Colin Powell to Challenge Hillary Clinton in 2006?


Republicans yesterday touted outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell as a possible challenger against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2006. “I think he would be an exciting choice . . . and I think he would have star quality,” said Stephen Minarik, who was tapped Monday to head the troubled state Republican Party. Minarik said he would seek to talk to Powell, a native New Yorker, about making the race once he leaves the State Department.

Powell was first suggested as a potential Clinton challenger by Rep. Vito Fossella of Staten Island, who, like many in the New York GOP, is known to fear his party won’t have a strong candidate to field against her in 2006. “His roots and heart have always been in New York,” Fossella said of Powell, who was born in New York City and attended City College. “I think he’d make a great representative and I urge him strongly to consider running,” Fossella continued.

A State Department spokeswoman refused to comment, except to say, “It’s a question after he leaves maybe he can answer.”

An interesting idea, although I doubt Powell would be interested. He served over 30 years in the Army, rising to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He’s been National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. One would think junior Senator from New York would be a major step down.

That said, he’s a capable man and, should he be interested, he’d be a worthy challenger for Clinton should Rudy Guiliani decide not the enter the race. Powell’s pro-abortion rights, pro-affirmative action, and pro-U.N. positions are a good fit for the New York branch of the GOP. They would likely preclude his getting the GOP nomination for president in 2008, however.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    And then there’s Mrs. Powell’s opposition to his running for president. I suppose it’s possible she’d look differently on a Senate run, but not likely — the media attention (in one corner, The Smartest Woman in America™, in this corner, The Most Popular Man in America™) would be comparable to a presidential run.

  2. Tom says:

    My socks are a good challenger for Hillary Clinton. She stands no chance of being a dominating figure for most people on the Democrat side. Kevin Drum took an unscientific poll in comments on this a few weeks ago, and I think that every single person said “no” to her winning or being the good choice. Now *that* would be a landslide, IMHO.

  3. McGehee says:

    CalPundit readers don’t want Hillary to run!!??

    That’s … not good. But what about dKos, Eschaton or DU?

    If they don’t support her, then she’s really in trouble.

  4. Anjin-San says:

    Hillary’s support in the Democratic party is not all that deep. She has her faction, but is not very popular outside of it.

    She is bright & has talent, though not nearly to the degree her spinsters would have us think. If not for her husband I doubt she would have ever made it outside of Little Rock.

  5. McGehee says:


    LOL! Freudian slip, maybe?

    Actually, I’m laughing to cover my shock at agreeing with you. 😉