Seven Questions for Larry Wilkerson

FP ask some questions of Colin Powell’s chief of staff on Powell’s endorsement of Obama.

I like these two:

FP: What’s your take on the tone of the campaign?

LW: I was fully expecting the grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan to arrive from Maryland and endorse McCain. I was becoming frightened that we were returning to 1968, when they assassinated Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Those were bad times.

One of the most dramatic moments for me was when I was watching McCain on television, and I thought I saw in McCain’s eyes himself, when someone yelled something out, a recognition of, ‘Oh, God, what have I done?’ This is not McCain; he doesn’t cater to this. But for the first time in his political life, I think he realized that there are some strange people in the Republican tent. My father used to say, ‘Larry beware of the left because they will bankrupt you; beware of the right because they will kill you.’

And (my emphasis)

FP: How much progress can the next president make in restoring America’s reputation in the world, and how should he do so?

LW: That’s an easy question to answer, but hard to do. On Inauguration Day in my inauguration speech, I would do two things: I would ban torture and I would direct the closure of Guantánamo. And then I would do other things in the first 100 days: I would take a look at negotiations with Iran and at the six-party talks with [North] Korea. I would take a look at U.S.-Cuba relations. Those are actions that would indicate that America is back.

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