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Colin Powell & the Conservatives

- Abstract

General Colin Powell ran his presidential campaign exactly as he would have liked to run the Gulf war: a massive build-up of force culminating in a strategic withdrawal. He left stranded behind him what remains of America’s centrist establishment—which had invested in the general the hopes so bitterly disappointed by President Clinton—and an assortment of conservatives who, breaking ranks with their fellows, had declared qualified backing for him.

The centrists’ enthusiasm for Powell needs no explanation. For them, he was perfect: conservative in tone, liberal in content; a complete creature of Washington; a man who saw the world precisely the way they did. But why conservatives should have backed Powell is more of a mystery.

About the Author

David Frum is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist for National Review Online.