Powell is considered a moderate Republican, has donated to the McCain campaign, and indeed was touted as a possible running mate for McCain, and he doesn’t just endorse Barack Obama. In a measured and thoughtful statement he questions McCain’s judgement in both his selection of Sarah Palin, and over the recent financial crisis, and then addresses the whole terrorist/Muslim issue head on. It is pretty clear that he thinks that the McCain campaign is quite deliberately associating Obama with a terrorist and letting people believe that he is Muslim, so he unequivocally says that Obama is Christian and always has been. But then he goes further, and questions the assertion that a Muslim can’t be President, highlighting a particular example of a Muslim American who has died serving his country in Iraq. Certainly it is a statement well worth listening to, the question is now how will the McCain campaign respond. Will they turn on Colin Powell? We’ll have to wait and see – but I doubt stuff like this will be uncommon.
There has been quite a bit of discussion over the fact that McCain seems unwilling to publicly use Jeremiah Wright in the campaign. Call me sceptical, but my thought is that it pays the McCain campaign to not highlight an association between Obama and a Christian pastor if potential voters think he is a Muslim. This video also shows the effect of keeping on repeating the palling around with terrorists comment on parts of the electorate, despite the reality being rather different.
All in all though it is a disturbing picture of the opinions of some of the McCain supporters.
Now politics blogs aren’t exactly anything new, and RocketBoom have previously put in political segments, but Scoble, who is very definitely a tech blogger is a bit of a new departure, and after the adverse reaction to the mixing of politics with a tech conference at Le Web last month, an interesting move. Certainly Scoble looks to be treading carefully with an explicit statement that he won’t be linking to political stuff on his link blog, and his comments thus far being as much about how the mechanics of the campaign and mainstream media work as political comment. It will definitely be interesting to see how it goes, and also to see quite what happens when our next big election comes around in the UK. I’ve got no doubt that we may see something similar from David Cameron when the time comes.