[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]
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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