McCain presidency will result in two more conservative justices on the United States Supreme Court. Thanks for coming clean about that, General. It's true, that result is more likely with a McCain presidency, but it's not a certain result by any means. I'm not confident that McCain would recognize the difference between a conservative and a nonconservative justice.
In the end Powell's endorsement is a personality choice. Powell has long been a moderate within the Republican Party. He sees Obama as the moderate candidate. It's a leap of faith on Powell's part. Obama's history is not one of political moderation. Even if it were, Obama will have Nancy Pelosi leading the House and Harry Reid leading the Senate. Don't hold your breath waiting for moderate policies to come from that troika.