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Why Powell has ‘sided with Clinton’

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported, Colin Powell announced at an event on Long Island that he would be voting for Hillary Clinton.

This is news. Below, in an as-yet-not-quite-hacked e-mail, Powell explains himself.

“OK, America. Before you say anything: I know. I know what I said. I said it.

“Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris,” I said. “Not transformational,” I called her. “Greedy,” I said.

“I would rather not have to vote for her,” I said.

But that's where we are, OK? This is on you, not me.

I tried, OK? All I did during Clinton's tenure at the State Department was constantly forward her Greek tragedies, just, like, daily. I must have given Huma Abedin 80 copies of Oedipus Rex, and now I'm starting to worry that Clinton never got any of them. I would e-mail her study guides saying “What do you think Oedipus's hamartia was? What is your hamartia?”, but when I saw her it was always difficult to work into conversation. Condoleezza Rice and I tried to start a book club but Hillary always claimed that she was busy travelling or dying of rare diseases or something.

But at least Hillary Clinton knows what “hubris” means. Donald Trump probably thinks it's a Jewish ritual.

Would I prefer not to vote for her? Yes, obviously.

Would I prefer that the Republican nominee were not a nightmare hobgoblin who came to prominence at the head of a creepy racist movement? Yes, obviously.

But no one asked what I would prefer. They never do.

Nothing about this is what I would prefer. I would prefer to be sharing a drink with Condi while Jeb or someone else equally all-around-beige cruised to the White House. Heck, I would prefer that I had been right about those WMDs. I would prefer a lot of things. But here we are.

Do I stand by my remarks? Of course. But you have to be realistic about your options.

Do I support Hillary Clinton in a vacuum? No, I don't. What are we doing in a vacuum? You can't support anyone in a vacuum. It's just empty space. Unless by “in a vacuum” you mean “the dark and tremendous void of space where we will be left to drift in the wake of a Trump presidency”, then, heck yes, I do support Hillary Clinton.

Look, I hate the Olive Garden, OK? Given the choice, I would live out the rest of my days without ever again setting foot into that fetid and terrible noodlehaven, unless I got to just grab a breadstick and leave. But given the choice of going to Olive Garden or having to hunt for my meat in a post-apocalyptic hellscape using only rudimentary tools that I had built myself from human bone, then, hey, let's see about that Tuscan Chicken. Do you see what I'm getting at here?

Look, I don't like the Hunger Games. I think the franchise is overrated. If I could, I would go the rest of my life without seeing or thinking about it again. But given the choice of watching the Hunger Games and actually living them, there's no contest.

Well, that's where we are.

Do I like wearing wool turtlenecks? No, I don't. They are itchy and unflattering, and they make you look like a vegetable oil bottle. But given the choice between wearing a wool turtleneck and being told to step into a wicker mannequin into which bees would be poured to cover my whole body, you know what, give me that turtleneck.

These are just not comparable experiences is all I'm trying to say.

I don't like that Donald Rumsfeld one bit. He's garbage. You can learn more about this in my e-mails. Or ask Condi; she'll tell you. But if I had to pick one Donald to spend the rest of my life with — well, you see where this is going.

I know I'm endorsing a lot of Democrats these days, but look at my options.

Besides, Hillary's a friend. We have a lot in common. People often accuse us both of being “Republicans, kind of”, and both of us get upset about it.

To all the people who object “but you said that she was greedy and not transformational and that she screws up with hubris and, furthermore, you said things about her husband”: I know. With endorsers like me, who needs opponents?

Is this what I would prefer? Again, no. But no one asked me.

•Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of A Field Guide to Awkward Silences

Lesser of two evils: Colin Powell has publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton to avoid an America ruled by Donald Trump

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Published October 31, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 30, 2016 at 11:29 pm)

Why Powell has ‘sided with Clinton’

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