New Speculation On McCain’s Running Mate: Colin Powell?

How topsy-turvy is this campaign? A little more than a week ago there was a flap over a report by Weekly Standard bigwig and New York Times columnist conservative William Kristol, indicating former Secretary of State Colin Powell might endorse Democratic Senator Barack Obama — and even show up at the Democratic convention.

But now — not even two weeks later — comes a report via The Politico that says McCain has Powell on his Veep list:

Retired Gen. Colin Powell is among the potential running mates who have been considered by John McCain, campaign advisers told Politico.

Powell was among the possible vice presidential choices the Arizona Republican senator was thinking of when he said he would not rule out a supporter of abortion rights, a key adviser said.

Read the short post in full.

That’s a short post, to be sure, but one to raise some eyebrows. All kinds of theories will emerge now. Is Powell finally getting ready to run for elective office — but with McCain? Is this leaked out to raise suspense about McCain’s choice and move some attention away from Denver back to the McCain camp? And would Powell ever consider such an offer seriously?

And if he’s on McCain’s short list, is he on the list because Powell agreed to be in consideration — or is McCain considering on his own without Powell’s consent or even implied interest?

It’s dubious given that Powell made it clear as far back as February that he could even vote for a Democrat this year. Read the Woodward book, read Powell’s comments. It would truly be a shocker and for that reason would shake up the political world. But don’t hold your breath, — even if this new speculative story starts sucking up the air..

UPDATE: Here’s one thought. Most informed speculation on McCain’s choice has centered on former Gov. Mitt Romney. But is the way the mcCain camp is going after irked Hillary Clinton voters a sign that he may pick one of several high-powered women? It would be surprise if he picked Condi Rice, for example. The hitch: Rice has never run even for Mayor. But there are others..

UPDATE II: Blog reaction is trickling in:


Ed Morrissey:

Powell’s decision to leave the Bush administration has made him into a bigger hero than before with independents, centrists, and some Democrats. That’s why Kristol’s speculation stoked such worry among Republicans. He remains a formidable figure with great respect and national reputation, and his endorsement of Obama for President would go some way to eliminate worry over his inexperience in the center.

On the other hand, McCain’s selection of him as running mate would bolster his standing with both the center and the pro-military constituencies. The biggest drawback would be Powell’s pro-choice stance, but Powell has never had to cast a vote on a bill affecting abortion in his life. McCain would hope that a personal stance on the issue could get minimized with statements of supporting strict constructionists to the court…The Powell trial balloon looks more like a way to counter the Kristol story than a serious selection for the VP slot by McCain. If McCain could get Powell to accept the position, it would definitely be a coup, but Powell’s made it clear he isn’t interested.

Brilliant at Breakfast:

“Mitt has too many houses! Quick — get us a black guy!”

You have to believe that something akin to that is being bandied about at Camp Grandpa Simpson after Joe Biden announced yesterday that “Housegaffe” is not going to be allowed to slink quietly into the shadows.

Flopping Aces:

Oh, it definitely would be a coup to get him on the ticket but the man could of won the nomination for President if he desired, why take a back seat job?

He would bring even more military prestige to the ticket, and his stance against the Bush administration would be a winner among those Hillaryites who can’t stand Obama, as well as his pro-choice beliefs. That last one would be a real downer for conservatives tho. But if it guaranteed that Obama would never sit in that chair in the oval office, would it be worth it?

I for one would say yes.
Just One Minute:

As to “Ready to Lead On Day One” – well, a McCain/Powell ticket would have so much gravitas that it might displace tides and the moon, let alone the cute and fluffy Obama/Biden. Geez, talk about bringing a bag of rocks to a pillow fight…

Now, there might be a question of whether anyone other than the press corps would actually vote for these two. Republican strategists ought to weigh carefully the merits of a ticket that actually included a Republican, but this might be the year for something different. Powell would excite me; Romney would put me to sleep.

Red State Eclectic:

Now I respect General/Secretary Powell’s service to his country. But frankly, I think he would be about the worst of the potential candidates for VP that I’ve heard so far–worse even, than Mitt Romney. Think about it…

Read the extensive post in full to find out why..

Matt N’s Blog:

I really hope that it’s true. McCain-Powell would be an unstoppable force in 2008 as the most bipartisan and reasonable Republicans that could be chosen for 2008.