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Character Is Never Irrelevant

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, co-chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee for US President-elect Barack Obama, speaks to reporters during a news conference to announce Obama's Renew America Together volunteer initiative, in Washington January 9, 2009 Reuters/File Photo

Nearly all the glowing tributes for the late Colin Powell included wistful references to the promising presidential campaign he passed up in 1996. Columnist Maureen Dowd flatly declared: “General Powell was the best America had to offer…. He could have been president.”

At a jammed press conference in November of 1995, with his inspiring memoir My American Journey riding high on national bestseller lists, the charismatic four-star general made a long-awaited announcement: that he had registered as a Republican and planned to back the GOP, but declined to become a candidate himself. “I believe I can help the party of Lincoln move once again close to the spirit of Lincoln,” Powell pledged…. Click here to read the full column at Newsweek.com. 

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