Colin Powell spoke on the campus of the University of Mississippi last night. I went with a couple of friends and we really enjoyed the speech. I had a couple of qualms, but overall it's hard not to be impressed by his consistency.
First, the man has a sense of humor. I'm sure the jokes were well-rehearsed, but he threw in a few zingers that loosened up the crowd. Second, he spoke extemporaneously as he walked about the state for nearly one hour. Impressive.
Third, while he extolled the virtues of volunteerism, civic engagement and being better all-around citizens, I was struck that he only mentioned in passing the America's Promise Alliance founded by his wife Alma and himself. It's a good outfit that deserves to succeed.
Fourth, and what I appreciated most, was the focus of the speech. America, according to Powell (and demographers, for that matter) is a changing place. Americans need to recognize that this trend is not only good, but inevitable. Americans need to focus on making this a better country for all, not just a better country for some. It was fundamentally for this reason that he endorsed Obama over McCain last October.