Powell endorses Obama, addresses Islamophobia

Colin Powell gave a pretty sweet endorsement today of Barack Obama on Meet the Press. A high-profile Republican who was Secretary of State during W’s first term, he has disagreed with the neoconservative wing of the Republican party and for various reasons (well-articulated in the video), he has now chosen to endorse the Democrat.

Since Islamophobia is something being talked about on campus lately (see here), it also seems relevant to point out his discussion of “Barack Obama’s not a Muslim. But so what if he were?” (finally). I found it pretty inspiring to finally see a high-profile political leader talking about the blatant Islamophobia implicit in this election cycle.

Check it out:

46 thoughts on “Powell endorses Obama, addresses Islamophobia

  1. Mad Joy

    Obama believes in a strong military, but he is not a neocon on foreign policy. Obama’s policies on issues of foreign affairs may be problematic, but they’re nothing compared to what McCain’s would be.

  2. Mad Joy

    Obama believes in a strong military, but he is not a neocon on foreign policy. Obama’s policies on issues of foreign affairs may be problematic, but they’re nothing compared to what McCain’s would be.

  3. Anonymous

    Forget Bill Ayers! He never orchestrated the killing of 100,000 people in 1990-91. Colin Powell can endorse me any day.

  4. Anonymous

    Forget Bill Ayers! He never orchestrated the killing of 100,000 people in 1990-91. Colin Powell can endorse me any day.

  5. Sam

    Actually 8:31, what I (and I think others, although not so much the people here) took away from the endorsement was not so much an endorsement of Barack Obama but a condemnation of John McCain.Powell may have done deplorable things in the past, but it is clear if you watch him today that he is not interested in continuing those mistakes, and the part of his endorsement he actually spends talking about Obama carries these messages. Unlike most of the people in the Bush administration, Powell has actually publically admitted he regrets what he did. Given the wide influence of his actions it may be impossible to forgive him for what he has done, but we can at least respect that he was intelligent enough to admit wrongdoing. Something very few people in our culture today are willing to do.As far as the ‘Obama is a hawk’ argument, I will agree that he is far from a pacifist, but I have no reason to believe he will engage in unnecessary baseless military action as Bush did and as McCain likely would. Remember that it would be nigh-impossible to win an election for President of the United States without being tough on at least some foreign policy issues and that his most visible and active time on the national stage has been on the campaign trail before making such sweeping judgments.

  6. Sam

    Actually 8:31, what I (and I think others, although not so much the people here) took away from the endorsement was not so much an endorsement of Barack Obama but a condemnation of John McCain.

    Powell may have done deplorable things in the past, but it is clear if you watch him today that he is not interested in continuing those mistakes, and the part of his endorsement he actually spends talking about Obama carries these messages. Unlike most of the people in the Bush administration, Powell has actually publically admitted he regrets what he did. Given the wide influence of his actions it may be impossible to forgive him for what he has done, but we can at least respect that he was intelligent enough to admit wrongdoing. Something very few people in our culture today are willing to do.

    As far as the ‘Obama is a hawk’ argument, I will agree that he is far from a pacifist, but I have no reason to believe he will engage in unnecessary baseless military action as Bush did and as McCain likely would. Remember that it would be nigh-impossible to win an election for President of the United States without being tough on at least some foreign policy issues and that his most visible and active time on the national stage has been on the campaign trail before making such sweeping judgments.

  7. Anonymous

    A critical point is being missed here: why is Obama attractive to someone with Powell’s background (which the consensus seems to agree is deplorable)? If he had endorsed McCain it wouldn’t be news because we know that McCain is a militarist sociopath. Instead he endorsed Obama, the candidate of change, which tells us that Obama’s positions on foreign policy are acceptable to a multiple war criminal and arguable genocidist. And Powell is too smart to have been a unconsenting ‘pawn’ of Cheney in 2003. Obama has clearly become a hawk, on the right-wing of his own party, who is not interested in bringing this recent disastrous period in American foreign policy to a close.

  8. Anonymous

    A critical point is being missed here: why is Obama attractive to someone with Powell’s background (which the consensus seems to agree is deplorable)? If he had endorsed McCain it wouldn’t be news because we know that McCain is a militarist sociopath. Instead he endorsed Obama, the candidate of change, which tells us that Obama’s positions on foreign policy are acceptable to a multiple war criminal and arguable genocidist. And Powell is too smart to have been a unconsenting ‘pawn’ of Cheney in 2003. Obama has clearly become a hawk, on the right-wing of his own party, who is not interested in bringing this recent disastrous period in American foreign policy to a close.

  9. Sam

    3:21: If Powell had decided to support McCain it would not have been especially unusual and as such probably would not have garnered nearly as much press as it has. It’s not news when a Republican endorses a Republican. It’s news when an extremely prominent (and extremely popular, if you look at the general approval numbers) Republican former Secretary of State endorses the Democratic nominee for President.2:58, your comparision between Palin and Powell is idiotic. Palin’s speech was superficial and shallow. She relies on style, not substance. Powell’s endorsement was well-spoken, yes, but much more important than how he was saying it was what he was saying. If everyone bashing him right now had actually bothered to watch the endorsement I expect that they might have had a bit of a different reaction. I do not like what Colin Powell has done at all, but his endorsement was extremely good. I can not forgive him for what he did during the Bush years, but I can at least appreciate what he has done now.

  10. Sam

    3:21: If Powell had decided to support McCain it would not have been especially unusual and as such probably would not have garnered nearly as much press as it has. It’s not news when a Republican endorses a Republican. It’s news when an extremely prominent (and extremely popular, if you look at the general approval numbers) Republican former Secretary of State endorses the Democratic nominee for President.

    2:58, your comparision between Palin and Powell is idiotic. Palin’s speech was superficial and shallow. She relies on style, not substance. Powell’s endorsement was well-spoken, yes, but much more important than how he was saying it was what he was saying. If everyone bashing him right now had actually bothered to watch the endorsement I expect that they might have had a bit of a different reaction. I do not like what Colin Powell has done at all, but his endorsement was extremely good. I can not forgive him for what he did during the Bush years, but I can at least appreciate what he has done now.

  11. Anonymous

    2:40 – you said it. To people calling for Colin Powell’s head- he has admitted his mistakes, and if you don’t remember, he made a very public break from the Bush administration in 2004 due to a crisis of conscience over the war, among other things, after which Condoleezza Rice (who is really just a yes person) took over. You can’t compare him to Donald Rumsfeld, who doesn’t seem to have much of a conscience anyway.

  12. Anonymous

    2:40 – you said it.

    To people calling for Colin Powell’s head- he has admitted his mistakes, and if you don’t remember, he made a very public break from the Bush administration in 2004 due to a crisis of conscience over the war, among other things, after which Condoleezza Rice (who is really just a yes person) took over. You can’t compare him to Donald Rumsfeld, who doesn’t seem to have much of a conscience anyway.

  13. Anonymous

    i liked powell’s endorsememnt speech, very well put. even if I didn’t agree with some of his past actions this was a great speech.

  14. Anonymous

    i liked powell’s endorsememnt speech, very well put. even if I didn’t agree with some of his past actions this was a great speech.

  15. Anonymous

    @ 12:27, and a little bit @2:20:I think you may be misrepresenting one of Obama’s faults. At issue here is not Obama changing positions. The fact is that Obama has always been hawkish. He doesn’t play this up very much, and because his rise to prominence was driven by his opposition to the Iraq war, it would be easy to see him as something of a pacifist. This is not the case. He had a strategic disagreement about the value of the Iraq war, but he is not at all opposed to war. This is not a Democrat sabre-rattling. Obama has consistently shown support for a strong military and a strong American presence, with some predicting foreign policy under an Obama presidency would be similar to the heyday of liberalism under Clinton. This itself may be a troubling idea. But if this is something you disagree with, at least disagree on policy, not on character.

  16. Anonymous

    @ 12:27, and a little bit @2:20:

    I think you may be misrepresenting one of Obama’s faults. At issue here is not Obama changing positions. The fact is that Obama has always been hawkish. He doesn’t play this up very much, and because his rise to prominence was driven by his opposition to the Iraq war, it would be easy to see him as something of a pacifist. This is not the case. He had a strategic disagreement about the value of the Iraq war, but he is not at all opposed to war. This is not a Democrat sabre-rattling. Obama has consistently shown support for a strong military and a strong American presence, with some predicting foreign policy under an Obama presidency would be similar to the heyday of liberalism under Clinton. This itself may be a troubling idea. But if this is something you disagree with, at least disagree on policy, not on character.

  17. Anonymous

    “and is Colin Powell really so bad?”What next – “Is Donald Rumsfeld really so bad?”I have been really troubled by the shifts Obama – and his more vocal defenders – have made since early June. I keep[ hearing him shifting positions and throwing people under the bus based on political expediency. And his supporters are saying “It’s OK, we really know who he is with Palinesque winks. But we really don’t know who he is and this Faustian acquiescence that has been coming with every shift or outright lie he has pulled in the last 3 months reminds me too much of how the right does business. In fact, it sounds a lot like the breaks republicans cut GWB with his shifting policy positions during the 2000 campaign – and look what they a guy who went from a fiscal conservative who was against nation building to a man who oversaw the greatest expansion of government ever and has been come a a nation building menace. And if you are tempted to say, “It was the people around him,” remember that this is our first reply about questions regarding Obama’s inexperience – “he’ll put good people around him.” This is all very troubling. It’s not even November and already Obama has become slithering. And not that I was ever for her, but if Hillary was running right now as a 3rd party candidate she’d prob win the whole thing.

  18. Anonymous

    “and is Colin Powell really so bad?”

    What next – “Is Donald Rumsfeld really so bad?”

    I have been really troubled by the shifts Obama – and his more vocal defenders – have made since early June. I keep[ hearing him shifting positions and throwing people under the bus based on political expediency. And his supporters are saying “It’s OK, we really know who he is with Palinesque winks. But we really don’t know who he is and this Faustian acquiescence that has been coming with every shift or outright lie he has pulled in the last 3 months reminds me too much of how the right does business. In fact, it sounds a lot like the breaks republicans cut GWB with his shifting policy positions during the 2000 campaign – and look what they a guy who went from a fiscal conservative who was against nation building to a man who oversaw the greatest expansion of government ever and has been come a a nation building menace. And if you are tempted to say, “It was the people around him,” remember that this is our first reply about questions regarding Obama’s inexperience – “he’ll put good people around him.”

    This is all very troubling. It’s not even November and already Obama has become slithering.

    And not that I was ever for her, but if Hillary was running right now as a 3rd party candidate she’d prob win the whole thing.

  19. Anonymous

    what were you all expecting? obama to be some radical liberal who leaves the oil industry begging for mercy and turns america into a land of daisies and bubblegum drops? he’s a politician who has a better plan for america than mccain does, and who happens to relate more to the younger generation of america. this doesn’t mean he isn’t a politician. and is colin powell really so bad?

  20. Anonymous

    what were you all expecting? obama to be some radical liberal who leaves the oil industry begging for mercy and turns america into a land of daisies and bubblegum drops?

    he’s a politician who has a better plan for america than mccain does, and who happens to relate more to the younger generation of america. this doesn’t mean he isn’t a politician. and is colin powell really so bad?

  21. Anonymous

    Colin Powell is a war criminal several times over. The fact that Obama is “overcoming partisanship” by attracting people like Powell is alarming. This does not represent “change.” Who is more Beltway establishment than Powell? I think the fact that someone like Colin Powell feels comfortable with Obama reveals just how hawkish Obama has become. As the extraordinary journalist Nir Rosen recently wrote about Obama’s Afghanistan policy “he wants to prove that he can kill brown people too.” So much for change.

  22. Anonymous

    Colin Powell is a war criminal several times over. The fact that Obama is “overcoming partisanship” by attracting people like Powell is alarming. This does not represent “change.” Who is more Beltway establishment than Powell? I think the fact that someone like Colin Powell feels comfortable with Obama reveals just how hawkish Obama has become. As the extraordinary journalist Nir Rosen recently wrote about Obama’s Afghanistan policy “he wants to prove that he can kill brown people too.” So much for change.

  23. Mad Joy

    Oh, come on. Colin Powell did some pretty terrible things under the Bush Administration. He’s said he’s regretted what he did when he went to the UN. The salient point here isn’t Colin Powell himself, but rather what he has to say – and I thought this was a great speech, with great reasons to vote for Barack Obama and also an addressing of a dark issue which has been almost completely silent throughout this election cycle. Even if he lost my respect years ago, he gained some of it back with this little speech.

  24. Mad Joy

    Oh, come on. Colin Powell did some pretty terrible things under the Bush Administration. He’s said he’s regretted what he did when he went to the UN. The salient point here isn’t Colin Powell himself, but rather what he has to say – and I thought this was a great speech, with great reasons to vote for Barack Obama and also an addressing of a dark issue which has been almost completely silent throughout this election cycle. Even if he lost my respect years ago, he gained some of it back with this little speech.

  25. Anonymous

    ” I found it pretty inspiring to finally see a high-profile political leader…”Is this the same high profile political leader this blog and many of its commentors were calling a “War Criminal” less than two years ago?Obama has become what he despised – if he wasn’t that already. He is a FRAUD.

  26. Anonymous

    ” I found it pretty inspiring to finally see a high-profile political leader…”

    Is this the same high profile political leader this blog and many of its commentors were calling a “War Criminal” less than two years ago?

    Obama has become what he despised – if he wasn’t that already. He is a FRAUD.

  27. Anonymous

    If anything an endorsement from a conservative, militarist general who has been charged with Crimes Against Humanity by a war tribunal should be alarming for Obama supporters. What does this tell you about Obama’s foreign policy positions?

  28. Anonymous

    If anything an endorsement from a conservative, militarist general who has been charged with Crimes Against Humanity by a war tribunal should be alarming for Obama supporters. What does this tell you about Obama’s foreign policy positions?

  29. Anonymous

    Barack Obama’s not a Muslim, but so what if he were???It would be a HUGE problem if he were a Muslim! The problem wouldn’t be so much his religion as the fact that, if he were a Muslim, he’s LYING about it!!!

  30. Anonymous

    Barack Obama’s not a Muslim, but so what if he were???
    It would be a HUGE problem if he were a Muslim! The problem wouldn’t be so much his religion as the fact that, if he were a Muslim, he’s LYING about it!!!

  31. Jacon

    ‘At a recent town-hall style meeting, Mr. McCain told an audience member who said she thought that Mr. Obama was an “Arab,” “no, ma’am, he’s a decent family man.”’Islamophobia… nah, come on. In this election?

  32. Jacon

    ‘At a recent town-hall style meeting, Mr. McCain told an audience member who said she thought that Mr. Obama was an “Arab,” “no, ma’am, he’s a decent family man.”’

    Islamophobia… nah, come on. In this election?

  33. Anonymous

    Alright, thanks troll. But really, someone get from Melanye Price some thoughts on how this radical endorsement (Republican General endorsing the substantially less militarily involved Democratic candidate) is undermined by the fact that both Powell and Obama happen to be black.

  34. Anonymous

    Alright, thanks troll. But really, someone get from Melanye Price some thoughts on how this radical endorsement (Republican General endorsing the substantially less militarily involved Democratic candidate) is undermined by the fact that both Powell and Obama happen to be black.

Comments are closed.