November 16, 2004


POWELL FIRED (The Prowler, 11/15/04, American Spectator)

Word is that Secretary of State Colin Powell was surprised by President Bush's decision to ask him to step aside last Friday. Over the weekend, the news of Powell's unceremonious dumping began to leak out at private cocktail parties and dinners.

To be fair, Bush has treated the exit of Cabinet members with equal swiftness and candor, according to White House sources. "There has been thanks for their service, clear gratitude, but that it was time for a change and a shakeup. No one should be surprised by this," says an insider.

Powell, however, unlike Ashcroft, Abraham, Veneman and Paige, didn't expect to get the ax so quickly.

Mr. Powell has been a fine public servant but it would seem to be in character for him to offer a pro forma resignation in the expectation of being asked to stay.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 16, 2004 12:00 AM

It couldn't have been a suprise. And I am not sure it was unilateral Powell has aged visibly in the last four years. He has also failed to do one of the most important jobs he should have done, whip the bureacracy into line.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 16, 2004 1:08 AM

He was fired because he was of the African-American persuasion and Bush only received 11% of the African-American vote. Why have so many African-Americans in the Cabinet, if you're not going to make a dent in the Democratic Bloc vote.

So you dump Paige and Powell, and keep Rice to better reflect whose voting for you. Besides Rumsfield and Cheney make all the important decisions anyway. This makes room to slip in Gonzales to reward Mexican-Americans for the "miniscule" increase in their vote totals.

Rice is also of the female persuasion, and there was a slight increase in the women's vote for Bush, so that group must be rewarded.

The alternative explanation that Powell was not effective in attaining the goals of Bush in the area of Foreign Relations and reforming the State Department bureaucracy or that Paige was too old to continue in his job, or that Rice is talented and can do a better job than Powell or that Gonzales is an improvement over Ashcroft (who lost an election to a dead man) is well.. totally naive.

Posted by: h-man at November 16, 2004 5:12 AM


That's just racist ravings. nYou think he's not appointing other blacks to the Cabinet and the Court.

Posted by: oj at November 16, 2004 6:58 AM

That was a pretty poor post by H. Bush has, unlike Clinton, named people to the cabinet for the competence rather than solely by their race/voting bloc.

Powell himself was letting it known that he probably wouldn't stay for a 2nd term. The fact that Bush named Rice within a day indicates he was ready to replace Powell. Perhaps Powell expected Bush to grovel for him to stay but Bush didn't.

Posted by: AWW at November 16, 2004 8:09 AM

Give it about six weeks to see how the behind-the-scenes story is spun on this to decide whether this was a firing or a planned resignation. While the Spectator takes an approving tone to the "firing" theme, other publications will use it to tout the "administration hard liners in control" theme, if Powell is willing to leak them info that supports those contentions.

Posted by: John at November 16, 2004 8:26 AM

"Racist Ravings" coming from me for sure. But it's precisely what a revisionist leftist will declare as the motivating factors in the administration.

Unlike Bart, I feel Powell is more than competent to be Secretary of State. My hunch is that Powell's goals (or desires) are not the same as President Bush regarding confrontation with Muslims (or with the State Dept bureaucracy). Powell's preference would have been to only act with backing of the Unitied Nations or NATO.

I think Bush let him go because he did not have complete trust that Powell would support Bush's policies.

I have an open mind regarding Condi Rice, but on what basis do you think she would be different Powell. Isn't she of the same Bush No 1 crew that Powell came from?

I will give Rice this much. Thru winks, nods, and rolling of eyes she has NOT tried to ingratiate herself with the liberal media and leftist establishment as Powell has done. I say this because Powell has received favorable media coverage and always his disagreements with Cheney and Rumsfield manage to make it to the public thereby reassuring everyone that he has "grave" doubts as to the Administration's policies.

The parts about Gonzales, Ashcroft, women etc were made with tongue in cheek and I'll attempt to be more obvious in the future.

Posted by: h-man at November 16, 2004 8:54 AM

The Diplomad has an interesting post on Powell, master of triangulation.

Frankly, I want to resign, Mr. President, on MY timetable is ballsy.

Especially since it was leaked many months ago he'd be going.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 16, 2004 10:10 AM

I for one am not sorry to see Powell go. While I maintain an overall favorable opinion of him there are certain aspects of his performance as SoS that concern me. The most recent were his comments regarding Taiwan:

Powell's Comments in China Rile Taiwan

So while I was able to tolerate many of the seeming contradictions during the first term as merely being part of a "good cop-bad cop" routine, it's probably best for all that he move along before a real fistfight breaks out.

Posted by: MB at November 16, 2004 10:27 AM


Condi will do what W wants. Powell always did what his bureaucracy wanted.

Posted by: oj at November 16, 2004 10:45 AM