‘General’ electric

Retired Gen. Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama for president was courageous, which keeps in character with the man. Powell, the former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and W.’s first secretary of state, is the Republican who should’ve been president the last eight years.

In his endorsement, Powell called Obama “a transformational figure” and that the “generational change” he represents would improve the nation’s standing in the world. By contrast, Powell said he was disappointed in the way his close friend John McCain has run his campaign, what with its negative tone. Powell also was critical of McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a VP candidate, saying she’s not ready to be president — thus putting McCain’s judgment in doubt. Fox News, in full-defense mode upon hearing of Powell’s decision, quickly got McCain before its cameras. McCain said Powell’s decision didn’t come as a surprise — although McCain did not elaborate on why it wasn’t a surprise. McCain tried to put a pretty face on the slap by saying he has the endorsement of four former secretaries of state — including Dr. Strangelove himself, Henry Kissinger. Point taken — but Powell is not only the most recent former secretary of state, he’s the most respected.

Powell said it wasn’t an easy decision to make — John McCain has been his friend for 26 years. Which ought to tell you something whenhe can’t trust a man he’s known for that long to run the country. Powell doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He is a man ofhonor and integrity. The McCain campaign was wiseto try and downplay the endorsement. Not so withRush Limbaugh. This ogre of oblivious oratory said Monday that the endorsement was “totally about race.” You know, like his radio talk show. What a buzz-killer.

Inmany ways, Obama owes a great deal to Colin Powell for helping him get to where he is right now. Powell transcends race because he is a man of great humility and character. He embodies all the qualities the nation is starving for in a leader. Obama is not there yet. Through no fault of his own, he hasn’t been able to cross the racial divide. Obama hasn’t been battle tested, so he’s not in Powell’s league. But by playing by the same rules as his would-be and should-be mentor, Obama’s potential can live up to Colin Powell’s expectations. And, as even Colin Powell might agree, that will take more than showing promise.

NOT OF THIS EARTH

McCain is still trying to drain the septic tank that is his campaign with the help of his buddy Joe the Plumber, who the nation has not exactly embraced, but, thankfully, has just about erased from its collective consciousness. Evidence being Palin introducing Ed the Dairyman at a campaign rally Sunday in Roswell, New Mexico. Wait a minute — Palin in Roswell, where the space aliens landed in 1947 and where one of the greatest cover-ups was dealt to the public by the government. “I can see the planet Vulcan from my house!” The drilla from Wasilla couldn’t find signs of intelligent space alien life in Roswell, so she had to settle for the crowd that was there to hear and see her. Since she’s now an “SNL” alum, she could’ve used a lame one-liner: “Y’know, I’ve never had a close encounter of the third kind — but seeing those ears on Barack Obama, oh boy, that’s close enough!”

That’s it — the next negative thing the McPalin campaign can use against Obama: He’s a space alien. Hey, he joked about being from the planet Krypton. “My friends, that was no joke. That’s the first time Sen. Obama has told you the truth.” It’s not a bad idea — they’ve tried everything else. On the McCain-Palin playing field, nothing is out of bounds. No foul, no problem. You can almost hear the little minds at Fox News churning. “Next on Fox News: Obama, not of this Earth. Why else would his supporters say he’s out of this world? His raising $150 million in September alone is “other worldly” so beyond the stratosphere. And that super intelligence of his is beyond any earthling’s comprehension. Barack Obama, not only doesn’t the American people know who he is — now they’re not sure what planet he’s from. All we know is he’s here — and he’s brought socialism with him!”

Right, As long as there’s no smart, there will always be Fox News. You can take that to the bank, socialism or not. No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Maybe this time investing wisely may not only pertain to the economy.

You just might thank your lucky stars.

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