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March 14, 2004
Powell: Don't Poke The Bear, Kerry

Today, on Fox News Sunday, Secretary of State Colin Powell fired a warning shot across the bow of John Kerry and his campaign, ridiculing the gossip and mumbling that has become the hallmark of the most classless campaign in modern American history:

[John] Kerry, the all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee, said at a fund-raiser last week in Florida that he's heard from some world leaders who quietly back his candidacy and hope he defeats President Bush in November. [Colin] Powell expressed skepticism on "Fox News Sunday" when asked about Kerry's assertion.

"I don't know what foreign leaders Senator Kerry is talking about. It's an easy charge, an easy assertion to make. But if he feels it is that important an assertion to make, he ought to list some names," Powell said. "If he can't list names, then perhaps he should find something else to talk about."

Later in the same interview, Powell also dismissed Kerry's suggestion that Powell and George Bush didn't agree on foreign policy and that Powell had been undercut by "hawks" in the Administration. When Powell appeared on another talk show, ABC's "This Week", Powell told George Stephanopolous that the notion that Bush had lost US allies over Afghanistan and Iraq was nothing but election-year jabbering:

"You know, it is a political year. We are seeing a campaign unfold," Powell said.

Kerry's whispering campaign about the status of Powell in the Bush administration is nothing but a subtle attempt to play a race card. Kerry, in much the same manner as his disastrous mutterings to the AFL-CIO fundraiser attendee where he called Bush "crooked", wants to give the impression that Powell is being exploited for his race and holds no real power in the Administration.

This is not the first time that has been alleged, and it's not only preposterous, it's insulting and racist in its own way. The notion that Powell, a former four-star general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would allow himself to be exploited in such a manner insults the intelligence and moral fiber of the man. He did not rise to his level in life by playing Stepin Fetchit for anyone. He well knows that he could write his own ticket anywhere and at any time; he doesn't need George Bush to do it for him. If he felt that Bush's foreign policy didn't suit him, he'd be out of the State Department faster than John Kerry could kiss up to Jacques Chirac.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told CBS's Face the Nation that Bush had asked both himself and Powell not to become involved in the re-election campaign, preferring that they stay focused on their jobs and not allow politics to affect them any more than necessary. Unfortunately, John Kerry's insults require a response. If Kerry really wants the formidable Powell to go out on the campaign trail for George Bush, all he needs to do is keep talking the way he has. It's just one more way in which Kerry reveals himself to be a man of incompetence at strategy and long-term vision.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 14, 2004 3:48 PM

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