After months of speculation and courting from both Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, former Secretary of State Colin Powell officially endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, describing the Illinois senator as a “transformational figure.”
In an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Powell said Obama is better suited to handle the nation’s economic problems as well as help improve it’s standing in the world. He said that both Obama and McCain are qualified to be president, but “which is president we need now … and I’ve come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical ability, … as well as his substance — because he has both style and substance — he has met the standard of being a successful president — being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure … and for that reason I will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama.”
Powell prefaced his endorsement by saying that he’s known McCain for 25 years and has gotten to know Obama well over the last two years. He said that he was concerned that McCain doesn’t appear to have a grasp on how to handle the current economic crisis, citing McCain’s erratic and inconsistent approach of presenting a new strategy each day.
Powell expressed disappointment in the negative tone of McCain’s campaign, as well as in his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee. Powell says he does not believe Palin is ready to be president. He criticized the McCain camp’s bringing up Bill Ayers and the robo calls that have been made in swing states to link Obama to the former radical activist. All these things made Powell question McCain’s judgment.
He said that he’s watched Obama during the economic turmoil and praised Obama’s “steadiness and depth of curiosity” and showing intellectual vigor.
Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at BlackEnterprise.com.