Colin Powell Endorses Obama Again

Four years ago, after telegraphing the possibility for months, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President. While the endorsement did get a lot of media coverage at the time, it’s hard to say that it had a significant impact on the race given the fact that Obama already had a fairly clear lead in the polls at the time.  This time around, it was unclear what Powell was going to to do. Earlier this year, Powell said that he was “keeping his powder dry” and would decline to endorse anyone for the time being. Today, though, he came out in favor of the President again:

In an interview with CBS Thursday morning, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed President Obama for a second term.

“When he took over, the country was in very, very difficult straits,” Powell said. ”Generally, we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude.”

On foreign policy, Powell added, ”the president got us out of one war, started to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars.” He added that he thought “the actions he has taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very very solid.”

As for Romney, Powell said, ”Not only am I not comfortable with what Governor Romney is proposing for his economic plan, I have concerns about his views on foreign policy.” He said that while Romney largely agreed with Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan in Monday’s debate, at other points the Republican candidate has expressed “some very, very strong neo-conservative views.”

Here’s the video:

I’m not sure that Powell’s endorsement means all that much, to be honest. As I noted above, it’s unclear that the 2008 endorsement had any real impact on the race and, this time, an endorsement from Powell would have only been interesting if he ha reversed himself from his 2008 decision. It’s also not surprising given the comments that Powell has made in the past about both Romney and Obama. I’m sure Powell’s endorsement will get some news coverage today but it’s likely to be a one day story at best.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MBunge says:

    Sometimes what’s important is the dog that doesn’t bark. To the extent Powell’s endorsement had significant power, it would have been if he flipped from Obama to Romney. Of course, the conservative reflex to trash anyone who dissents from the party line makes it harder for those folks to ever return to the fold.

    Mike

  2. Markey says:

    ”Not only am I not comfortable with what Governor Romney is proposing for his economic plan, I have concerns about his views on foreign policy.”
    ——————
    Powell is exiled from the GOP for good now hey?

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Color me surprised. I mean, I thought it was all forgive and forget for the way the neocons hung him out to dry at the UN.

  4. Anderson says:

    That should net Obama about 11 votes. Still, it’s much better than the negative effect of a Romney endorsement. Good for Powell, who has quite a lot of blood to wash off his hands.

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Turning to foreign policy, Powell said he saw “the president got us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally I think that the actions he has taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very very solid. And so, I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on.”

    Muammar Qaddafi and Ambassador Chris Stevens were unavailable for comment.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Let’s see…Powell endorses Obama…and the NY Post endorses Romney.
    Ok…That’s good…the world is still on the correct axis this morning.

  7. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: An interesting mix there … who exactly cares about the first?

  8. Herb says:

    I’m not sure that Powell’s endorsement means all that much, to be honest.

    Dude…go ahead and be sure about this. It’s meaningless. But it is funny.

  9. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Not at all surprising.

    What’s sort of funny-ironic about this endorsement is for obvious reasons by sticking with Obama Powell is today’s liberal media/Internet hero and darling, but what the loopy left already has forgotten, however, and in some cases believe it or not actually doesn’t know, is that Powell was CJCS for Gulf War I, Bush’s Sec. State for Gulf War II and, hell’s bells, he’s the guy who sat down at the UN and made the case for that ’03 invasion of Iraq. Gulp. Today all of that is forgiven, though, and of course for leftists tomorrow merely is a vague hypothetical. They’ll cross that bridge when they get there.

    In any event, I always thought that if Powell had played his cards differently he himself could have become president. Alas, it would have required him to understand and to appreciate that in a two-party system you can’t get anywhere by pretending that you’re not on one side or the other.

  10. An Interested Party says:

    Muammar Qaddafi…unavailable for comment.

    Oh look, concern from a terrorist sympathiser…

    What’s sort of funny-ironic about this endorsement is for obvious reasons by sticking with Obama Powell is today’s liberal media/Internet hero and darling, but what the loopy left already has forgotten, however, and in some cases believe it or not actually doesn’t know, is that Powell was CJCS for Gulf War I, Bush’s Sec. State for Gulf War II and, hell’s bells, he’s the guy who sat down at the UN and made the case for that ’03 invasion of Iraq. Gulp. Today all of that is forgiven, though, and of course for leftists tomorrow merely is a vague hypothetical. They’ll cross that bridge when they get there.

    Tsar Nicholas, full of shit, as usual…

    Good for Powell, who has quite a lot of blood to wash off his hands.

  11. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    Still mourning Qaddafi?

  12. LaMont says:

    I’m sure Powell’s endorsement will get some news coverage today but it’s likely to be a one day story at best.

    Wouldn’t you like that…

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    In any event, I always thought that if Powell had played his cards differently he himself could have become president. Alas, it would have required him to understand and to appreciate that in a two-party system you can’t get anywhere by pretending that you’re not on one side or the other.

    Let me see here, Tsar thinks Powell would have wanted to associate with a bunch of patholical liars who fed him a total horsesh!t pile of cherry picked intelligence telling him it was all rock solid. So then Powell goes before the UN, sticks his neck out putting his reputation behind this steaming pile of offal and then when he gets his head handed to him, they all just shrug their shoulders and pretend it was no big deal.

    “What’s ten thousand dead Iraqi’s here or there?”

    I know which side Powell decided to be on and it wasn’t Dem or GOP.

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Still mourning Qaddafi?

    Qaddafi was “rehabilitated.” He’d given up his WMD programs, stopped supporting terrorists, gave up lots of useful info, and was actually useful in the fight against terrorism.

    So, naturally, Obama helped have him whacked.

    And shortly thereafter, other people who helped get rid of Qaddafi whacked our Ambassador and three other Americans on 9/11.

    Qaddafi was bad, but he was a good example of coming around — he “saw the light” after he “felt the heat.” And our implicit agreement to leave him alone if he straightened out went right out the window.

    The next dictator who talks to us about getting off our shit list better remember what happened to Mo, and learn that US promises come with expiration dates. Especially with Obama — it’s safer to be a head of state and our enemy than our friend.

  15. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Wow. the amount of self-delusion, idiocy, and pure bald-faced crap in that post may just top anything you’ve previously expectorated here. His own people rebelled against decades of his tyrannical rule. It became a full-blown civil war. Some Europeans wanted to help the rebels, and we eventually, reluctantly, pitched in with some supporting forces.

    But if a Republican had done it, you’d be trumpeting to the heights about what a boss he-man he was for it.

    I’ll try to show some respect for James’ site and Doug’s post by not finishing with my opinion of you. Suffice to say, you have managed to lower it further than anyone else on this site.

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @legion: Oh, you’re so kind and thoughtful and respectful of my feelings. I may just positively swoon.

    Now let me introduce you to a bit of geopolitical reality.

    Qaddafi was a long-term enemy of the US, and we treated him as such. But Bush the Younger pulled off one of the greatest diplomatic coups in a long time: he didn’t kill Qaddafi, he turned him. With the help of the British, we got him to give up his WMD programs and material, stop supporting terrorism, turn over all kinds of useful information, and make reparations for some of his more egregious acts in the past. In return, we gave him our tacit word that we wouldn’t treat him like we did Saddam Hussein.

    And he kept his word. He lived up to his end of the bargain.

    Then the insurrection started. And Obama managed to do almost everything wrong.

    First, he dithered and assed around on the whole matter for weeks. Then he decided he’d get the cooperation of Europe and the UN in the attacks — but didn’t consult with Congress at all or informing the American people.

    And the result? Still playing out, but it led to four Americans — including our Ambassador and three others — getting killed by an Al Qaeda affiliate on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Which was followed by a couple of weeks of lies about a stupid, obscure YouTube video that had jack squat to do with the assassination, but let the Obama administration try to cover their asses.

    Legally, Obama’s Libyan adventure was completely wrong. Morally, a much stronger case can be made for intervening in Syria than in Libya. And still can.

    But that didn’t let Obama suck up to Europe and help them try to secure their cheap oil, and easily score another Muslim leader’s head for his trophy wall. So Syria? Never mind.

    And as I said, we lost pretty much any chance we had to bargain with Assad to get him to get right with Jesus, as he saw that ended up for Qaddafi — American bombs and missiles for a start, a stick shoved up his ass and a bullet in his brain in the end (no pun intended.

    So get off your high horse. And when you dismount, try not to step in the horse crap — which is readily confused with your high dudgeon and faux outrage.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    Only someone with a really bad case of ODS would make the case for Qaddafi…hell, maybe before it’s all over, we’ll see an endorsement of bin Laden too…

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: So, what did I get incorrect about US-Libyan relations, especially since 2001?

    The answer, of course, is “nothing.” Or you’d respond to that, instead of resorting to faux moral outrage. And you don’t even do that very well.

    As far as Bin Laden… Bush largely neutralized him, too. But getting him was still worth it, and a good call by Obama. Not that tough a one, but a good one.

    It was just the followthrough that Obama screwed up in pretty much every conceivable way. He had to politicize it, because he wanted the greatest political benefit from it. I’m half surprised he didn’t keep Bin Laden’s head so he could show that off at campaign events.

  19. An Interested Party says:

    So, what did I get incorrect about US-Libyan relations, especially since 2001?

    Let’s look at that, shall we?

    Skeptics, however, note that Libya’s new profile is a product of the same thuggish authoritarian power structure that has ruled the country since 1969. And they suggest that the principles on which Libya is resolving problems sometimes amount to extortion. For example, the release of the Bulgarians — spurious though their convictions may have been — saw still undisclosed donor nations acting on behalf of the E.U. shell out $460 million in damages for the Libyan victims of HIV infection, and also landed Tripoli diplomatic and commercial rewards that include the construction of a nuclear power plant. Even worse, French daily Le Monde reports that deal also involved French promises to sell $100 million in arms to Libya, and a pledge that a Libyan agent serving prison time in the U.K. for his involvement in the Lockerbie bombing would be transferred to Tripoli, where he would likely be released. The governments of France and Britain denied those allegations, but less than 48 hours after the Le Monde report, Libya unilaterally announced it had indeed signed a deal to buy over $371 million in arms and military equipment from Franco-German defense and aerospace giant EADS. That confounding (and doubtless vexing) Libyan indiscretion forced French officials to variously minimize the deal as still being limited to “letters of intent” to purchase — and claim it to be a private business matter totally unrelated to the Bulgarians’ release the week before.

    Even Libya’s 2003 decision to scrap its weapons of mass destruction program is sniffed at by some experts. Although the Bush Administration liked to attribute that move to the intimidating effects of its Iraq invasion, some independent experts suggest it was more a case of giving up poorly performing and relatively useless programs in return for almost total diplomatic rehabilitation.

    Moving on…

    Or you’d respond to that, instead of resorting to faux moral outrage.

    You’re confused…I’m not morally outraged at all, either real or fake…you provide amusement more than anything else…

    Not that tough a one, but a good one.

    It certainly was a tough call for the guy you’re supporting…

    It was just the followthrough that Obama screwed up in pretty much every conceivable way. He had to politicize it, because he wanted the greatest political benefit from it.

    What a dirty politician he is…the next thing you know, he’ll be landing on an aircraft carrier wearing a flight suit with a “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him…

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: What a dirty politician he is…the next thing you know, he’ll be landing on an aircraft carrier wearing a flight suit with a “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him…

    The carrier’s mission WAS accomplished.

    And that article? Classic “some say A, but others say B” work. Funny how you only quote “B.”

    The FACT remains that Qaddafi DID give up his WMD programs (which were more advanced than anyone suspected” and started cooperating quite thoroughly with the West in going against terrorism.

    And please… make the MORAL argument how we were obligated to help overthrow Qaddafi, but we have no such obligation with Syria’s Assad.

  21. mattb says:

    On topic, John Sununu (a paid Romney Staff member, campaign co-chair and spokesperson) proves himself, yet again, to be an epic douce:

    SUNUNU: Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or that he’s got a slightly different reason for President Obama.
    MORGAN: What reason would that be?
    SUNUNU: Well, I think that when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States — I applaud Colin for standing with him.

    And for extra doucey points, on the same day, on the Sean Hannity show Sununu accused Obama of racially dividing the country.

  22. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Every single solitary thing you believe (or at least claim to believe) is wrong.

    – Bush the Younger didn’t do squat to control Libya – it was his father who sent the F-111s into that neighborhood, and that shut him up for a good long time. Qaddafi kept his head down, attempting to consolidate his power inside the African continent, until Bush’s incompetent, weak-minded, weak-willed son took office. _That’s_ when Qaddafi started feeling like he could flex his muscles again.
    – Obama did not “dither and ass around”. He waited like a mature adult to gather information on exactly what was going on and how best to handle the situation. In the end, it was the UK and France that insisted on getting more directly involved, which was still not the best way to handle it – putting our own troops in fire in someone else’s civil war is not something the American people are or were interested in, but getting Qaddafi out certainly was. Up until this incident, America was getting everything we wanted to happen over there, without any risk to our forces… In the end, Obama chose the best course. If you can’t see that, you’re every bit as stupid as your uninformed ranting and re-writing of history makes you appear.
    – Speaking of stupid re-writing of history – you’re really dumb enough to still defend “mission accomplished”? That banner was made by White House staffers; it had jack squat to do with the carrier as anything other than a prop – that’s all the military ever was to Bush, or idiots like you.
    – And finally,

    And please… make the MORAL argument how we were obligated to help overthrow Qaddafi, but we have no such obligation with Syria’s Assad.

    You know? I actually think, morally, we _do_ have the same obligations to Syria’s people that we did to Libya’s. The problem is _how_. Militarily (getting information out and forces in), politically (gathering the necessary support domestically for what would obviously be a more involved effort than Libya) and diplomatically (nobody of any import was supporting Qaddafi externally; Syria is openly supported by Russia) actually _doing_ anything about Syria is a much bigger prospect. The fact that we haven’t just charged in with an amphibious assault or something equally stupid yet is a _good thing_.

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @legion: Actually, it was Reagan who bombed Libya with the FB-111s, back in 1986. That got Qaddafi’s attention and made him quiet down for a bit.

    However, that doesn’t address the point: Powell seems to have bought into Obama’s argument that “using bombs and missiles against a sovereign nation in support of the rebel side of a civil war isn’t really a war as long as I say it wasn’t.” And that’s the main point here — Powell explicitly said Obama hasn’t got us into a war, which is true as long as you don’t count Libya as a war.

    Kind of like the “how many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg” bit.

  24. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Point taken on the Reagan/Bush mistake. But as to your point: was the original Libya F-111 mission “getting us into a war”? Was parking a battleship off the coast of Lebanon and dropping the occasional shell on people a war? No, committing military personnel into the line of fire is “getting us into a war”. What we did in Libya (either time) is not; while it was possible for us to support the ouster of Qaddafi without sending troops, it’s much less clear if that would be possible in Syria… I get that you disagree with that definition, but you’re going to have to be consistent with the application if it’s the definition you choose… I strongly believe that intervening in Syria, while morally ok, would be “getting us into a war”. And that’s not something to be done lightly.

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @legion: Now that you’ve gotten over your infallibility, please explain how Barry’s Libyan Adventure was NOT covered by the War Powers Act.

    The Libyan bombing was a one-shot deal, done well before the 60-day deadline. The Lebanon misadventure began as a peacekeeping measure, not a direct combat mission. Barry’s Libyan Adventure started out by dropping bombs, and went on for well over 90 days, the cutoff under the War Powers Act.

    Other presidents have followed the WPA without acknowledging its’ authority; Obama simply said “it doesn’t apply.”

  26. legion says:

    You’re correct about one thing: Obama said the WPA didn’t apply to the Libyan effort:

    according to “United States Activities in Libya,” a 32-page report that the administration released last week, “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors.”

    Now, you can argue about whether or not that statement is correct, but neither your nor my opinion on the matter carries the slightest weight anywhere in the world – least of all in congress, which is the place that would actually take Obama to task if they felt this explanation was lacking. And guess what? John Boehner didn’t seem to think it was in violation:

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Wednesday that “technically” President Obama has not violated the War Powers Act by involving U.S. troops in combat in Libya.

    In fact, he has a history of not liking the WPA himself:

    It’s also worth keeping in mind that many of Obama’s critics seem a bit conflicted about the legitimacy of the act. As Politico has reported, Boehner—who sent a confrontational letter to the president this week—actually voted to repeal the law in 1995. In 1999, he called it “constitutionally suspect.”

    So, to summarize, the President already answered your question, and the House accepted that answer.

  27. bill says:

    so i guess he’s not an “oreo” or “uncle tom” like he was when he endorsed republicans? i’m so glad we can all move on and get along…

  28. An Interested Party says:

    so i guess he’s not an “oreo” or “uncle tom” like he was when he endorsed republicans?

    Oh really? Before you move on and get along, perhaps you could tell us who called him those names…

  29. bill says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Here’s a few, google isn’t that hard but i’m in a good mood today!

    1) In an Oct. 24, 1989, Washington, D.C., speech, Farrakhan even claimed Powell was planning “a war against the black people of America.”

    2) In a May 2003 speech sponsored by Harvard Law School, Sharpton likened Powell and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to subservient house slaves.

    3)In 2002, actor and activist Harry Belafonte compared Powell to a plantation slave who moves into the slave owner’s house and says only things that will please his master.

    4)Uncle Tom Powell Stumps for Massah Bush, by SojFollow (Daily Kos)

    5 )“With one finger out to the political wind, Mr. Murray (author of The Bell Curve) has apparently decided that white America is ready for a return to good old-fashioned racism so long as it’s artfully packaged and can admit for exceptions like Colin Powell,” Obama said.

    You’re welcome!

  30. matt says:

    @bill: haha you even included a damned near random internet commentator in that list..

  31. An Interested Party says:

    @bill: Hmm, no “oreo” calling in that list…and what a list–Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and some random Internet commentator…very impressive!!! No thank you!

    Oh, and the last quote doesn’t belong on that list, as no one was insulting Powell in that quote…