October 23rd, 2008
09:05 PM ET

The man who helped drive Powell away

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/23/art.dobson.jpg caption="Dr. James Dobson" width=292 height=320]
Max Blumenthal
The Daily Beast

After Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press, Sarah Palin was interviewed by Christian right leader James Dobson on his Focus on the Family radio show. Though Palin did not mention Powell, she attacked Obama as a socialist by referencing his now famous encounter with Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher.

“Joe the Plumber, you gotta hand it to him,” Palin told Dobson. “He's the one who got finally Barack Obama to say what he’d do with redistributing wealth and raising taxes. And Joe the Plumber said that certainly sounds like socialism to him, and I appreciate Joe having the boldness to get out there and ask the question.”

Powell’s endorsement and Palin’s appearance on Dobson’s show are not entirely unconnected. Dobson has long been one of the banes of Powell’s political life―and the right’s warm embrace of Palin is part of what drove Powell away from McCain.

When Powell endorsed Obama, he offered a litany of factors, from Obama’s “transformational” potential to “steadiness.” But Powell, a military man and self-described “Rockefeller Republican,” also declared his disappointment with the “rightward shift” in the Republican Party.

There is a little understood, rancorous subplot behind this vague remark: Powell’s war with the religious right. That conflict began years before the current presidential campaign and, if Powell plays a role in an Obama administration, will almost certainly extend beyond it.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Dwilbfb

    I think Obama is more suited than McCain because his plan states that he will give tax breaks to the middle class and raise it for the rich who can affoed it. He will also end the war that McCain plans to keep it going for 100 years. GObama

    October 23, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  2. Marylou

    It looks as if Powell is not the only one having a problem with the extremist philosophy of the Republicans of today. Barry Goldwaters granddaughter and some of her siblings and family members are endorsing OBAMA for the same reasons.

    October 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm |
  3. lampe

    the only reason Powell endorsed Obama, was he needed a job, and oh! he didn't want to be called an Uncle Tom.

    October 23, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  4. Brent Garrison

    The NYT has just endorsed Obama!!!! It is on their website.

    October 23, 2008 at 9:27 pm |