Better the Subjunctive Mood
I’ve always liked and admired Gen. Powell, and believe his endorsement both helps Obama and is sincere. But I am confused by what he said today, especially this line, “He [Obama] has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.”
How does running for office, even in charismatic and professional fashion, or projecting an image of both presidential style and substance, translate into “meeting the standard of being a successful president”, much less an exceptional president?
One can only meet such a standard once in office. I think he meant to say instead that Obama has now met the standard of being a successful presidential candidate, even being an exceptional presidential candidate—and that may mean, if elected, that he could be a successful, even exceptional president.