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News, October 2008
Obama: Powell will have a role in administration
By LAURIE KELLMAN Associated Press Writer
Oct 20, 2008, 8:29 AM EDT
Colin Powell will have a role as a top presidential adviser in an Obama administration, the Democratic White House hopeful said Monday.
"He will have a role as one of my advisers," Barack Obama said on NBC's "Today" in an interview aired Monday, a day after Powell, a four-star general and President Bush's former secretary of state, endorsed him.
"Whether he wants to take a formal role, whether that's a good fit for him, is something we'd have to discuss," Obama said.
Being a top presidential adviser, especially on foreign policy, would be familiar ground to Powell on a subject that's relatively new to the freshman Illinois senator. Obama has struggled to establish his foreign policy credentials against GOP candidate John McCain, a decorated military veteran, former prisoner of war and ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In the NBC interview, Obama said Powell did not give him a heads up heads-up before he crossed party lines and endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate on the network's "Meet the Press" a day earlier.
In that interview, Powell called Obama a "transformational figure" in the nation's history and expressed disappointment in some of McCain's campaign tactics. But, Powell said, he didn't plan to hit the campaign trail with Obama before the Nov. 4 election.
"I won't lie to you, I would love to have him at any stop," Obama said with a grin Monday. "Obviously, if he wants to show up he's got an open invitation."
Powell's endorsement came just hours after Obama's campaign disclosed that it raised $150 million in September - obliterating the old record of $66 million it had set only one month earlier.
He expressed disappointment in the negative tone of McCain's campaign, his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate and their decision to focus in the closing weeks of the contest on Obama's ties to 1960s-era radical William Ayers, saying "it goes too far."
McCain, meanwhile, seemed dismissive of Powell's endorsement, saying it wasn't a surprise, that the two share mutual respect and are longtime friends.
The Republican from Arizona pointed out on Sunday that he had support from four other former secretaries of state, all veterans of Republican administrations: Henry Kissinger, James A. Baker III, Lawrence Eagleburger and Alexander Haig.
At a boisterous rally Sunday, Obama said McCain was "out of ideas and almost out of time."
He and his aides appear so confident of his prospects that apart from a brief stop in Madison, Wis., next Thursday, Obama currently has no plans during the next 10 days to return to Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Hampshire or any other state that voted for John Kerry in 2004.
Instead, he intends to spend two days this week in Florida, where early voting begins on Monday, and travel to Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico and possibly Nevada and Indiana. Those states hold 97 electoral votes combined, and Bush won all in 2004.
Obama also may stop in West Virginia, where his campaign recently bought statewide television advertising in a late attempt to put the state's five electoral votes into serious contention.
Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama for President
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER Associated Press Writer
Oct 19, 2008, 10:08 AM EDT
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president Sunday, describing the Illinois senator as a "transformational figure."
Powell said both Obama and Republican John McCain are qualified to be commander in chief. But he said Obama is better suited to handle the nation's economic problems as well as help improve its standing in the world.
"It isn't easy for me to disappoint Sen. McCain in the way that I have this morning, and I regret that," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"But I firmly believe that at this point in America's history, we need a president that will not just continue, even with a new face and with the changes and with some maverick aspects, who will not just continue basically the policies that we have been following in recent years," Powell said.
"I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain."
Powell's endorsement has been much anticipated because he is a Republican with impressive foreign policy credentials. At the same time, he is a black man and Obama would be the nation's first black president.
Powell said he was cognizant of the racial aspect of his endorsement, but said that was not the dominant factor in his decision. If it was, he said, he would have made the endorsement months ago.
Powell served as secretary of state in President Bush's first term, and helped make the case before the United Nations for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 (His endorsement of Obama is a correction to that role he played, which has destroyed his reputation and credibility, as the information he gave about Iraq's alleged unconventional weapons, in the UN Security Council, to justify the invasion of Iraq turned to be all false).
A retired general, Powell also was the nation's top military commander, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the first Gulf war under President George H.W. Bush.
McCain said he disagreed that Obama is qualified to be president.
"We have a respectful disagreement," McCain, interviewed on "Fox News Sunday," said of Powell.
Powell said McCain has been a good friend for 25 years. But Powell expressed disappointment in the negative tone of McCain's campaign, as well as in his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee.
"I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States," Powell said.
Powell said he does not plan to campaign for Obama.
Major U.S. newspapers endorse Obama
www.chinaview.cn 2008-10-19 10:55:49
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) --
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has attracted the support of more than three times as many newspapers as his Republican opponent John McCain.
Newspaper market statistics put Obama's endorsement tally at 55 and McCain's at 16 as of Saturday.
The newspapers reach a circulation of 5.8 million for Obama and1.5 million for McCain.
Obama picked up the backing of several major dailies, including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, which has never endorsed a Democratic nominee for president.
In endorsing the senator from Illinois, his home-town newspaper wrote that it has observed his political rise from the front lines and can vouch for his ability.
The Washington Post emphatically endorsed him as "the right man for a perilous moment."
The Los Angeles Times said Obama "represents the nation as it is, and as it aspires to be."
The San Francisco Chronicle also endorsed the Democratic nominee, describing him as a "portrait of calmness and deliberation" throughout the financial crisis.
Other major endorsements for Obama include those of The Boston Globe, the St Louis Post-Dispatch, the Toledo Blade, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Nashville Tennessean.
Meanwhile, Republican nominee McCain has racked up some prominent endorsements over the past several weeks, including the New York Post, the Union Leader in New Hampshire, the Boston Herald and the Examiner newspapers.
Editor: Du Guodong
Oct 19, 10:04 AM EDT
Obama raises stunning $150 million in September
By JIM KUHNHENN Associated Press Writer
Barack Obama raised more than $150 million in September, a stunning and unprecedented eruption of political giving that has given him a wide spending advantage over rival John McCain.
The Democrat's campaign released the figure Sunday, one day before it must file a detailed report of its monthly finances with the Federal Election Commission.
Obama's money is fueling a vast campaign operation in an expanding field of competitive states. It also has underwritten a wave of both national and targeted video advertising unseen before in a presidential contest.
Campaign manager David Plouffe, in an e-mail to supporters Sunday morning, said the campaign had added 632,000 new donors in September, for a total of 3.1 million contributors to the campaign. He said the average donation was $86.
The Democratic National Committee, moments later, announced that it raised $49.9 million and had $27.5 million in the bank at the start of October. The party has been raising money through joint fundraising events with Obama and can use the money to assist his candidacy.
Obama's numbers are possible because he opted out of the public financing system for the fall campaign. McCain, the Republican nominee, chose to participate in the system, which limits him to $84 million for the September-October stretch before the election.
Obama initially had promised to accept public financing if McCain did, but changed his mind after setting primary fundraising records. His extraordinary fundraising is bound to set a new standard in politics that could doom the taxpayer-paid system. Many Republicans have begun to second-guess McCain's decision to participate in the program.
McCain, reacting to Obama's announcement, raised the potential for fundraising abuses. He said Obama is "completely breaking whatever idea we had after Watergate to keep the costs and spending on campaigns under control. ... That has unleashed now in presidential campaigns a new flood of spending that will then cause a scandal, and then we will fix it again"
While McCain said he was not suggesting the Obama campaign had done anything illegal or improper, he said "history shows us where unlimited amounts of money are in political campaigns, it leads to scandal."
Obama's monthly figure pushed his total fundraising to $605 million. No presidential candidate has ever run such an expensive campaign. His campaign raised $65 million in August, his previous best.
"The overall numbers obviously are impressive," Plouffe said in a campaign video. "But it's what's beneath the numbers in terms of average Americans who have had enough, who want a change and who are really fueling this campaign."
With his money, and a favorable political wind at his back, Obama has secured his foothold in states that have voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the past. But he has also been able to expand the contest to reliably Republican states, forcing McCain and the Republican Party to spend their money defensively.
Plouffe pointed out that the campaign is now spending resources in West Virginia. Obama running mate Joe Biden was scheduled to campaign in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday and the campaign has secured television advertising in the state for the next two weeks, according to ad data obtained by The Associated Press. Plouffe hinted at further expansion, noting that public opinion polls show the race tightening in Georgia and North Dakota.
As much as Obama raised, he needed a big fundraising month to justify his decision to bypass the public finance system. Financially, he has been competing not only against McCain, but against the GOP, which raised $66 million in September.
The combined Obama and DNC totals for September now give the Democrats a distinct financial advantage going into Election Day, just 16 days away.
McCain spoke on "Fox News Sunday."
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