Sunday, August 24, 2008

McCain Powell is just a dream

Various media reports indicate that former Secretary of State Colin Powell is being considered by the McCain campaign for the Vice Presidency. Yes, that is the same Colin Powell media pundits were saying would endorse Barack Obama a few weeks ago.

What changed? Well, the problem is, nothing changed. Colin Powell is the most respected non politician in politics. Both sides want his name and his counsel with them. It is my belief that the McCain campaign’s leaks that the Arizona Senator is considering Powell for Vice President are little different than the leaks the Obama campaign gave that Secretary Powell was about to endorse their guy. Both campaigns want to use Secretary Powell to promote their campaigns.

While I would not be unhappy with a McCain-Powell ticket, there are some realpolitik considerations involved. The first is the fact Secretary Powell is 71 years old. The second is that it is known that Alma Powell does not want the Secretary to seek such office. In 1996, Powell was at a point in which the Republican nomination for President or Vice-President was all but his for the asking. His wife talked him out of it. There is nothing out there to suggest the Powell family have changed their minds about the Secretary on a national ticket.

Then there is Iraq. Secretary Powell was the point man for the Bush Administration in justifying the war in the United Nations session. If by some extraordinary reason, he was the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Powell would face an endless stream of questions about his role in the buildup to the war.

Even if Powell could combat such attacks well, he would lose a bit of his luster. Secretary Powell has widespread respect still in the United States and the world. He can demand and receive an audience with the President of the United States, Senator McCain, Senator Obama and leaders around the world. The moment he decides to be a partisan participant by becoming a nominee for Vice-President, Secretary Powell gives up that clout.

I respect and admire Colin Powell. But, as someone who has studied the man and his life, I find it unlikely that he would give up the lofty status he has now in all circles to be McCain’s running mate. Of course, the notion of McCain-Powell would be a dream ticket. A debate between Biden and Powell would make all other Vice Presidential debates pale in comparison.

Alas, it is just a dream, or better put, just a spin to counter the Obama momentum. I would love for McCain to prove me wrong on this, but I just do not see Colin Powell being McCain’s choice for Vice President.


  1. Given the amount of blog posts such as yours and others like this one Colin Powell as McCain's Vice President I am not so convinced its just a dream.

  2. Having a "Uber-Political" status is rarely achieved in this country and should not be relinquished without deep thought. It is a high and lofty status that Carter once had (and lost by opening his stupid mouth). Powell doesn't need to be anyone's number 2, he could have run as this year's number one. Believe me, Republicans knew the political environment they were facing and they practically begged Powell to declare last year.
    Politics is all about money, power and influence. Powell doesn't have the cash, but has the influence no matter who is in office-Republican or Democrat. It would be stupid to give up that type of power.