Powell’s words on Meet the Press gave some cover to conservatives like him who longed to vote for a stronger candidate than John McCain. Here’s an excerpt of his interview on CNN earlier today with Wolf Blitzer. Emphasis mine.

BLITZER: Did you ever think, Gen. Powell, that you would be alive to witness this day?

POWELL: I didn’t know if I would or I would not. I knew the day would come eventually. I watched over the last 50 years, the 50 years of my adult life, as my country went from Jim Crow and discrimination and segregation, and I couldn’t get a hamburger in a hamburger joint in the South. And slowly but surely, things changed, things improved, America looked at itself with Dr. Martin Luther King holding the mirror up for us to look at ourselves. And we said, this is not who we should be or what we should be. This is not the inspiration to the world that we present ourselves as.

And so, slowly but surely, we changed. And then, in recent years, more rapidly, to the point where a man of enormous skill, enormous capability was elected president of the United States, and not just because he is black, but it’s a sign of our society and our democratic system that he is black and he made it. A lot of people said, white folks will go into the booth, but they wouldn’t pull the lever for him, no matter what they said outside. Well, they did. And he ran a brilliant campaign, an organized campaign, and it was a very successful campaign.

And Wolf, let me just say how touched I am at the way in which he has reached out to the other side, if I may call it that. The very act of having a dinner in honor of John McCain last night and for John McCain acceptance of that invitation, showed that President Obama intends to reach out to all Americans across all racial, ethnic, social and economic lines and bring this country together in a unifying effort.

BLITZER: Secretary Powell, he did deliver a strong message to friend and foe alike in his inaugural address. I wonder what you thought about that.

POWELL: I think it was a very powerful statement, and I think it was a proper statement. We do have foes out there, and they should be on notice that America will deal with them. We will fight for our interests, and we’ll fight for the interests of our friends. But I think he also made it clear that his preference is to find peaceful ways to talk to people and to work with our friends and allies. But America will defend its interests, and I think it was most appropriate for him to say that, so that there is no mistake on the part of any of our potential foes.

White people often grimace when I remind them that the majority of white people did not vote for Obama – 55% of them voted for McCain. Those numbers are skewed by generation — older people were much more likely to vote for McCain whereas those 25 & under voted in the majority for Obama. It’s like watching the future transform as new generations create hope & change, inspiring those above and below them

Related Posts with Thumbnails