Colin Powell is black. I'll get that out of the way. While you probably noticed that, so will the American voter. Since Barack Obama has a few followers voting on his race, this could impact the competition.
Unless, what if, Barack Obama picks Powell? He's military, but Obama is not.
Powell is respected, a true leader. Most of his career we never heard of him, then, wham! He's in the public eye thanks to becoming Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor followed by appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then, as George W Bush's Secretary of State. However, he hardly launched into those positions from nowhere, and served in leadership, but quietly.
Wise? Loaded with wisdom. As military people go, he is as diplomatic as you'll find.
What matters in any vice presidential candidate are his views. While in these days, we hardly expect that a VP will step up into the role of president, it can happen. We want a VP to represent what America, on the whole wants. Though Republican, some of his views will appeal to the more liberal side. These could alienate the conservative crowd, as well as evangelicals and Catholics who would prefer an anti-abortion White House.
- Supports affirmative action
- Favors some gun-control
- Supports the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
Where he stands on the Iraq War is not as simple as for or against. While he seems to agree with Bush that Iraq is a source of future terrorism, and wants a peaceful Iraq, he disagrees that the USA military is capable of getting the job done. However, he'll concede that war will continue when we're gone. All said, I think, if in charge, he would send in a wave of troops to settle what could be quickly settled, then pull out, but leave advisers.
Views are not enough, though.
Race, of course, will be a strength and weakness. As many people out there who, as closet racists, will vote for him because he is black, there are as many, or more, who are equally racist, and not vote for him because of skin color. With Barack Obama running, though, this leaves the KKK crowd (and their subtler brethren) with the choice only not voting, voter for a this party, or voting against what they believe.
Meanwhile, he's 71. Ageism is a factor for some voters. Powell looks very alive, and younger than chronology suggests. He would be 75 after the first term. Two terms seems unlikely.
My guess: if offered, he would turn it down. His life as been the military, not domestic service. He's been a desk leader, as well as in the trenches. Capable as a leader, but his focus has been different. He has not pursued an office since 2005, and, will not this time. He's retired.
First seen here: Colin Powell: Too Old? Too Military? Too Black? Too Uninterested?