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January 17, 2009

Powell: Let's Renew America Together

Posted: 10:26 AM ET

by Former Secretary of State Colin Powell

Next week marks a fresh start for our nation. Whatever one's political leanings, each presidential inauguration is an opportunity for Americans to renew the energy required to deal with the challenges we face - never more so than when the challenges we face are without precedent.

Over the course of their transition, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden have spoken with confidence and acted with competence. They've unveiled their plans for governing - plans that recognize it will require federal money to solve our economic problems at home, and diplomatic and military skill to meet our obligations abroad.

But they also realize an equally important truth. While government has a role to play in restoring the American dream at home and rekindling the dream that is America abroad, there are limits to its ability to restore our sense of purpose as a nation. That task falls to us. Particularly in hard times like these, we are charged with living up to our shared responsibility to one another.

(Read the rest of Powell's column here)

Filed under: Colin Powell


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Gloria Robinson   January 17th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

TO BLAKE, DON'T BE A HATER! YOU MUST BE A WHITE MALE. PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS IS AN IMPORTANT TIME IN HISTORY TO AFRICAN AMERICANS AND ALL AMERICANS WHO WANT CHANGE. YOU HAVE HAD 43 WHITE PRESIDENTS. THIS IS OUR FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT! SO PLEASE LET THERE BE HYPE!!!!


Dorothy in NC   January 17th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

I respect Colin Powell for his service to America and for living his life without compromising his integrity. He is truly an example of what decency is. I also admire him for breaking with his party and standing with Obama. I am not a Republican but I think I would break with my party if he ever decided to run for President


D Terhune   January 17th, 2009 10:49 pm ET

In 1990 I moved to South Africa from New York City, a business opportunity I could not refuse, at a time when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. An impact on my life, one I never imagined. After 17 years, I return to the USA at an equally significant time. There is no question.......Obama is to the US what Mandela is to SA and the world-at-large. Americans are talking about how fortunate and miracluous the Obama story is. For me, it is even more profound. I have lived the tranformation in SA and I will have the same opportunity here in America. Both Mandela's and Obama's lives are based upon dialogue – the art of listening and speaking to others and getting others to listen and speak to one another.

It has taken many generations to arrive at this place and time. This is a very emotional and expectant moment in our history, one that will catapult the world to unimagined transformation.

I am overwhelmed that I have been blessed to live through both transformations.


Larry   January 17th, 2009 11:56 pm ET

Gen. Colin Powell showed his true color in this election. He's a Racist Blackman. He choose color over party lines and long time friendships with Senator McCain. What if the situration was different and Obama was white, do you think he would have gotten 98% of the black vote? NO. Blacks have become the most racists people in this country today. Gen. Colin Powell is a full of himself. Michelle Obama is a huge racist also. You don't have the guts to report my comments or write me back to discuss this statement. Your show is bias also. You don't know how to ask real questions anymore.
Thank you.


ed ,vancouver canada   January 18th, 2009 12:12 am ET

Diplomatic and military skill abroad?Who asked you?
The united states has to deal with the task of repairs at home within the boundaries,not getting involved in other peoples business,where it is uninvited.The arms dealers and oil barons need to cause trouble to make money.Now the united states is in deep trouble because the oil and military greed to grease a few palms imploded and ruined the economy.
Do what is right and end the war.
Fix the economy.
Start manufacturing in the u.s.
Restore the middle class.
Now THAT is government.


Denise   January 18th, 2009 12:58 am ET

I'm so excited to have Barack Obama sworn in as our 44th President of the United States. Not only as an African American do I feel taller, but the nation as a whole is better off too. He embodies what we all want for our children, love of each other, love of country, love of family. He is a wonderful example of what we can aspire to with hard work and perseverance. Thank you America for waking up and taking notice. I'm very proud right now and look forward to next 4 years with Obama at the helm of the ship.


Michele   January 18th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

Those such as Larry in the post 2 or 3 above show their ignorance and bigotry. I am white, middle class, female, self employed – and I voted for Barack Obama. Many of us are enlightened enough to look at the MAN and not his skin color. Shame Larry can't seem to be man enough to do the same. But then bigots rarely are true men or women – merely small minded people with no common sense and even less moral sense.

I have only one issue with Colin Powell – and that is his handling of the WMD speech before the UN. I think he knew it wasn't true, but being a good military man, chose to stand by his Commander in Chief. I also think that move bothered him morally and that is why he quietly left and did not serve a second term. For THAT I do admire him. I believe he threw his support to Obama not because of the color of Obama's skin but because of the color of his morals and politics. Powell had the sense to realize that while he is good friends and of the same political party as McCain, that McCain was not the right man for the job. We do NOT need more Bush politics – and we certainly didn't need Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency. I applaud Powells deision to support Barack Obama – and I applaud his continued efforts tohelp unite this country.

Divisive people such as Larry need to go live somewhere else where that racisim and hatred might be appreciated – try Gaza City. I'm sure they'd welcome you with open arms. The rest of us wouldn't miss you as we go about the business of trying to bring America to her full promise. That promise does NOT include racisim and bigotry.


Michael C. McHugh   January 19th, 2009 7:15 am ET

I didn't vote for Obama because he was black, no more than I vote for white politicians because of their color. That just doesn't matter to me at all, although as a historian I can appreciate just how historic this event is. When I was born, segregation was still legal in America and minorities could not vote in many parts of teh country, let alone run for public office of any kind. Blacks and whites generally did not socialize at all, and it was still illegal for them to get married in many places. It was against custom almost everywhere.

Yes, we have come quite a long way in 50 years, although even a middle aged white male like me knows that we still have a lot of de facto segregation in housing and education in this country, and that minorities and the poor in general still don't get an equal chance in life.

This is also a problem in many foreign countries, as bad or worse than here, which I know very well from having lived and worked in so many of them over the last 14 years.

I do not expect Obama to be a miracle worker or to walk on water, but only that he will try to do something for the majority of people in this world who have little or nothing, the people for who the system doesn't work.


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