Opinion: Colin Powell studies the presidential fields, again


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The man who resisted considerable public pressure to run for president himself as a Republican back in 1996 is still not ready to endorse anyone in 2008.

But Colin Powell, former general for President Bush I and former secretary of state for President Bush II, gave Wolf Blitzer on CNN some hints about his thinking during a Friday interview. One of them: he may vote for a Democrat or independent, which he said last summer on ‘Meet the Press.’ Here’s what he said Friday:


I am watching this race with the greatest of interest, and I know all of the leading candidates. Now, I don’t know Mr. Huckabee as well as I know Senator McCain and Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, but I am watching this. And I will ultimately vote for the person I believe brings to the American people the kind of vision the American people want to see for the next four years. A vision that reaches out to the rest of the world, that starts to restore confidence in America, that starts to restore favorable ratings to America. Frankly, we’ve lost a lot in recent years. I am going to be looking for the candidate that seems to me to be leading a party that is fully in sync with the candidate, and a party that will also reflect America’s goodness and America’s vision. And I will be looking for the candidate that I think will be the most competent candidate. The one who can deal with problems and bring the government together with the Congress to solve these problems.And so I know them all. I am a Republican, but I am keeping my options open at the moment.

And I am in touch with the candidates. And anybody who wants to talk to me about an issue, I’ll do so. But sooner or later, as any other American, I will make my choice.

Hmm, a party ‘fully in sync with the candidate’ and ‘We’ve lost a lot in recent years...’ Let’s see, which party could he possibly be thinking about?

--Andrew Malcolm