Thursday, May 26, 2005

Colin Powell to Join Group Trying to Purchase Washington Nationals

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has joined a group trying to purchase the Nationals. The group Powell is joining is led by Fred Malek and Jeffrey Zients and also includes Vernon E. Jordan Jr. I found the final paragraph of the linked article interesting:
Powell is a close friend of Jordan and an old friend and former colleague of Malek, who helped select Powell, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Army, as a White House fellow during the Nixon administration. Powell was in the Office of Management and Budget when Malek, who was OMB deputy director, recruited Powell to be his assistant.
First - the quote reminded me of what Powell wrote about Malek in Powell's 1995 autobiography:
When a secretary called saying, "Mr. Malek is on the line," it was like hearing the Mafia tell you that the money was due by midnight and no excuses.
I guess that means that Fred Malek is a no-nonsense type of guy. I know some context would add meaning but the quote was too memorable to pass-up.

I also found it interesting to see Vernon Jordan described as a close friend. Jordan was perhaps Bill Clinton's closest advisor. It seems like this group is either trying to cover both sides of the political fence with Republican appointee Powell and Democratic kingmaker Jordan or that Powell is moving closer to the Democratic side of the aisle.

Powell grew up in a home where his parents hung a picture of FDR in the main room and is on record for voting for JFK, Johnson and Carter (in 1976 but not 1980). This speculation is tempered by the fact that Malek is a staunch Republican and the move to add Powell is probably just a savvy move by Malek to help a friend while at the same time adding a high profile former Republican who is sure to be on all the short lists for President in 2008.

If I were to try and crystal gaze I would say that this move by Powell and the Malek group would be (if successful) not a further stepping stone to the Presidency but a possible stepping stone by Powell to eventually replace Bud Selig as Commissioner of Baseball. Powell is a guy used to dealing with strong personalities with conflicting and competing interests. Whether dealing with heads of State or with the Chiefs of Staff for the different branches of the US military - Powell has been known as a man who both gets things done and who also does so without ruffling any feathers. What better training could a man have for dealing with the Pohlads, Steinbrenners and Linders than dealing with the Chiracs, Arafats and Putins?

My gut tells me that Powell may not want the Presidency and that the negative campaigning is not something he would want to subject his wife or family to after all the years they sacrificed for him while he was moving from post to post in the military and in government service. Powell may want to collect on his long years of service and I frankly, don't blame him for doing so.

The job of Commissioner of Baseball would be a well paying gig for the baseball loving Powell that would entail relatively little heavy lifting in comparison to his former responsibilities.

Hat tip for the link to Eric at Off Wing Opinion

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