Will Powell Endorse Obama?
OK, true enough.
If Powell does endorse Obama, racial pride will have something to do with it, which is understandable. Powell has been a trailblazer himself, and he admires Obama's unflappability and skill in rising so quickly through the ranks of American politics.
While Powell is personally close to McCain, and has been for many years, he seems to have taken a special interest in making himself available, behind the scenes and from time to time, to discuss foreign policy and defense issues with the novice Illinois senator. I believe Powell feels a responsibility to help Obama out, almost as if a member of the family were taking on a tough new job.
However, if Powell does endorse, it will have less to do with American sociology than world affairs. Powell simply has no use anymore--if he ever had any--for the neo-con cowboys he thinks misled the country (and him) into a mistaken and costly war in Iraq.
Powell has been careful in public not to criticize his colleagues in the Bush administration nor bluntly call the war a mistake. He came close to saying that at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Conference last summer, but remained droll and elliptical.
An endorsement of Obama would be an indirect but powerful way of expressing his resentments and regrets: refusing to support a fellow Republican who has very Bush-like ideas about how to make America more secure in a world of terror.
"It's not so much about race as it is about foreign policy," a friend of Powell's told me. "He thinks Obama has a lot to learn, but that he has the capacity."