Colin Powell Shows You The Folly Of Trying To Build A Party Around Moderates

The David Brooks, David Frum, and Meghan McCain crowd argues that the GOP should abandon conservatism and move away from conservatism towards the middle. The idea is that conservatives will continue, like drones, to give their support to the party that doesn’t support their values — and moderates will flock to our banner…. moderates like Colin Powell. So, how well is that working out with Colin Powell?

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell declined Tuesday to renew the presidential endorsement he gave Barack Obama four years ago, saying he wasn’t ready “to throw my weight behind someone” at this time.

The former chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and Cabinet member under President George W. Bush demurred when asked if he was backing Obama again this time around. Four years ago, Powell caused a stir in Republican political circles when the longtime GOP figure endorsed Obama over war hero Sen. John McCain, calling Obama a “transformational figure.”

Not so this time, Powell said in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. At least, not yet.

Pressed to say why he was holding back on giving Obama his blessing a second time, Powell told anchor Matt Lauer, “I always keep my powder dry, as they say in the military.”He said that Obama had “stabilized the financial system” in the wake of the deep recession of 2008-2009 and “fixed the auto industry.” Powell also said he thought the country was on the right path toward winding down the war in Afghanistan.

But he also said he thought Obama needed to work still more on the shaky economy and said he thought that he owed it to the Republican Party to listen to the proposals that presumptive nominee Mitt Romney will be offering, particularly on the economy.

At one time, a lot of Republicans would have been excited to have Colin Powell run for President. George W. Bush made Colin Powell the first black Secretary of State. In 2008, the GOP ran John McCain, a moderate, who matched Powell’s temperament.

Powell’s response to all of that was to vote for Barack Obama because he was black.

Now, almost four years later, after Barack Obama has turned in one of the worst performances in history and the GOP is running ANOTHER moderate, Powell still isn’t sure whom he’s going to vote for. The best argument for securing the conservative base and then making a few gestures to try to bring the middle along, instead of vice-versa, is the behavior of the moderates like Colin Powell.

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