Monday, October 20, 2008

"Sarah Palin not fit to be vice president": Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell officially announced his endorsement of Barack Obama in the race for the White House. Powell, whose support for the Illinois senator as long been assumed, makes his Presidential pick at a particularly opportune time for the Obama campaign - 16 days before the election.

"I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The retired U.S. general, who was the first African American to Chair of the Joint Chiefs of staff and also the first to serve as Secretary of State, was once viewed as potentially being the first black president in the United States. Powell - a republican - stated that he has respect for Obama's opponent, John McCain, but felt that the Arizona senator was unsteady in his reaction to financial crisis triggered by the recent Wall Street meltdown - an event he called the "final exam" for the candidates. "Obama displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge," Powell said. "He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president," he continued.

The endorsement comes as yet another score in a very succesful weekend for the Obama campaign. The Democratic candidate drew an estimated 100,000 people to a St. Louis, Missouri rally yesterday. Then this morning his campaign announced that it had raised a whopping $150 million in the month of September, reports the Washington Post (the capitol-city staple also officially announced an endorsement of Obama last week).

Powell shot down rumors last August that he'd be appearing at the Democratic National Convention to publicly back Obama. At the time, sources said the former general had not yet made his choice between the Republican and the Democrat. "I will ultimately vote for the person I believe brings to the American people the kind of vision the American people want to see for the next four years," he said. "A vision that reaches out to the rest of the world, that starts to restore confidence in America, that starts to restore favorable ratings to America. Frankly, we've lost a lot in recent years."

Mr. Powell said he was dismayed by the tenor of the campaign, declared that Mr. McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, was not fit to be vice president, expressed displeasure with the direction of the Republican Party and called Mr. McCain scattered on his approach to the economy. “Every day there was a different approach,” he said. “As gifted as he is,” Mr. Powell said of Mr. McCain, a friend for 25 years, “he is essentially going to execute the Republican agenda, the orthodoxy of the Republican agenda, with a new face and a maverick approach to it, and he’d be quite good at it. But I think we need a generational change.”

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