Sunday Surprise

Posted Sun, 10/19/08

While I remain irritated and unimpressed when public figures and celebrities endorse various candidates in any election, I was very surprised by Colin Powell's reasons for taking the side of Barack Obama on this morning's Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw.

From journalist Alex Johnson of MSNBC:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president on Sunday, criticizing his own Republican Party for what he called its narrow focus on irrelevant personal attacks over a serious approach to challenges he called unprecedented. [Powell] said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he was not supporting Obama because of his race. But he said John McCain's choices in the last few weeks — especially his selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate — had raised questions in his mind about McCain's judgment.

I'm surprised by the reasons because I thought most Republicans, as I've seen them spouting on television, were in the same boat: attack stance and blind servitude to their party's candidate seemed to be the modus operandi no matter how many facts were staring them in the face. The specifics include McCain's "erratic" behavior (not a misnomer but reality), his ineptitude in understanding the average American in real financial straits and his lack of sound judgment. None of the above appears to sway diehard same-party McCain supporters so far; they simply go out of their way to espouse his debatable "experience with leadership" qualities while shutting out the truth.

Powell also said he was "troubled" by Republican personal attacks on Obama, especially false intimations that Obama was Muslim. Stressing that Obama was a lifelong Christian, Powell denounced Republican tactics that he said were insulting not only to Obama but also to Muslims.

And Powell also addressed an issue that has bothered me for a long time - the embarrassment that is George W. Bush as our representative to the rest of the world:

Powell said a major part of his decision to turn his back on his own party was his conclusion that Obama was the better option to repair frayed U.S. relations with allies overseas. "This is the time for outreach," Powell said, saying the next president would have to "reach out and show the world there is a new administration that is willing to reach out."

Although Obama's lead keeps increasing, I'm still not counting on the polls. What's the old saying? Don't count your chickens until the eggs are hatched. I'm still fearful that the ugly head of racism will rear itself on Election Day, although I truly hope we have evolved from that despicable point of consideration as a nation.

We are sixteen days out and counting.

*Article excerpts (1-3) copyright MSNBC.

Tags: Politics