May 27th, 2009
03:40 PM ET

Colin and Cosby flunk out

Mansfield Frazier
The Daily Beast

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Colin Powell and Bill Cosby have a bold agenda to remake inner-city education, but The Daily Beast’s Mansfield B. Frazier gives their program an F.

May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
—Bob Dylan, “Forever Young”

Two of America’s brightest, most revered, and obviously caring African-American men, Colin Powell and Bill Cosby, are currently touring the country in an attempt to assist schools in raising their abysmally low high-school graduation rates. After listening intently to them, it’s hard to wonder how they can be so right—and so wrong—at the same instance.

America’s Promise Alliance is Colin and Alma Powell’s effort to help failing urban schools, and he’s enlisted Bill Cosby to help him. The Colin & Cosby Show has the support of some of America’s top corporations, and they are making the rightful case that pointing a finger solely at failing schools—without taking a hard, stern look at the parents of these failing students, and examining their role (actually, their failures) in the entire process—is not only unfair, but also counterproductive. Parents have a critical responsibility in terms of preparing their progeny for the education process, and in too many instances they are failing miserably. Too many children are clearly not being given strong foundations at home, foundations on which teachers can build upon. I’m totally with Colin & Cosby on that part.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Colin Powell
December 12th, 2008
10:30 AM ET

Colin Powell on Bush Cabinet

Colin Powell talks bluntly with Fareed Zakaria about conflicts he saw within the Bush cabinet.

Program Note: His full interview will air this Sunday at 1 pm ET on "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

December 12th, 2008
10:18 AM ET

Colin Powell on Sarah Palin

Colin Powell talks with Fareed Zakaria about the Republican campaign and Gov. Sarah Palin's influence on the ticket.

Program Note: Don't miss  "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 1pm ET, for an exclusive interview with Fmr. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Colin Powell • Fareed Zakaria • Republicans • Sarah Palin
October 21st, 2008
02:31 PM ET

Conservatives can't handle the truth

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Roland S. Martin | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Political Analyst

"It's because he's black."

That is such an easy – and weak – answer to give when it comes to former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president.

Radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh made it clear that's what he thinks; Pat Buchanan, who would be a leader of the White Citizens Council if this was the 1950s, said as much; and even conservative columnist George Will tried to pin that on Powell.

All are wrong.

But what is so fascinating to watch these GOP-lovin' folks, and the others who blindly follow their every word, is that they have lavished Powell with effusive praise for years because they saw him as race neutral!

Powell, and his successor as secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, have been portrayed as their kind of Republicans because they aren't seen as black. They sort of occupy the rareified space reserved by whites for Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey – African Americans who are not about their color (well, maybe not Oprah, who has been tagged for being a traitor for supporting Obama. Why, they say? Because he's black!).

Their reaction to Powell's endorsement is the reality of being black in America: if you do everything the way the Limbaughs, Buchanans and Wills want, you're perfectly acceptable in their world. But the moment you actually use that clear and independent mind they said they love to support the person that you think is right for the job, then it's because they are black.

I know the feeling. I get the emails from white viewers who question my skills, integrity and credibility by assigning race as the sole reason I'm on CNN. Forget the fact that I've put 17 years into this line of work.

Powell is a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; national security adviser; and has served on the ground with our troops. He has served directly with four presidents and knows presidential timber when he sees it.

To Limbaugh, Will and Buchanan, put your fake race analysis away and give this accomplished man his due. He made a thoughtful, careful and meticulous decision over the course of several months, and gave one of the most compelling endorsements I have ever seen. He used his intellect and knowledge of the office and tried to convey that to the nation.

Powell wasn't a black man supporting Obama. He is an American hero who has always, and will continue, to put country first.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Colin Powell • Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
October 20th, 2008
11:12 AM ET

Joe the Plumber vs. Colin Powell

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/20/colin.powell.obama.jpg caption="Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president on Sunday." width=292 height=320]Ed Rollins
AC360° Contributor
GOP Strategist, Former Huckabee National Campaign Chairman

In the last presidential debate, Joe the Plumber took the place of Gen. David Petraeus as John McCain's favorite "my friend."

The previously obscure Joe was mentioned 21 times in the debate, and he and folks like him are the people McCain says he's going to fight for during the rest of the campaign.

The McCain campaign is hoping the issues of taxes and fighting for the little guy can give McCain what the debate did not. He didn't supply the knockout debate performance he needed. He threw some heavy punches, but few landed, and he didn't follow up effectively.

Barack Obama was like the fleet-footed boxer who jabbed and moved deftly and avoided any damage on his march to victory. Though it was McCain's best debate performance, it wasn't enough to make the case that Obama is dangerously inexperienced and untested.

His case was further damaged when President Bush's former secretary of state, Colin Powell, endorsed Obama on Sunday.

We all know Colin Powell. In addition to his work in the Bush administration, Powell is a retired four-star general, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former White House national security adviser.

He has been one of America's most significant military leaders, and a statesman widely admired across the political spectrum over the last two decades - a man many thought could have been America's first black president.


Editor's Note: Ed Rollins, who served as political director for President Reagan, is a Republican strategist who was national chairman of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Colin Powell • Ed Rollins • John McCain • Raw Politics