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Colin Redux


There’s been a lot of mail – more than usual — about the post last week on Secretary of State Colin Powell becoming President George Bush’s running mate. I think it’ll mean a sure-fire victory for the Republicans. And I think it’s about time a black person got on the national ticket. But most of you reader types think I’m crazy.

You’re not the first. You ain’t gonna be the last, either. And if I’m right? Well then, I’m going to make you buy a subscription. It’ll be worth it, too.
Seriously, the objections fall into a couple of categories. And they’re worth discussing.
One, race. America isn’t ready for a black vice president, says one African-American pol. I prefer to think that it is. Call it the power of positive thinking. More practically, the xenophobia the Bush administration has encouraged – we don’t like strangers these days, particularly Arab, Indian or Pakistani strangers – means black folks have stepped up a (small) notch. The Republican Party’s reaction to Sen. Trent Lott’s racial insensitivity – he was done in by his own people — makes me think some of the groundwork on this has been laid within the party.
Second, family objections. This is sometimes code for “race.” Alma Powell’s objections to her husband seeking the presidency center around fears for his safety.
Third, Powell’s so far off the reservation, it’ll never happen. Maybe. But things aren’t looking good in Iraq. The Secretary of State’s reservation is looking a little bit like a haven from the storm, isn’t it? Take a look at Elizabeth Drew’s reporting from Washington. When Republicans complain to The New York Review of Books – a bastion of East Coast commie liberalism – things are getting seriously bad.
Fourth, Bush won’t fire Cheney. He doesn’t like to fire people. Yeah, well, tell that to Paul O’Neill. Bush won’t have to fire Cheney, of course. His father, the 41st president of the United States will do that. Remember what happened when the Bush Administration needed help on the Iraqi war debt? Who’d they send to Europe to work out the deal? James Baker III, Bush One Secretary of State. Powell will have a hard time turning down the Bush family who will plead historical legacy – his and theirs – as well as public service if they make their pitch.

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