The GOP’s Anointed One may practice his politics privately, but the bigger mystery is why he is ultimately not a Democrat. (From our September 1996 issue.)
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The speech was widely noted, along with the fee, peppers, bun mix, and hot sauce. Powell is serious about his image, and this one did not seem quite right. Old advocates began to rethink their positions. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times called Bill Kristol to confer. Then she wrote a Sunday column in which she said Powell was “pretending he can be inside politics and outside politics at the same time, disguising his lack of nerve with high moral language.” Newsweek was out the next day. The old conventional wisdom on Powell, it said, was “Above politics as usual.” The new one was “Mario Cuomo in a uniform.”
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Powell would like to be secretary of state. This is a position more or less above politics, and he could hold it in either a Dole or Clinton administration. Many possibilities now suggest themselves, and here is one: Clinton wins, and Warren Christopher retires. Strobe Talbott jumps ship. Clinton appoints Powell. Ken Starr hands up an indictment, and congressional Democrats turn honest. Clinton is forced to resign, and Gore becomes president. Gore, though, is now tainted, and at their convention, the Democrats decide that an African-American general would be just right. Powell is nominated by acclamation, and finally things work out.
(This article by John Corry, then The American Spectator’s senior correspondent, appeared in our September 1996 issue.)
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