Everywhere he goes, Colin Powell is besieged. Bicycle messengers in spandex tights stop him on the streets of Washington and urge him to run for President. Waiters at restaurants advise the retired general to aim for the White House. CEOs quietly pledge money should Powell decide to run. Political operatives of both parties would like to ignore Powell--but can't. "I don't think about it a lot," claims a senior White House official, before admitting, "If Powell does run, he will be a significant player." Another in the White House is more fatalistic: "If he runs, we're dead." Says William Lacy, Bob Dole's top strategist: "If he jumped in the race today, he would be the principal competitor for us."
Everywhere he goes, Colin Powell is applauded. In the hall in San Diego where the Republican Party will nominate its presidential candidate about a year from now, the crowd is instantly on its feet as his presence is announced and he bounds down to the podium. He speaks for 50 minutes, without notes, taking the crowd through the cold war, through Korea, Vietnam, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Operation Desert Storm and the occupation of Haiti. Powell, 58, tells moving tales of his upbringing in Harlem and the South Bronx, of sitting in the Hall of St. Catherine in the Kremlin, where he heard Gorbachev declare that the cold war was over. And when Powell has delivered his set speech, the inevitable question rises from the floor: "When are you going to announce that you're running for President?"
The rapt audience carefully weighs the well-rehearsed answer, word by word.
"Thank you very, very much. And I'm very, very flattered. I'm honored and humbled. It's a question I receive regularly, and I don't know what I'm going to do with my life after my book is finished. The book is out this fall, and then I'll have to make some choices.
"I tell people that I'm not a professional politician. I was truly a soldier."
Another wave of applause washes over him.
"Even after working two years in the West Wing, there isn't a single one of my White House friends from those days who could tell you today whether they think I'm a Republican or a Democrat. That was part of the code I lived with. Now I'm no longer protected by my uniform. As I go around the country, I'm trying to develop a political philosophy, just to be a good citizen, not n...
... middle of paper ...
...black votes taking away the most reliable core of the party's electoral support and vacuuming up votes Clinton needs if he is to win in 1996.
And how could a nonparty President actually govern? It is likely both parties in Congress would be plenty angry with President Powell for having broken up their games. Would there be a proliferation of parties, turning American democracy into a version of Italy's fractured, shifting coalition style? Friends counter that Powell could form a bipartisan government of national reconciliation. But he has known many Third World coup leaders who say they have taken power to achieve national reconciliation.
Powell, by his own admission, has always been a supremely cautious calculator of risks and rewards. He succeeded as a political general by knowing where the boundaries were, knowing what was possible and what was not. There is nothing in the life of Colin Powell to suggest he would be the man to toss a grenade into the entrenched positions of American politics. On the other hand, Powell has bounded up the career ladder two and three steps at a time. He is a very determined man.
Meanwhile, he is thinking, calculating, weighing his choices.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “It’s not where you start in life, it’s where you end up and all the places you went in between.” (General Colin Powell) Excellence: is the ultimate goal of every leader. Leaders are not born with it, rather they must build it, achieve it. These leaders are the building blocks of every organization. General Colin Powell is the embodiment of an American leader. After years of military excellence, he continued his career on a political level, retiring after 35 years of servant leadership. In his retirement, General Powell wrote his autobiography My American Journey.... [tags: excellence, American leader, military, leadership]
1086 words (3.1 pages)
- 1. Introduction & Definition Transformational leadership describes a leader moving followers beyond immediate self-interests through idealized influence (charisma), inspiration motivation, intellectual stimulation, or individualized consideration. Transformational leaders are change agents. They influence the mission and objectives to make way for a brighter future for the organization. Followers are motivated to do more than is originally expected because of their feelings of trust and respect for the leader.... [tags: Transformational Leadership Essays]
2831 words (8.1 pages)
- Retired General Colin Powell Colin Powell stated, Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. It seemed as if he had found his place while in ROTC. The discipline along with the structure, it was as if he had found people who were like him. He had fallen in love with the Army and after forty years of service, he retired. He was ask, what would have you done if you had not come in the Army. I’d probably be a bus driver, I don't know. The General had some very strong parental guidance while growing up.... [tags: biography, public life]
946 words (2.7 pages)
- Colin Powell: Military leader, Statesman The question of “What makes a leader great?” is without one solitary answer. Effective leaders in the corporate and political arenas are deserving of praise, but because of the nature of their work, military leaders are arguably more complex and intriguing. “Military leadership qualities are formed in a progressive and sequential series of carefully planned training, educational, and experiential events—far more time-consuming and expensive than similar training in industry or government.... [tags: Biography]
1393 words (4 pages)
- ... He was sent home for the stunt, but was later found out from one of the Priest, that he had owned up to the mistake. He had taken responsibility; this is a leadership trait that he took through his long years of Military life, along with his tenure in the diplomatic world. Finding His Direction Powell chose a military path when he was in college. He had been accepted at New York University where tuition was $750 a year, but City College of New York required only a $10 fee. CCNY it would be.... [tags: army, leadership, education]
516 words (1.5 pages)
- Colin Powell is a strong individual that has over come hardships of his own and that of his country. He is a man that was never satisfied with average and still excels in everything he does. Colin Powell is a leader and a role model to African Americans and the rest of the world. On April 5, 1937 a true hero was born by the name Colin Luther Powell. He was born in Harlem, New York 12 years after his mother Maud and father Luther Theophilus Powell immigrated to New York from Jamaica. Colin grew up in New York City and proved to be a very intelligent human being.... [tags: essays research papers]
1037 words (3 pages)
- My Written Report is a Short Biography of Colin Luther Powell. He was born on May 5, 1937 in Presbyterian Hospital. He was born, and grew up, in the South Bronx, New York. There was a big influence of drugs and gangs where Powell lived but, he seemed to steer away from all of that (source 1, page 23). Powell's parents were immigrants from Jamaica. His mother's name is Muad Ariel McKoy. In Jamaica the McKoy fammily watched over sugar plantations. She came to America with her mother (Colin's grandmother).... [tags: essays research papers]
1173 words (3.4 pages)
- The Reaction of Colin Powell's Speech at Howard University General Colin Powell did the Commencement speech at Howard University on May 25, 1994. He did the speech after a cloud of controversy had happen at the university. A racist Black Muslim made a speech at Howard University. Howard policy is that anybody can express his or her freedom of speech on there campus. As you can figure out, the white community did not think of that very well. Connie Chung did a report saying that Howard University was a racist institution.... [tags: Papers]
632 words (1.8 pages)
- Success in Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick and the Life of Colin Powell What does success mean to you. I think the idea of success is affected by the social system. In America and Hong Kong, which are capitalistic societies affected by the American Dream, success means money and fame. In other societies, success might have different meanings. Some people said money and fame is the true meaning of success, but I think that the true meaning of success is to follow the interest of your own and being good at it, but not money and fame.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
1053 words (3 pages)
- Keita Powell is a pint-sized powerhouse. She is energetic, result oriented, focused, and driven. Ms. Powell is one of many women in the Mary Kay Cosmetics sales force. She rose through the ranks from Independent Beauty Consultant to Independent Elite Executive Senior Sales Director rather quickly because of her charisma, ability to build a sales team of energetic men and women, and sheer enthusiasm to succeed. One would think that she was an amazing leader to get so many women to follow her in teaching skin care, beauty techniques, increasing and maintaining sells goals and to rise from a very junior consultant to one who is an executive in the business.... [tags: Leadership Essay Keita Powell]
1795 words (5.1 pages)