Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell to the People

As I blogged below, the rumors turned out to be true: Colin Powell endorsed the people-powered Barack Obama. What I found the most intriguing was not Powell's endorsement of Obama, but the counter-endorsement/rejection of McCain's decision to pick Governor Palin as his Vice President. Clearly, Powell represents the views of learned and earnest conservatives who see the role of Vice President as too important to take the McCain/Palin ticket seriously.

Powell also offered a view into one of the increasing number of fissures in the Republican party. There are many ways of being conservative, and Obama offers a certain type of conservatism that is attracting folks like Powell, Buckley, Smerconish and others.

When you add the Powell endorsement to the news of a record-setting fund-raising month in September ($150 million), it equals a message and momentum setback for the McCain campaign. Joe the Plumber and William Ayers are going to have a more difficult time breaking through the next few days. It's even possible that the window of opportunity for these two characters has passed.

Starting next week, John McCain is going to struggle to find or create new frames to put the debate back on his terms.