Colin Powell had no loyalty to any political party, to the annoyance of certain Republicans

Analyse: Powell, always a soldier, wouldn't acknowledge the party that led him to power as reported by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell.


I have worked with Colin Powell since the Reagan White House and later, when Powell was one of the initial Black chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the presidency of George H.W. Bush I had been associated with Colin Powell in the years prior to that with Republican presidents as well as the GOP.

However, Powell was most definitely a military man and not a political party member. He was an independent registered voter since his early days as an infantryman in combat in Vietnam until his departure from the military. To the end of his life the man prefers to be referred to as "General," rather than the more honorific "Mr. Secretary."

This could be because during his often tense time in the role of George W. Bush's top diplomat He was ruled out on the crucial move to invading Iraq from the vice-president Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and, ultimately the president.

In the heydays of his life shortly after his triumphant direction of the first Gulf War, he was perhaps the most well-known public persona in America at the time, riding the highs of a book tour across the country for his memoir, and in 1996, seriously contemplating an opposition to President Bill Clinton's bid for an additional term.

In the same way that Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Ben Kamisar point out in the Tuesday's "First Read," in March 1996 in March 1996, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll revealed Powell ahead of Clinton in the hypothetical general election with 47 per cent to 38 per percentin a period when Clinton's job satisfaction was over 50 percent.

Then, Powell decided not to decide to run. He did this after he had a go in the first primary states. He also made two speeches, one for jumping into the race, and the other to fall. A portion of his reasons were personal and involved his family. He told me in 2012, when I asked him if he regretted for not running "It was wrenching."

I interjected, "You lost sleep."

Powell said: "Yes. It was a difficult moment because I did not anticipate being faced with that kind of pressure and feel the pressure of being under such stress. I'm an army soldier. However, after a few weeks of this I realized that this is not who I am. That's not what I am capable of doing."

He then pointed out, and it was well acknowledged that his wife, Alma was also opposed to the idea. However, he added: "I don't have the desire to be a politician. do. I'm glad we have them. It's a must to have these guys. I'm thankful we have Mitt Romney, we've got John McCain, we got Barack Obama and the Bushes All of them are fantastic. It wasn't me. And when I refused I promised to find different ways in order to serve my country and I did."

The wisdom of this choice became clear to me the moment Powell remains a popular hero of the nation, spoke at his first Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000. This was the year that the Bush campaign denigrated McCain at his South Carolina GOP primary, with a scathing attack on McCain's adopted Bangladeshi daughter.

First Night Of Republican National Convention

The presidential candidate George W. Bush welcomes retired Army Gen. Colin Powell to the first night at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia on July 31st, 2000.Getty Images file

I was part of my NBC News team of four reporters covering the floor of the convention. Powell was always loyal to his roots and beliefs, addressed the GOP to accept diversity and affirmative action and argued in the following words:

"We must be aware of the cynicism within the Black community and the type of cynicism that develops when, for instance certain members of our group do not take the time to formally and loudly deplore affirmative actions that helped thousands of Black students gain an education. However, you don't hear a whine when it's affirmative actions for lobbyists who cram our tax code federally with special interests-specific preferences. It's not working. It's not working. It's not possible to make that argument."

The crowd booed and jeered.

Never a fan of politics The retired generalthe man who was four years earlier was the first military person to be a presidential candidate since Dwight D. Eisenhower to be sought after by both parties to be a candidate for the White House -- then had to endure four years as the unpopular member of the Bush national security team.

The years that followed included his acceptance of what he was informed was thoroughly verified CIA information about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapon for mass destruction. The speech he delivered before the United Nations in February 2003 was, as he later admitted as an "blot" on his record that he has always regretted.

The experience, along with McCain's choice with his friend and good friend to select Sarah Palin, who Powell considered to be unqualified to run for president resulted in his breaking from and his departure from the Republican Party and his endorsement of Obama against McCain in 2008.

As Powell stated the matter to NBC News' Tom Brokaw in his announcement to announce his decision on "Meet the Press," Powell was inspired by his belief that Obama as one of the few Black candidate running on a major-party ticket, might be the leader of the future. He also wanted to combat the ascendance of Donald Trump, who was already slamming Obama's birthright as an indigenous American.

Meet The Press

The former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks to Tom Brokaw during an episode on "Meet the Press" in Washington, D.C., on October. 19th, 2008.Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images from the Meet the Press file

Powell has also scheduled his announcement to maximize impact on politics: it was on a Sunday, two weeks prior to Election Day. The veterans of Obama's and McCain's campaigns say that both sides were aware it was a blow fatal for Republican hopes.

Powell's deep conviction in the diversity of people and the contribution immigrants make for American the American society which is a direct result of his family's Jamaican roots and his experiences with his experience in the Army as a melting-pot to advance and advancement -- made his opposition towards Trump easy in the year 2016.

Though the Clintons were deeply wounded by his endorsement of Obama during the 2008 election his support for Hillary Clinton against Trump was an unavoidable conclusion. Also, his support for Joe Biden last year.

Republican critics could say that the man who leapt over other people to take on the role of Ronald Reagan's national security advisor as well as George H.W. Bush's chair of the Joint Chiefs had turned his back on the political party that started his career in public service.

After this Jan. 6 incident, Powell told Savannah Guthrie on"NBC's "TODAY" show that Trump was "responsible for one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen in all my years as a government employee."

Powell believes that the current Republican Party is not the party of Reagan and the Bushes or Powell's Cabinet friends Brent Scowcroft and Jim Baker. While he is grateful towards them, he reserving his greatest loyalty to not the political parties, but rather toward military personnel. U.S. militaries.