He’s not alone in expressing that Obama is doing too much too soon, but his voice definitely carries more weight because he may have done more to swing independents and moderates towards the President than anybody else last year.
“The right answer is, ‘Give me a government that works,'” the former secretary of state said in a television interview to be aired Sunday. “Keep it as small as possible,” added Powell, who said he has spoken recently with Obama and stays in touch with him. Powell, a Republican, endorsed Obama last year over the GOP presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Obama wants to overhaul the health care system and take on climate change while also helping the country emerge from the recession.
“I think one of the cautions that has to be given to the president – and I’ve talked to some of his people about this – is that you can’t have so many things on the table that you can’t absorb it all. And we can’t pay for it all,” Powell said.
“And I never would have believed that we would have budgets that are running into the multi-trillions of dollars, and we are amassing a huge, huge national debt that, if we don’t pay for in our lifetime, our kids and grandkids and great grandchildren will have to pay for it.”
Powell’s words aren’t lost on me, but let’s look at what Obama’s facing:
- Two wars,
- the near collapse of our financial system,
- a deep recession,
- once-in-generation unemployment,
- a genuine threat of deflation,
- unstable energy costs,
- global warming,
- unsustainable health care costs,
- a crumbling infrastructure,
- a failing education system,
- North Korea, Iran, Russia, Sudan,
- and I’m sure I’m missing something else.
So while I understand the concerns of my Independent and Republican friends, the price to fix these problems will only continue to go up while the likelihood that we’ll be able to reach a legislative consensus on how to fix them will go down.
Shifting gears for a moment, and I’m talking to Republicans specifically now…do you want to win in 2012?
Well, here’s your guy. He can take the party in a sustainable direction. I don’t know that he’d run, but if he did he would crush all other GOPers with the swing voters.
And let’s be very clear…McCain didn’t lose Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina because the base didn’t show up. The voting demographics are shifting, and unless the GOP can field a candidate with mass appeal, well, it’s going to be a long bumpy ride in 2012 and 2016.
Just food for thought…