Tag Archives: colin powell

Pulling up the weeds in Virginia

The American News Project has caught a slice of McCainicana on camera, which it might behoove Colin Powell, Douglass Daniel, and others bent on finding anti-Muslim bigotry where none exists to watch. (Link via Hot Air).

The scene opens on a couple of cranks on the outskirts of a pro-McCain rally in Woodbridge, VA, who are hawking “Obama is a secret Muslim socialist” flyers and bumper stickers.  Their clever catchphrase is “Obama for CHANGE,” with the C replaced by an Islamic crescent and star and the G replaced by a hammer and sickle. Charming stuff.

The footage continues with a few clips of raving and ranting, before a couple of rally attendees start to amble over.  Not because they’re curious — certainly not because they sympathize — but because they can’t believe what they’re seeing.  They are all McCain supporters, they are all young, and many of them are Muslim (one is a Muslim convention delegate for McCain who chairs his Maryland operations).  All of them, regardless of faith, are determined to challenge the nutcases with the mad-on for Islam.

Fairly soon it dawns on the cranks that the ralliers will no longer content themselves with ignoring the rotten apples in the barrel.  They stop waving their bumper stickers, clam up in front of cameras, refuse to talk to reporters, avoid their challengers, and eventually slink off with their tails between their legs.  Best parting line, called after them as they retreated:  “Are you deliberately trying to lose us this election?”

Upon their departure, there was much rejoicing indeed.  Congratulations, guys, you’ve just made the political world a little cleaner, at least for a while.  Keep it up, because there are people like them, from both wings of the ideological spectrum, who will try to leech off your candidate’s success and high profile.  In the meantime, have a well-deserved round of applause.

Secretary Powell?  Mr. Daniel?  Are you listening?  Will you bother?

(Need I say, “watch the whole thing”?)

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The year’s most unsurprising surprise

Former SecState Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama on Sunday is eliciting surprise from a lot more people than it should be.  He’s been making sotto voce noises about it for months, and frankly his announcement on “Meet The Press” was fairly anticlimactic, and late enough in the game to look like he’s just scrambling for what space there is left on the bandwagon.

For his part, John McCain was “disappointed” that Powell didn’t think to give him a heads-up a little bit ahead of time, and that he never even took the time to meet Sarah Palin (though that didn’t stop him from trashing her as “not ready,” which is odd given the presidential candidate he’s throwing over for a newbie like Obama).

What strikes me most about his endorsement, though, is what he doesn’t say.  Check the video:

When Powell goes into specifics, his reasons for voting for Obama have nothing to do with Obama, but with McCain.  Powell says the senator seems “unsure” how to deal with the economic crisis; he thinks McCain’s running mate is “not ready” (once again, without having met her, which if he wanted to do all he’d have to do is ask).  When he talks about Obama directly, the specifics fail him:  he’s a “transformational figure;” he has an “ability to inspire;” he “reaches across lines” (leading one to wonder which Barack Obama he’s been watching, as does his assertion that Obama hasn’t jumped around from one position to the next).

Powell cites none of Obama’s positions that appeal to him; it’s all image.  His statement of support for Obama is so vague and airy, it may as well have been written by the other “big O” in this race, Oprah.

Powell also gets in a hell of a cheap shot that I once thought beneath him; he ascribes the “Obama is a Muslim” rumor, long since debunked, to Republicans, when it was promulgated during the Democratic primaries and reinforced (for what it was worth) by an email traced back to the Hillary campaign showing Obama in African Muslim garb.  This rumor has long since lost all meaningful currency it might once have had, and no Republican with any shred of a reputation has repeated it; for Powell to rehash it and cram it into the mouths of unnamed “members of my own party” is just low; it sounds like he’s searching for an excuse to throw in his lot with Obama.

UPDATE: Was Secretary Powell just in need of a little attention?