Michael Crawford

Colin Powell endorses Obama; Campaign raised record $150 million in Sept.

Filed By Michael Crawford | October 19, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Democrats, John McCain, Republicans

Updates including new video of Gen. Powell at the end of the post.

On Meet the Press moments ago Gen. Colin Powell crossed party lines to endorse Barack Obama for president. Gen. Powell ha advised the last three Republican presidents. This is amazing and follows the Obama campaign's announcement of its fundraising totals for September.

David Plouffe, Barack's campaign manager, reported the news to supporters via a special online video update. The average contribution was $86. The previous record was $66 million set by the Obama campaign in August. The total number of people that have contributed to the campaign is 3.1 million.

This news will undoubtedly make the McCain/Palin campaign and the GOP go apoplectic. They will unleash a wave of racist, xenophobic and slanderous attacks against Barack and Joe Biden unlike anything we have seen in recent presidential campaigns. Already McCain has hired three of the attack machine specialists who spread the lies and innuendo that sunk McCain's presidential campaign in 2000. Among the lies they spread during the 2000 South Carolina primary was that the Bangladeshi child that McCain and his wife Cindy adopted was McCain's illegitimate Black daughter. If they are were willing to go after a member of their own party like this, can you imagine the bile they are prepared to unload against Barack?

This makes it all the more important that for the next 16 days we do all that we can to ensure that Barack is elected our next president. The time for the viciousness of hyper-partisan Republican politics is over.

Update: Gen. Powell on Obama

He has both style and substance. I think he is a transformational figure.

Obama displayed a steadiness. Showed intellectual vigor. He has a definitive way of doing business that will do us well.

Leaving NBC's Washington studio, Gen. Powell said:

I think that Senator Obama brings a fresh set of eyes, fresh set of ideas to the table. I think that Senator McCain, as gifted as he is, is essentially going to execute the Republican agenda, the orthodoxy of the Republican agenda with a new face and a maverick approach to it, and he'd be quite good at it, but i think we need more than that.

Update II: Gen. Powell on McCain and Palin

In the case of Mr.McCain I found that he was a little unsure as to how to deal with the economic problems that we are having. And almost everyday there was a different approach to the problem and that concerned me. Its the sensing that he did have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.

And I was also concerned at the selection of Gov Palin. She is a very distinguished woman and she should be admired. But at the same time now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks I don't believe she is ready to be president of the United States which is the job of the vice-president. And, so that raised some question in mind as to the judgment that Sen. McCain made.

Update III: Gen. Powell talks to reporters after his endorsement of Sen. Obama

iPhone users: Click to watch

Speaking about the domestic and international issues facing the country, Gen. Powell said:

...those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who is a Muslim and who is not a Muslim. Those kinds of images going out on al Jazeera are killing us around the world. And we have got to say to the world, it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are, if you're an American you're an American. And this business of, for example a congresswoman from Minnesota going around saying let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro America or not pro America, we have got to stop this kind of non-sense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and diversity. That really was driving me.

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Colin Powell is a war criminal in the same mold as Hitler's foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. Von Ribbentrop never fired up the ovens. He didn't machine gun people in trenches that were really mass graves. What he did was to lie, threaten, and violate international agreements to facilitate Hitler’s crimes. That's why he was found guilty at Nuremberg.

Colin Powell served both Bush's and Clinton as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, National Security Advisor Secretary of State. He facilitated the genocides of Clinton and Bush2 and the criminal oil war of Bush1 in defense of the homophobic parasites who own Kuwait.

The fact that he’s endorsing Obama means that Powell feels safe that he won't be indicted as a war criminal as long as Obama continues the war and that he agrees with Obama’s war policy, which will enlarge and expand an unwinnable war causing more deaths and putting the finishing touches on the destruction of our economy and standard of living.

Powell’s endorsement would be coldly rejected by anyone with an ounce of decency, which is why Obama will revel in it.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 19, 2008 11:00 AM


Did you even listen to what Powell had to say or did you just go off?

If you had listened to what he said, you would have heard him call the GOP out for engaging in divisive rhetoric and refusing to embrace the diversity of our country.

He specifically calls conservative attack dogs out for calling Obama a Muslim when he is clearly a Christian and for trying to say that being a Muslim is a bad thing.

I get that your M.O. is to be cranky and oppositional, but call me a hope-monger because I have faith that one day you will something that is not laced with bitterness and contempt.

"or did you just go off?"

What I just did was describe Powell as a war criminal. The fact that he belatedly recognizes that the Republican Party is cesspool of racism is beside the point. He knew that decades ago and he still swam in that sewer.

If you lack contempt for war criminals and if you're not bitter about all the Iraqisa and GI's murdered with Powells complicity then that explains a lot about your politics and why you support Obama.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 19, 2008 11:21 AM

Bill, that's mighty GOP of you to suggest that I support war criminals and am not angry about the thousands of lives lost because of the Iraq war.

Can I expect to see that in a attack ad if I decide to run for office?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 1:37 PM

Michael, If you don’t support war crimes then why do you defend a war criminal like Colin Powell and a prospective one like Barak Obama. Obama will be elected and he’ll continue the war in Iraq, boost the killing in Afghanistan and attack Pakistan. Those are war crimes and you support the candidate and party that will commit them.

Don’t hold your breath. The movements I belong to don’t usually waste our breath buying attack ads about people that support a candidate with a bigoted view about same sex marriage and who leads the party that gutted ENDA, ditched the hate crimes act and refuses to repeal their own bigoted bills like DOMA and DADT. But we do organize demonstrations – you’ll see us at the inaugural parade and from then on demanding an immediate and total withdrawal of US forces from the Middle East and cutting the purse string that finance the apartheid against Palestinians.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 19, 2008 2:51 PM

Bill, don't you have better things to do with your time than call me a supporter of war criminals?

I guess not.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 3:51 PM

You do realize that your question only has meaning if you think that Colin Powell is not a war criminal. And wasn't one in Vietnam when he lied about My Lai. And do you deny that he harbors prejudices against us for his continued support for DADT, like Clinton and most Congressional Democrats.

I wonder if he supports same sex marriage?
I know, I'll look it up for you.

I'm just trying to be helpful so don't blame me for bringing up a few unpleasant facts. Be glad that not all of us are taken in by baby kissing idiocies and flag waving.


And? What's your point here, Bill? Am I to assume from your post that you will be voting for McCain?

If that assumption is incorrect and if, as I do, you believe that Obama is the very best chance we have to move the world in which we live to a world where sexual freedom is a fundamental human right, then you might want to just consider that this take a step closer to that victory.

You remind me, with your post, of the charity organizations, desperately in need of funds, that won't take money from the adult entertainment industry because it's "dirty money."

Whatever this man did, he also resigned rather than continue. Call me a hopeless optimist but that means something to me.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 1:47 PM

And? What's your point here, Bill? “Am I to assume from your post that you will be voting for McCain?” Odin, protect us from the sanctimonious conceit of liberals! Actually I’ll be voting this Wednesday and my presidential vote will be for “none of these candidates".

Obama isn't an opponent of McCain; he’s an accessory to his crimes. Obama called all around DC to push the $700 billion dollar theft bill that paid the debts of the parasitic rich just like Bush did. He has a bigoted position on same sex marriage and his party – your party – pushed our entire agenda back in the closet last year. Obama will continue and widen the war.

Colin Powell is a war criminal and an apologist for war crimes. And has been for a long time. He was assistant chief of staff of the 23rd Infantry Division in Nam where ge lied under oath and attempted to discredit the expert testimony of courageous GI’s like Tom Glen of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade who exposed the My Lai Massacre. Powell said:

"In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent."

In reality over a million civilians were slaughtered on the orders of Democrat LBJ and Republican Nixon before their invasion and occupation was unceremoniously defeated, just as the Clinton-Bush-Obama effort will be in the Middle East. Powell did not resign he was ordered to resign by Bush2’s Chief of Staff Andrew Card.

You may forgive LBJ, Humphrey, Powell, Clinton and Gore for their role in the genocides in Vietnam and Iraq because it’s politically expedient to ignore their murders but the rest of us don’t.

Robert Ganshorn | October 19, 2008 11:17 AM

It is a pity Michael. I was about to forward your excellent post to some folks I know who still insist that Obama is a closet Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with that) but now that souffle has fallen and your hard work has been spoiled by the rotten egg. Pity that a Gay friendly female former employee of mine who has expressed fear of Obama will not be receiving this post.

I'd send it anyway, Robert. To continue your food analogy, don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch. :)

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 2:30 PM

Maybe he's afraid that prospective Obama voters will just be confused by the facts?

Confused? And, this is coming from "Mr. Anti Everything?" And, people call bisexuals confused?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 9:28 PM

Not anti-everything, just against the paytriotic war that Obama plans to extend, the open bigotry of his superstition-driven prejudice against same sex marraige and the fact that he's the favorite candidate of Wall Street who, along with Bush, stole $700 billion to pay off their debts. But I have a lot of company in that.


I don't think that opposing war, bigotry and economic chaos is the result of confusion at all. Quite the opposite. But I do think that somewone who pretends to be against them while supporting a candidate who promotes them is, speaking charitably, a bit more than just confused.

That is the most divinely inspirational statement about the possibility of human improvement I can imagine.

Powell's endorsement is helping to create a "Perfect Storm" for Obama.

Our ballot measures in Arizona, Arkansas, California and Florida will benefit greatly from an Obama landslide.

If you doubt this, just imagine the difference today if Powell had endorsed McCain.

Remember: perception is EVERYTHING in politics, and Obama will benefit tremendously from the Powell endorsement.

Jim Toevs

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 19, 2008 11:58 AM

There is a sea change occurring in possibility for political change in our country and I pray that includes defeating the anti-family amendments pending in AZ, CA and FL.

Hell, yeah. Colin Powell! Next up: Sen Richard Lugar (R-IN). Here in Indiana, he's refused to campaign for McCain or even mention his name. He's our senior Senator, one of the most respected men in the state (even Democrats venerate Dick Lugar), he's worked with Obama on Russian nukes, and Indiana is a battleground state.

Evan Bayh has already endorsed Obama. Throw in Lugar too and it's a done deal in Indiana. Turn us blue.

I agree with Ricci, btw, Powell quit just because he didn't agree with the Iraq War. He opposed it and only sold it to the UN after BushCo lied to him. He's repeatedly said how much he regrets doing the pitch to the UN. I forgive him.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 1:32 PM

Bil, contact these folks and ask if they forgive him too.

www.basraoilunion.org - you can get in touch with them via www.uslaboragainstwar.org

Or you might ask some vets - www.ivaw.org or www.vaiw.org

They may not be so forgiving.

And now we have the evidence of what I was saying yesterday - Obama has raised more money than he can possibly spend in the next two weeks.

Biden alone brought in nearly 2.5 million at three campaign stops in the SF Bay Area yesterday afternoon.

Who is left to be convinced after at least 18 months of campaigning it is clear that 10 million, 20 million or 100 million dollars will not change the minds of an American that just can't envision an Obama presidency by now.

In light of the post that Mr. Crawford wrote at Bilerico a few days ago - where he outlined all of the supportive thoughts, words and ideas that Obama has in regard to the LGBT community, now is the perfect time to ask him to give money to the three campaigns that will restrict our citizenship if they pass in two weeks.

Give $1 million dollars now to each campaign, Obama. If you won't actively put yourself in the spotlight with your vocal opposition to these amendments then give money.

Without support now these amendments may very well pass.

Why are you withholding your support when it is clear you can afford it?

Do you believe in our liberty or not?

I have to agree with Patrick and when I heard the fundraising amount, I too thought, "Well then, queer money needs to go to the amendment battles."

I doubt we'll see Obama shell out for the amendments. He won't want to be linked directly within 2 weeks of the election.

I cannot judge Colin Power nor his motives; for I don't know him. However, his argument is logically valid and sound.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 3:27 PM

Michael, perhaps you read my reply to Ricci about Powell’s record of lying about Mai Lai and providing cover for the genocide there, just as he provided cover for Clinton and Bush’s genocides in Iraq. Do you still think you should be excusing his role as a war criminal? Did that change your mind even a little?

Because I remember your lame response that his war crimes were OK because Powell’s covering himself with a fig leaf by opposing the racism of the party he’s supported for decades. How could he be part of the party that ran the Willie Horton ads and not have a glimmer on insight into them.

But did you know, Michael, that Powell himself harbors a great deal of bigotry and prejudice for some sectors of society? Can you guess who they are? Can you spell GLBT?

Would you be so kind as to check out this recent video of Colin Powell speaking about his bigotry regarding GLBT soldiers and his continued support for Clinton’s infamous DADT?

I know how upsetting facts can be for some people, but for those who want to know about Colin Powell and why's he's so much like Barak Obama politically here's the link:


Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 19, 2008 4:14 PM


While all the attention you pay to me is in a perverse way flattering, I am going to have to end this back and forth. I am too busy recruiting volunteers to get out the vote for Barack in Virginia.

Have a great day!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 9:44 PM

Michael, how Democratic (sic) of you to run away without commenting on Powell's criminaltiy and bigotry. But I understand, expediency before prinicple is the Democratic (sic) way. And of course I understand that it wouldn't look good if you did try to defend him any more than you already have. Not good at all.

Please, don't flatter yourself. My comments are all about right wing politics, not those who subscribe to them. Try to avoid the temptation to reduce political questions to personal attacks. It doesn't look good. Not good at all.

Powell's endorsement will have the effect of ending the illusions of some that Obama wants or even can deliver an end to the war. I welocme it. It made my day.

After you get him elected you can organize demonstrations to support his war as it drags on and on. I of course will be in the antiwar demonstration on the other side of the street.

Well, I am annoyed by this. Not by the fact that Powell endorsed Obama - that can only help the Obama campaign. But by the fact that Powell is still considered a respectable member of the national political dialogue.

Considering what he did during the Bush administration in helping to fabricate the case for the War in Iraq, I find it surprising that anyone would care about his judgment, insight, or values right now. The war he wanted is still going on, and it's killed, injured, and displaced millions of Iraqi people. It's killed over 4200 American soldiers.

It's the same basic problem that I had with the Hillary campaign during the primaries - we were asked to simply forget her vote for the Iraq War. The sheer lack of judgment, if she was actually tricked into as she claimed, or the sheer lack of morality, if she actually wanted a war with Iraq, should have been enough to disqualify her from the job in a sane world.

Just this morning Thomas Friedman was on This Week, discussing policy options for Iraq and Afghanistan. Again, why do we care what he thinks? He was the chief neoliberal cheerleader for this war, and he actually thought setting up a democratic government in a country with no history of democracy would be easy. There's a certain level of arrogance about the superiority of western culture it takes to make arguments like that, and there's a certain level of brokenness in our discourse if we're looking to him for advice on foreign policy.

And it goes on and on. This is hurting the left, since we rely on the hope that people show an ability to mature and care about others, and in society to collectively learn from its mistakes and moral failings. But we can't do that when these very same people are back telling us who to vote for again, telling us what to do in other countries, without, at the very least, their history of abuse of that public discourse preceding every statement they make.

So the image I have of Powell is him at the UN telling the world about the weapons Iraq is constructing based on debunked websites and shady intelligence. In fact, he admitted years later that he thought the case for WMD's was weak, and he said in 2001 that he thought Saddam was "contained." But in between that time, he was willing to send what was estimated two years ago to be around three quarters of a million Iraqi people to their deaths.

For what? Career advancement? Loyalty to Bush? War thirst?

Sure, there's no use in trying to reeducate the American electorate two weeks before an election. It makes sense for Obama to taut this endorsement right now. If I were him, I'd do the same.

I'm just saying that the fact that anyone cares what he thinks shows that the left has already lost.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 20, 2008 4:02 AM

Powell is a respectable member of the national debate because he has made history not just talked about it. Read Bob Woodward's book.

Single handedly he fought Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush to try and keep us from war. He invented "The Pottery Barn Rule" as one of his many arguments. He invented "overwhelming force" that Rumsfeld dismissed. He was the most peace oriented Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in my lifetime.

I can only guess at the degree to which the moral failings would have been worse in the Bush administration without him.

But when his president gave him marching orders, with faulty information, he soldiered on. He was always a Republican centralist and the party moved away from him. This can easily mean that the true maverick of this election will be Powell and that he will be the fulcrum that will give us the congressional majority needed to restore our Bill of Rights.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 20, 2008 4:26 PM

Single handedly he fought Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush to try and keep us from war.

Horseshit. This is another of your infamous whoppers; it's a tall tale. And one that ignores Powell's constant apologizes for his lies at the UN and as Herr Hitlers Foreign Minist... Sorry, as Bush's Secretary of State.

However, feel free to try to back it up with facts and prove me wrong.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 20, 2008 4:29 PM

"Powell is a respectable member of the national debate because he has made history not just talked about it."

Von Ribbentrop made a lot of history too as an apologist for the invasions, occupations and mass murder of the citizens of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, the USSR and Italy.

Powell did the same in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Libya, Lebanon, Panama, Grenada (a sort of Special Olympics for the Pentagon), Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan.

I don't get it. How does ignoring his own moral compass to follow the president (if your analysis is correct) make him a "true maverick"? That seems like the exact opposite of maverickness.

And he may have been the most peace-oriented member of the Bush Admin, but that's setting the bar awfully low. It's like standing outside a bar and listening to a group of frat boys decides who gets to drive home by asking "Who here's the least drunk?"

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 21, 2008 11:30 AM

I do not know how the below comment got placed all the way down here, as it was addressed to Messr Perdue.

As regards Colin Powell and his long history of service running back to well before you were born. If Powell swings six to ten senate races to the democratic party would you be satisfied?

Was he supposed to jump ship immediately after the twin towers and let all the filthy parties do their Haliburton/Exxon bidding all the sooner? Would that make you satisfied?

Many great men have had to work with people they disagree with for the greater good. Your "frat boy" remark is below your usual intellectual standard. It places you in danger of becoming like Mr. Perdue who only talks and has accomplished....

Thanks for the ageist "before you were born" comment.

Was he supposed to jump ship immediately after the twin towers and let all the filthy parties do their Haliburton/Exxon bidding all the sooner? Would that make you satisfied?

Of course not. He could have worked for the common good, though, instead of pushing Bush's deadly policy. There is an option outside of apathy and evil, and it's known to some people as "good."

I guess the difference between your position and my position here is that you think that those millions of people killed, injured, and displaced in Iraq are some kind of abstraction, a joke, or just a little game. They're not. They're real, and their lives were ruined or ended because of Powell and his buddies.

But in order to make your bizarre "great man" claims about Powell, you just pull out the "You're too young to have even read about what Powell did" card. And, you know what? I'm pretty tired of it.

You could argue the point here instead of getting personal, but you've chosen not to.

More whoppers? This is getting boring. Keep this up and you’re going to get quite the reputation.

This ones a real winner. Bitterly, you say that "Mr. Perdue... who only talks and has accomplished..." Accomplished exactly what? Should I have been your average business owner/manager and gotten rich cheating consumers and working people? Sorry, I couldn't be a shekel monger if my life depended on it. I have a well developed ethical code and it excludes legalized theft.

What I did do was help build unions, support the left and support the civil rights and native independence movements. I'm particularly proud of have helped advance and lead the militant and massive antiwar movement. It, along with Vietnamese insurgents and brave antiwar GI's tossed the incompetent, murderous officer corps of the US Army, Air Force, Marines, CIA and other assorted vermin out of Vietnam, tails between their legs.

At the same time our movement helped expel other vermin, LBJ and Nixon directly from the White House and into history’s garbage can. I couldn’t be prouder of our movement’s accomplishments. We changed the world once and we’ll do it again.

We’ll do it to end the illegal US/Brit invasions and occupations in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. And maybe this time we’ll be strong enough to convene an International War Crimes Tribunal which will have lots of questions for murderers like Bush, Bill Clinton, Rice, Powell, Cheney and Albright about their roles in the criminal genocide that commence about 1998.

The renewed antiwar movement will begin if the war is still going on after 7a.m. on the morning of January 21st, 2009. Right-wingers like you won't like that it one bit but GI's, the antiwar movement and the people of Iraq sure will.

Robert Ganshorn | October 20, 2008 10:24 AM

You really don't read do you. I said she was a republican. I wouldn't worry. I just would not choose to embarrass a properly brought up lady with a raving person.

Robert Ganshorn | October 21, 2008 10:15 PM

"I guess the difference between your position and my position here is that you think that those millions of people killed, injured and displaced are some kind of abstraction, a joke, or just a little game."

All you need are a few German reference points and this sounds awfully Perduesque to me.

The importance of Michael's post is that a great man has turned his back on the party that has moved away from him. You cannot tear down Powell or his historic accomplishments without diminishing his importance to voters who will now be supporting Obama.

And please, don't suggest to me that I am ageist while you use "frat boy" references.

Robert Ganshorn | October 22, 2008 7:53 AM

What you have accomplished is what I would love to know about along with your advanced economic theory and social programs.

Go Washington State University and the 50 cent workshops! I remember them every time I have indigestion.