Callin’ Colin

Ta-Nehisi Coates has this to say about Michael Crowley’s assertion that Colin Powell could help swing the election to Obama:

I tend to think that Powell’s gravitas isn’t what it was in the 90s. An endorsement would certainly help the recipient, but I wonder how much it would tip the polls. Maybe Barack has this was stashed away somewhere. One can hope.

On the first point of the gravitas, correct.  On hoping that he still does it/Obama has him stashed away for an endorsement, I also agree.

And I don’t think it would per se tip the polls as in people would all of sudden vote for Obama because Colin Powell gave him Barack the Powell mark of approval.

What it could do I think is something akin to what happened in the Dem Primary when Bill Richardson endorsed Obama.  I don’t think a whole mess of people suddenly backed Obama because Gov. Richardson said so, but it stopped the bleeding in the media.  It gave a moment of hope and energy to the campaign that was at that point near its nadir.  [Until now that is I suppose].  A Powell endorsement (or a Hagel endorsement or a joint endorsement even better) would all of a sudden have the media back on Obama and have the McCain camp crying they are never paid attention to and only further their descent into juvenalia.

Obama’s sweet spot is when he has some wind at his back and is also running as the insurgent.  When the wind is against/chips are down, his campaign can teeter and see defensive.  When he’s too far out ahead it can get lackadaisical.  Right now it’s more the momentum against him.

He needs a shot in the arm, and during his primary he always managed to have these roll outs of endorsements–esp. Richardson and then later Edwards–to staunch the wounds received.  So in that sense, I think Crowley might actually be right.

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Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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