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Political October 30, 2008  RSS feed

THE O'REILLY FACTOR

The Powell Endorsement
by Bill O'Reilly

After Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama last week, I got to thinking about Powell, who is kind of a mystery to me.

Of course he's a patriot. He has served his country well in the military and also as Secretary of State under President Bush. No question, Powell loves America and has contributed greatly to it.

And I have no problem with his support of Sen. Obama. Powell is simply exercising his voting freedom, so more power to him. The problem is the general's explanation for defecting from his party.

On NBC's Meet the Press, Powell said he was angry that some extreme right-wingers have called Obama a Muslim, and that he feels the Republican establishment has been disrespectful toward the sena- tor. Okay, there have been some absurd things said about Obama, but John McCain has challenged them publicly, and has even rejected bringing up the Rev. Wright as a campaign issue, feeling it is too divisive.

It seems to me that McCain is rejecting ugly politics and is the guy running against Obama, not some nut shouting invective at a rally.

What is also dubious is Powell's lack of fair play. Obama recently appeared on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, whose host has called McCain a "fraud" and accused him of "tacitly inciting lunatics to violence."

That assertion is absurd and grossly irresponsible. So why would Obama go on a program like that? Shouldn't Powell be concerned about it?

And then there is the Daily Kos. As readers of this column may remember, I chastised the democratic presidential contenders last summer for attending the Kos convention in Washington. Obama, Hillary Clinton and others lent their credibility to a website that routinely revels in hatred.

For example, the Kos posted a disgusting picture of Sen. Joseph Lieberman about to engage in a sex act with President Bush and displayed it for more than year.

When Tony Snow's fatal cancer returned, the website allowed a posting that said the world "would be better off without him."

And most recently, the Daily Kos put forth that Sarah Palin's teenage daughter, not the governor herself, gave birth to the Down syndrome baby. It doesn't get any worse than that.

Again, Obama visited the Kos convention and mingled with these vicious character assassins. I respectfully submit to Gen. Powell: That visit is as troubling as anything that has happened in the Republican precincts.

I know Powell only slightly, but I believe his endorsement of Obama really stems from two things he did not say.

First, Obama has cultivated Powell, treating him with respect, asking for his advice.

Secondly, Powell remains bitter over the way he was treated by the Bush administration and some rankand file Republican stalwarts. The friction between Powell and the socalled "neo-cons" has been widely reported.

I think that's the true story behind Powell's shift to the Democrats. The Muslim factor has nothing to do with it.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show The O'Reilly Factor and author of the book "Who's Looking Out For You?"