Dear Commons Community,
Colin Powell’s endorsement of President Obama earlier this week was not unexpected. He endorsed the President in 2008. However, members of the Republican hierarchy decided to counter the endorsement by attacking Powell. For instance, Senator John McCain attacked Powell’s record while he served as secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration. However, the most vicious comments came from John Sununu, a co-chairman of the Romney campaign, who said on Thursday, during an interview on CNN:
“When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.” … “I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.”
Sununu’s comments can only be taken as pandering to racist elements. As Charles Blow describes in his column today:
“Sununu was basically saying that he was applauding Powell’s inability to see past the color of his own eyelids.”
Sununu has apologized, somewhat, for his racial attack on Powell’s motives. But what should we make of all this?
“We have a very racially divided electorate. As The Washington Post reported Thursday, “Obama has a deficit of 23 percentage points, trailing Republican Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among whites, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll.”
The report pointed out that nearly 80 percent of nonwhites support Obama, while 91 percent of Romney’s supporters are white.
I worry that Sununu’s statements intentionally go beyond recognizing racial disparities and seek to exploit them.
What does that say about Romney, and what does it say about his campaign’s tactics?
Remember: A man is known by the company he keeps.”