"I've said to my beloved friend and colleague John McCain, a friend of 25 years, 'John, I love you, but I'm not just going to vote for you on the basis of our affection or friendship.' And I've said to Barack Obama, 'I admire you. I'll give you all the advice I can. But I'm not going to vote for you just because you're black.' We, we have to move beyond this." -- Colin Powell, September 20, 2008
Calling him a "transformational figure" (as if all transformations were desirable), Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for president on today's edition of NBC's Meet the Press. What a shocker! I couldn't be more surprised if that other famous Jamaican-American, Harry Belafonte, had endorsed him. Remember when Republicans were pleading with Colin Powell to run for president after he had opportunistically registered as a Republican after having spent his entire life as an unregistered Democrat? Well, America dodged that arrow and the party of Lincoln lost its own opportunity to inflict its own Obama, fully Englished, on the nation.
I judge politicians by their positions on Castro. This has saved me a great deal of time and proved an infallible weather bane for predicting their political trajectories in all other areas. In 2001 when Colin Powell declared before a House hearing that "Castro has done good things for his people," I knew immediately that he was an enemy of the Cuban people; and when, in 2006, Powell proclaimed on a trip to Brazil that "Cuba is no longer a major threat to Latin America," I knew that all the dominoes would be allowed to fall in the region before the Bush administration noticed that it had two dozen Cubas on its hands.
It's no surprise to me, then, that Colin Powell would endorse Barack Obama, who's just as unconcerned as Powell is about the Castro regime's threat to the region and to its own people; but who, unlike Powell, can carry their shared beliefs to their logical conclusion -- negotiations without prior conditions and complete capitulation to the tyrant.
When asked if there would be "a place for [him] in an Obama administration," Powell replied that though he "was not looking forward to a position or assignment... if a president asks you to do something, you have to consider it." Under the circumstances this is as far as Powell could go without publicly angling for a job or suggesting a quid pro quo.