Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will endorse Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, Weekly Standard Publisher Bill Kristol told FOX News exclusively on Thursday.
“He may well give a speech at the Democratic convention explaining his endorsement of Obama,” Kristol said, citing inside sources. “For whatever reason I think he has decided he’s going to endorse Obama. I think [Powell] has a high respect for Senator McCain, they go back a long way.”
Kristol continued, “This is not an absolute done deal, but these people are very confident that Powell will endorse Obama.”
Kristol said sources told him Powell will “quite possibly” speak at the Democratic convention on the same night as Obama’s vice-presidential selection and former President Bill Clinton.
Is there any political figure in America whose endorsement would mean more to Barry O? Impeccable military credentials, “reformed” Bush cabinet member, harbinger of the very sort of post-racial crossover appeal The One is desperately seeking, and a spectacular counter to Lieberman’s own imminent Zell Miller-ish turn at the Republican convention. But is it true? Powell’s said before he won’t be attending either convention and his spokeswoman denies today’s story to Fox in strong terms. I had the same hunch Geraghty did, that someone in the GOP leaked this to Kristol towards some strategic end knowing that it’d be hugely publicized — but, er, towards what end? And why leak it through Kristol when that’s only going to highlight the fact that conservative fingerprints are on it?
Update: Can’t find any story about this yet on ABC News’s website but here’s the word via The Page:
Powell tells ABC News: “I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol’s musings. I am not going to the convention. I have made this clear.”
Interesting, he doesn’t deny the endorsement detail, just the convention part.
Update: Ah, here’s the ABC story now. And what do you know: “After telling ABC News by phone that he would not be going to the Democratic National Convention, Powell ended the conversation without entertaining any follow-up questions as to whether he would be crossing party lines to endorse Obama.”
Update: Another guy who’s not really in a position to know weighs in: Zbigniew Brzezinski tells HuffPo he too expects Powell to endorse Obama. “Sort of.”