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This is bullshit, I'm retiring.
August 4, 2003 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Powell and Armitage Intend to Step Down The WaPo has reported that Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage intend to vacate their posts in January, 2005. They allegedly told this to NSA Condi Rice, though the White House--staying true to form--is denying it. So, is he just getting old, or is he finally sick of all the bullshit?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (23 comments total)

 
I thought he said he would be stepping down about 7 months ago. remember him being asked if the outcome of the war would change his position on the this matter, which he replied no.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:25 AM on August 4, 2003


Powell has indicated to associates that a commitment made to his wife, rather than any dismay at the administration's foreign policy, is a key factor in his desire to limit his tenure to one presidential term.
posted by dhoyt at 11:25 AM on August 4, 2003


Powell has indicated to associates that a commitment made to his wife, rather than any dismay at the administration's foreign policy, is a key factor in his desire to limit his tenure to one presidential term.

Yeah, but are those the same associates that now deny the conversation ever took place? It just may be possible that the spin is less than perfectly accurate. Don't they always resign to "spend more time with the family"?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:30 AM on August 4, 2003


Aparently, he hates to travel. Not exactly and ideal job for him then, huh?
posted by ednopantz at 11:38 AM on August 4, 2003


This ABC article is the best so far, because in the same article it quotes administration officials both confirming and denying the report. Assuming that this is true, why would McClellan/Bush want to deny it? It seems silly.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:39 AM on August 4, 2003


Condy looks like the angel of death in that WaPo picture.
posted by goethean at 11:39 AM on August 4, 2003


then they'll soon name another oil tanker, "The Angel of Death"

no, seriously: seldom a Secretary Of State stays for 2 terms. after WWII only Dean Rusk (under JFK and LBJ) managed to do just that
usually presidents (even one termers like Carter and Bush I) have 2 Secretaries Of State
posted by matteo at 11:58 AM on August 4, 2003


US Secretaries of State, 1791-2003
posted by matteo at 12:00 PM on August 4, 2003


It just may be possible that the spin is less than perfectly accurate.

Sure, maybe. But how would any of us at MeFi know whether it's spin or not? How do we know that WaPo doesn't have the story wrong, and that the White House is denying it because it was never said? What real insights are we supposed to be sharing?

There hasn't been an administration in my lifetime that hasn't, at least once, hush-hushed a story that either was released prematurely, or was not supposed to be released at all. Perhaps he hadn't planned on announcing for another couple months. Who knows? It's hardly unusual for a Secretary of State to bow out before a second term.

I guess the point is--we could speculate forever, but maybe this time Powell's decision to leave is Just a Cigar.
posted by dhoyt at 12:00 PM on August 4, 2003


I thought he was thinking of resigning before 9/11. Obviously, things got a little muddled after that, but basically Bush has been using Powell as a punching bag/stooge henchman/fall guy, while usurping his duties and effectively delegating State department matters straight to Rummy. I felt sorry for him earlier, now I just nod at this news (and its denial)
posted by Busithoth at 12:04 PM on August 4, 2003


Condy Rice. . . .I do not know where to fit this comment. . .I did not find mention on any of the threads of the past week. .but at the same news conference in which Bush made his comments about the sinfulness of gay marriage (but hey, we're all sinners). . .he noted that Condy Rice has been "fabulous" as National Security Advisor.
posted by Danf at 1:15 PM on August 4, 2003


CNN's said, along with Rice, Wolfowitz could also be considered as a replacement should Powell leave. Why does that thought just fill me with dread should Bush be reelected?
posted by snarkywench at 1:41 PM on August 4, 2003


join the club.
posted by crunchland at 1:54 PM on August 4, 2003


Powell has indicated to associates that a commitment made to his wife...is a key factor in his desire to limit his tenure to one presidential term.

Is Mrs. Powell also making Armitage resign?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:01 PM on August 4, 2003


..I did not find mention on any of the threads of the past week..

*cough*

posted by soyjoy at 2:44 PM on August 4, 2003


Well OK soyjoy. . .*smile* . . . .at least I gave it the old college try. . .
posted by Danf at 2:52 PM on August 4, 2003


Powell has indicated to associates that a commitment made to his wife

Anyone who has read anything about Powell, including his autobiography, would know that his wife has long opposed his public political service. There once was a strong GOP push to have Powell run for President, but his wife quickly killed that idea. She was fearful of an assassination attempt, due to Powell's race.

So, while I will not deny there has been some animosity between State and DoD, this is not the usual "I want to spent more time with my family" bullshit line. Mrs. Powell has been pushing for Colin to get out of politics and the limelight for some time now.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:09 PM on August 4, 2003


Mrs. Powell has been pushing for Colin to get out of politics and the limelight for some time now.

And he wasn't listening to her before... so why now?

One thing that does make me suspect you may be right, Steve, is that if he was quitting for more political reasons it would make sense to leave before the election, so that anything he has to say could actually count for something.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:32 PM on August 4, 2003


POWELL BLASTS WASHINGTON POST GOSSIP
Mon Aug 04 2003 17:39:06 ET

FROM RADIO SAWA INTVU

QUESTION: Yes, sir. Since everything that happens in Washington is relevant to the Middle East, let me start by asking you, would you please react to The Washington Post story today?

SECRETARY POWELL: It's nonsense. I don't know what they are talking about. I serve at the pleasure of the President. The President and I have not discussed anything other than my continuing to do my job for him, and this is just one of those stories that emerge in Washington that reflects nothing more than gossip, and the gossip leads to a rash of speculation about who might fill a vacancy that does not exist.

And so I really am not surprised by this kind of gossip. I have seen it before. But the story has no substance and the so-called conversation that took place between my Deputy, Mr. Armitage, and National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, did not take place. And therefore, the story has no source or basis in the beginning; and most of it is just all gossip and speculation from no source.

posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:37 PM on August 4, 2003


Hearsay just hearsay, claims king of hearsay.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:06 PM on August 4, 2003


claims king of hearsay

Who is the King of Hearsay? Powell, or Drudge who quoted him from a radio interview?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:27 PM on August 4, 2003


"Anyone who has read anything about Powell, including his autobiography, would know that his wife has long opposed his public political service"


well, apparently his wife was especially worried about Powell _running for president_, about possible assassination attempts (and one can hardly blame her, what sane African American woman wouldn't be worried about that*). she doesn't really look like a "please sweetie stay home with me and let's play piquet all afternoon" kind of wife (if wives like this actually exist), her husband has led a very public life for 25 years, and I don't remember reports about her being against her husband becoming Secretary of State. she was more against her husband getting Bremered or Hinckley'd or Sihraned on the Campaign trail, and who can blame her for that

* on a sidenote, sadly mrs Powell denied us the pleasure of seeing the General in the arena of the Republican Primaries trying to woo those nice Southern registered republicans with their cute little Confederate flags. I mean, the guys who actually bought the evil, insane bullshit about 7-years-in-a-cage-in-VietNam John McCain being crazy and (the horror) having fathered an illegitimate daughter with a black woman (the truth is the McCains have adopted a dark-skinned Asian girl). my idea is that Powell, a very smart man, knew he just couldnt win the Republican nomination so he retired from the Armed Forces wrote a bestselling book, made millions, and quietly waited for a Republican President (remember that Powell said no to Clinton, he could have been Sec of State in the mid-Nineties already)

the WP story is true? well, it's ultimately irrelevant: it's clear that Powell is on the way out, he and Bush will both better off going separate ways if Bush is elected. especially if there's a new big terrorist attack on American soil during the next Presidential term, Powell will be better off at home giving lectures cause his successor will have to be there taking the heat while the Pentagon unilaterally invades Syria or Iran or both



posted by matteo at 6:34 PM on August 4, 2003


Who is the King of Hearsay? Powell, or Drudge who quoted him from a radio interview?

Steve - I think XQUZYPHYR was referring to Powell's role in turning "hearsay" over Iraq's WMDs into seemingly factual public evidence. But I could be wrong.
posted by soyjoy at 7:59 AM on August 5, 2003


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