Colin Powell helps Obama – Why?

Early on in Obama’s campaign for the nomination I drew attention to the excellent speeches and the new model of fund raising he was using. I praised both on this site and raised a few eyebrows. I said I thought they were going to be successful.

I went on to say I did not like Obama’s policies, to the extent that he then had any, and doubted they would measure up to the challenges ahead. People ignored that part of the comment. I now feel the same about McCain’s.

Now we have seen most of what both candidates are offering, the thing which comes across is how conventional in their thinking both these “Change” candidates are. They both want to commit more forces to the war in Afghanistan. They both have plans to increase spending and cut taxes at a time of high government budget deficit. They both agree with the Paulson/Bush plan for tackling the banking crisis. Neither have come up with anything new on how to fight recession. Neither have radical plans to slim central governemnt down and make it more responsive to electors.

It is strange that Colin Powell throws his weight behind Obama, offering us just slogans as reasons. He tells us we need change, and we need a new generation to take charge. It is time that he and other heavyweight backers started spelling out what change we need ,and how Obama is going to deliver it. It is obvious we need change, obvious the Bush policies of military intervention and economic management have run their course. The issue is how quickly can you change them, and how funadamentally, to put the West back on the road to freedom and prosperity.

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6 Comments

  1. Mark
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I am also perplexed as to why British politicians are so engrossed and utterly transfixed with the politics of the United States? Mr. Redwood here now declares “we” as though the British Public need change, or have a vested interest in the American political arrangement. Geopolitics aside, Britain does not have a vested interest and we should really not be giving this a second thought. Do we honestly believe US politicians give Britain a second thought? Not even a first thought! Britian is alone and small. The country is broke and we can’t even afford to keep the lights on in our own house. We are not and have not been a world power for decades and it is high time for us to come to terms with this reality. Power projection and brinkmanship is irrelevant and we need to concentrate on ourselves; no more aid China, no more invasions, no more new carriers and type 45 destroyers. Our politicians are more concerned with playing the board game risk than looking after their own people it seems.

  2. Stuart Fairney
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Is it not obvious why Colin Powell is helping Senator Obama? (aside from the probability he will win that is)

  3. Geoff
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    That all very fine Mark but how much more of our taxes do you envisage giving to the bureaucrats in Brussel who can not even sign off the accounts to show us how they are spending our hard earned cash.
    ( I would have been kicked out of the boardroom with a P45 if I behave like that ).

    While you are at it why not get rid of the Monarchy and have Blair as president

    • Mark
      Posted October 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Geoff, If I could I would abolish the monarchy; however, I would have to respectfully remind you that Tony Blair would be Prime Minister and not President. Nevertheless, Europe is a project for Britian to embrace and not be afraid of. If the UK were to concentrate its security in a more Euro centric fashion we rely upon other countries to produce specialty areas in which we would need not spend your (and mine) precious taxes. For example, why must we develope and maintain a disfunction heavy air lift programme when one of our European allies could simply concentrate on that for us. We could specialise in Naval, Orbital and air assests instead. Collective Security simply means saving taxes and specialising our forces rather throwing funds at developing every facet of security. Just one example how minding the local neighbourhood pays off for everyone instead of playing the board game Risk over brandy in Whitehall.

  4. johnnydub
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    John,

    There's one huge difference in tax policy – Obama's well planned 95% at the bottom getting a cut vs McCain's 1% + the coporations getting a cut.

    Yes I think Obama is a centrist, but McCain in continuing the style of Bush's governance has moved that government so far the to the right wing that I'm surprised you align to it. Surely asa fiscal conservative you are appalled at the US and UK national balance sheet destruction that has been wrought.
    Remember CLlnton gave Bush a balannced budget.

    Frankly there's a hairbreadth of difference between Obama and Cameron's paternalism.

    In fact it would be a welcome breath of fresh air if Cameron would commit himself to the working people of this country rather than try to out-cuddle the "original" position of Blairism.
    When did the last tory leader eulogise the "MIDDLE CLASS?"

    Reply: I am not a supporter of either Presidential candidate, nor of Mr Bush. I do not think any of them make sense on handling the economic crisis, and they all want to fight a war in Afghanistan which I would like to see ended.

  5. Ron
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Yup, the usual all change is no change.

    It may just be that having made one cataclysmic error of judgement over Iraq, General Powell is making damn sure that lightening doesn't strike twice, doing his country a great service by exposing Sarah Palin's manifest unsuitability to sit in the Oval Office.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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