Sunday, July 5, 2009

Obama's New Critic, Colin Powell

Does anyone remember Colin Powell? He was Barack Obama's secret weapon. His endorsement of Barack Obama shortly before the November elections was a welcome bit of support. When a Gulf war general and a Secretary of State in a Republican administration switches sides, it is good news for the Democrats.

Now it seems that Colin Powell is starting to have some second thoughts about Barack Obama. The Washington Times reports as follows.

"Colin Powell, one of President Obama's most prominent Republican supporters, expressed concern Friday that the president's ambitious blitz of costly initiatives may be enlarging the size of government and the federal debt too much.

"I'm concerned at the number of programs that are being presented, the bills associated with these programs and the additional government that will be needed to execute them," Mr. Powell said in an excerpt of an interview with CNN's John King, released by the network Friday morning."

Although Mr. Powell made it clear that he sees the importance of health care and other social programs, he expressed concern about the untenable price tag of a wide ranging menu of social welfare programs. The CNN transcript quotes him as follows.

"One of the cautions that has to be given to the president -- and I've talked to some of his people about this -- is that you can't have so many things on the table that you can't absorb it" all."

Now it seems that the Obama administration is going to experience the joy of George Bush of having Colin Powell as a supporter. For the time being, Colin Powell seems to be the Obama administration's in house policy critic. His latest comments are a sensible breath of fresh air. Indeed, I hope they will be heeded. But what was he thinking when he endorsed Obama in the first place? Did he not see this day coming?

Colin Powell is an able and informed commentator and critic. He would do well to write a regular column. "On the Fence" might be a good title. Standing apart from both political parties and sharing his wisdom from years as an insider would be a valuable contribution. With Iran, Honduras and North Korea looming as serious issues on different continents, words of wisdom from a former Secretary of State would be welcome. Despite Powell's rapidly shifting political loyalties, or perhaps because of them, it would be worthwhile for Powell to be a regular voice in the print or broadcast media. I hope to hear more from him in the future. Sphere: Related Content

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