Colin Powell Advises Barack Obama on Foreign Policy
[QUOTE]Colin Powell Advises Barack Obama on Foreign Policy
Monday , June 11, 2007
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has sought out former Secretary of State Colin Powell for advice on foreign policy matters.
While Powell served in the administrations of two Republican presidents, he said Sunday it was too early in the 2008 race to say whether he would back the GOP nominee.
"I'm going to support the best person that I can find who will lead this country for the eight years beginning in January of 2009," Powell said.
Powell was secretary of state under President Bush and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman for the first President Bush.
Powell said he has met twice with Obama, the Illinois senator. "I've been around this town a long time and I know everybody who is running for office. And I make myself available to talk about foreign policy matters and military matters with whoever wishes to chat with me," Powell said.
Powell said he does not want to serve in elected office but was less certain about a return to some government post.
"I would not rule it out. I am not at all interested in political life if you mean elected political life. That is unchanged. But I always keep my eyes open and my ears open to requests for service," he said.
He was interviewed on "Meet the Press" on NBC.[/QUOTE]
Powell has always made his counsel available to both parties, so I wouldn't necessarily read too much into this. He's someone who worked for both Bushes and Clinton, after all.
That said, the thought of an Obama/Powell ticket is interesting. Obama is a younger, relatively inexperienced presidential candidate, and it would serve him well --at least politically-- to have a seasoned military guy on the ticket, much as it helped Bush politically to have Cheney.
That said, Powell waited an awful long time to criticize this administration, and stayed silent when he could have affected change, which is hard to forgive.
To his credit, had Tommy Franks listened to his advice (doctrine of overwhelming force) over Rumsfeld (fewer troops, faster advance), we might have had enough manpower to secure Iraq when it was still salavageable.
Then I'd have a guy I could actually vote for.[/QUOTE]
Powell should have run in 1996 or 2000. The Republican nomination was his for the taking then, but he passed.
The problem he has now is that the GOP has moved so far right under GWB that his moderate social views --pro-affirmative action, pro-choice, etc-- will never fly there anymore.
And, as someone who was addressing the GOP convention in recent memory, it would be hard for him to lead a Democratic ticket, especially so considering his role in "selling" the Iraq invasion, which did not please the Democratic base.
So his choices are to either run as a third-party candidate with another moderate Republican or conservative Democrat --I have to say a Powell/Hegel pairing would be potent-- or to try to get tabbed as a Democratic veep.
If he was a veep on a Democratic ticket, he would be well-poised to run for president as a Democrat in 2016, if he has that ambition.