Powell Says He’s Leaving Politics
As he prepares to end his tenure as secretary of state, Colin Powell is ruling out a run for political office. Asked on the Sunday talk shows if he had any plans to seek elective office, Powell responded with a firm and quick, “No.” He said he has no immediate plans to write a book, either.
Powell said he really hasn’t nailed down exactly what he’s going to do. “I’m still looking at the opportunities that are out there after I retire. I’m sure there will be opportunities to serve in a public way,” Powell told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t intend to go hibernate for the rest of my life. And so we’ll see what happens. I hope to continue to serve the country in some way in private life,” he added. Powell also appeared on CBS and CNN.
In a farewell interview with The Associated Press last month, the secretary suggested that working to promote education among disadvantaged children might play a role in his future endeavors. “I wouldn’t be surprised if working in the field of mentoring or education or something like that does not appear on my calendar,” he said.
Powell is in his fifth decade of public service, so I certainly don’t expect him to go away. From an elective politics standpoint, though, he’s something of a ‘tweener. He’s identified himself as a Republican but is well to the left of the party’s center on too many key issues to get the party’s nomination for president. If he defected to the Democrats, his association with the Bush administration and the Iraq War would certainly hurt him–and he’s likely too conservative to get the Democratic nod, anyway.
Realistically, that leaves the U.S. Senate or a governorship as his best bets. I’m not sure a man who has been Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs would want to be one of a hundred–and he’d have to knock off Hillary Clinton if he ran in his home state of New York, no easy task. I see no reason he couldn’t get elected governor of New York, though, if he wanted the job. He’s the right kind of Republican for the Empire State.