Obama Gets Powell, and Powell Gets Obama

For nearly two decades, Colin Powell has been one of the most respected public figures in the United States, a man who very well could have claimed the presidency in 1996 had he wanted it, and whose dramatic (even if it really wasn’t a surprise) endorsement of Barack Obama yesterday just might put this year’s Democratic nominee over the top.

The roots of Powell’s popularity—his inspiring personal story and his highly visible leadership during the 1991 Gulf War—are understandable, but its endurance is somewhat puzzling. This is the same guy who allowed the Bush administration to harness his sterling reputation to sell the Iraq War to the American public.

Publicly, Powell doesn’t sound much different than George W. Bush when the subject of the war is raised, and this was true when Powell appeared on Meet the Press.

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