Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell and Hitchens nailing more into McCain's campaign coffin

The Sunday Telegraph reports that long standing Republican, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell is endorsing Barack Obama. Powell talked of Obama's "ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America". This contrasts with McCain's lacklustre approach to the economy "Almost every day he had a different approach to the problems we were having". I suspect Powell is looking to be part of the incoming administration, and indeed it may be the case that if an Obama victory happens we would all be better off if Powell was part of it.

Meanwhile, strong supporter of the war to topple Saddam Hussein, writer Christopher Hitchens is also backing Obama in his Slate column. Hitchens loathes the Clintons, and is no friend of Bush, but backed Bush over Iraq. He feels pity for McCain's performance:

"Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear had to feel sorry for the old lion on his last outing and wish that he could be taken somewhere soothing and restful before the night was out."

It appears that McCain's selection of Sarah Palin has been the death knell of McCain's credibility to Hitchens:

"It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses."

So, Hitchens supporting the man who opposed the war in Iraq? Well he believes Obama can be convinced to change, Hitchens is no "true believer":

"I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that "issue" I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. Obama is greatly overrated in my opinion, but the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one, even if it does accept the support of the surrender faction, and it does show some signs of being able and willing to profit from experience. With McCain, the "experience" is subject to sharply diminishing returns, as is the rest of him, and with Palin the very word itself is a sick joke."

Only a few weeks ago Hitchens called Obama "vapid, hesitant and gutless" in that he doesn't ask questions straight and clear. I suspect Hitchens has largely been too disappointed by McCain and angered by Palin to go anywhere else.

Now I want to know what the Ayn Rand Institute thinks. I'm betting it will back Obama too. It's backed Kerry and Gore in the last two elections.

No comments: