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Powell Endorses Nobody (Yet)

This morning, Wolf Blitzer interviewed former Secretary of State Colin Powell on CNN. Blitzer tried valiantly to extract an endorsement of a presidential candidate. Powell clearly identified himself as a republican, but he added that throughout his adult life he has voted for candidates for various offices from both major parties. Powell also clearly said that he is not prepared to endorse any particular presidential candidate at this time.

I'm not prepared to call this a repudiation of John McCain, but it was interesting to hear Powell make clear, repeatedly, that he was wasn't making an endorsement at this time. Powell said that he would vote for the candidate who is most likely to lead America, and lead a party, most effectively. Powell had some sharp differences with Obama's and Clinton's recent statements that they would set specific timelines and/or deadlines for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, saying essentially that adherence to an arbitrarily set deadline might not be the proper course of action, depending on the situation in Iraq a year or so from now. However, Powell gave Obama credit for saying that he would at least open a dialogue with the likes of Iran, Cuba, and others with which America has great differences.

Powell told Blitzer, "I am a citizen and I am examining all the candidates... I will consider a full range of issues before I vote." And he thinks all his fellow Americans should consider their choices wisely too.

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