Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Politics of the Powell Endorsement

Of course, there are political calculations behind the endorsement event today.

1. Powell mentioned that he hadn't decided until "the past couple of months." That means the Obama team has known about the endorsement for a while, but decided to hold onto it until this critical juncture when McCain has found something to start closing up the polls again. Well played, sirs.

2. The Obama team did a good job of getting blogs to underplay the expectations for the endorsement. The endorsement Powell did came out with was powerful and therefore much more dramatic.

3. Powell himself has a tarnished reputation amongst Democrats for his speech to the UN in support of the war, and not doing more to stop the war. There is no doubt that through this endorsement - calculated or not - Powell might be looking to help rehabilitate his own reputation, and (whether he denies it or not) find a way back into public service.

This was a big win both for Obama and Powell. Now just 16 days left till election day.

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