Nine weeks ago, August 17, 2008, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown wrote the following:
Here’s a prediction: Colin Powell is going to endorse Barack Obama.
I’m not pulling this out of thin air. I’m basing my forecast on a series of phone calls that I received this week. I can’t say who called me, but I can tell you one of the questions I was asked:
“What do you think the reaction would be if former Secretary of State Colin Powell – a Republican – introduced Democrat Obama at his big acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium after being made the nominee?”
My reply: “It would seal the deal. It would be the presidency.”
I don’t think Powell will go to Denver for the Democratic National Convention, but based on the recent conversations, I have to believe that something big is in the works.
Brown wasn’t the only one who had that story, Bill Kristol reported similar details.
In hindsight it appears very clear that the Powell endorsement was a done deal in August. In fact, if your read Powell’s words a certain way it confirms Brown and Kristol’s stories. From the interview.
BROKAW: And you are fully aware that there will be some — how many, no one can say for sure — but there will be some who will say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race.
POWELL: If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect and regard for, John McCain , and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama.
And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled on this. And I can’t deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president.
Now you can read that as that he made the decision a couple months ago or within the last couple months, but given the prior reports it seems clear that the decision really was made before the Democratic convention.
So the whole section of Powell’s reasoning, the post convention campaigning, the VP selection of Gov. Palin, the economic issues, etc. are window dressing – none of those items could have played any role in Powell’s decision since they all came well after the decision was made.
Powell’s endorsement stands on its own, it’s the use of these strawman justifications that bely the real story behind this endorsement that I question. The real story, when it comes out, should be far more interesting…