October 19, 2008

Worth A Mention

The United States is not a country with strong party discipline. Every campaign features a few cross-party endorsements. Every Democrat gets a few prominent Republicans to endorse him, and every Republican gets a few prominent Democrats to endorse him. So I'm not really all that surprised to see Colin Powell endorse Barack Obama for President.

Powell enjoys considerable stature and his endorsement is not insignificant. But it's the sort of thing that happens a couple of times in every Presidential campaign. And again, at this point we're only talking about Obama's margin of victory.

I feel kind of sorry for McCain -- who is an unalloyed American hero and for the most part has been a good role model for future politicians to follow. He's on the receiving end of a perfect storm of economic events that have completely overtaken him. Remember, before Wall Street melted down, McCain was within a point or two of Obama and had a better than one-in-three chance of winning outright. There were some missteps on both sides, but mostly smart plays and the election didn't seem to be any dirtier than the last two had been.

So, back to Secretary Powell. (Puckish thought: he was also "General Powell" for a much of his career; does that make it okay to call him "Secretary-General Powell"?) I can't call it the last nail in McCain's coffin because the election was decided about four weeks ago when the real estate bubble burst. And it's not that Obama's reaction to that event was so much better than McCain's, but Obama is the challenger and McCain carries the same party flag as the incumbent who gets to absorb the blame. It's really as simple as that for me. Nothing Powell has said or done changes that in either direction.


Michael Reynolds said...

It's a painful blow to McCain for this reason: every time he gives an interview and goes to Ayers or Obama's lack of qualification or Obama's "no preconditions" diplomacy, the questioner will toss a Powell quote in there.

Powell's like body armor to McCain's attacks on Obama.

Of course Obama was going to win anyway, but that's not what's really important, is it? What's really important is that he win by 5 points.

Burt Likko said...

Indeed. And for that, we'll have to see how much the numbers narrow as they inevitably will.

zzi said...

How much will his speaking fees go up?