I dared not believe it......I certainly hoped and tried to be cautiously optimistic, but I dared not believe it. When I heard that retired General and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell was to be on NBC's "Meet the Press" today, I thought that he might speculate again as to his lack of endorsement of a presidential candidate.
It was at around 4.00 today that I heard the news - I was at a local eatery in Hartsdale when I was told that Powell had indeed endorsed Obama. CNN in some fashion is always on the TV and we discuss politics whenever we go to pick up some delicious West Indian food from Ruth's restaurant. I was incredulous - I could scarcely believe the news. All these months of waiting - watching Powell be so very careful as he decided whether or not to endorse, knowing of the ramifications from his party, his race and his friends, were he to endorse one way or the other. Colin Powell is West Indian by heritage and began his education at City colleges of New York - nothing is impossible in this country if one dares to dream - absolutely nothing, and methinks that is perhaps what is the most perturbing for all those out there who tried and failed - they thought that the White House was theirs as if by predestination - they had earned it by decades of public service, their last names, whatever - and then comes Obama, the Junior Senator from Illinois, with his intellect, wisdom and amazing vision - a man who can heal our nation and bring about the change that we so desperately need here in America.
A lesser person than Powell would have remained neutral and kept their voting decision to themselves, but Powell has shown us time and again that he is not a regular Joe - he is a remarkable man - intelligent, eloquent, poised, polished, with great vision, wisdom and insight into the political goings on in the country, even the world - yes, and not just on military matters dare I say it.
He is now damned because he did, and damned because he didn't. McCain is a close friend of his and they have known each other for over two decades - Obama is becoming a very close friend and they have become close in the last two years......He has often been a counselor and sounding board, mentor and now friend to the young - or relatively young - senator from Illinois.
Powell knew that he would be accused of playing his own race card by siding with Obama - had he sided with McCain, he would have been accused of betraying his race AND political party - it tooks guts, courage and the tenacity that have made Powell one of the most respected and admired political military figures of our lifetime. In another ending, he could well have been the first black President of America - he finds it "electrifying" to think that Obama might just be the one to do this instead.
God bless America and God bless Senator Obama.