The Campaign Spot

Powell’s Office Denies He’s Among Those Expressing Fears About Obama to U.K. Telegraph

In the Sunday Telegraph article I linked to over the weekend, there was a section that I didn’t spotlight:

The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama’s most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama’s character.
“The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this,” the well-known figure told a Washington official, who spoke to this newspaper. “He’s underestimating the flood of things that will hit his desk.” A Democratic strategist, who is friends with several senior White House aides, revealed that the president has regularly appeared worn out and drawn during evening work sessions with senior staff in the West Wing and has been forced to make decisions more quickly than he is comfortable.

Based on the description, many are concluding that the unnamed prominent African American backer whose endorsement Obama spent two years cultivating is retired general and former secretary of state Colin Powell. I contacted Powell’s office this morning and Peggy Cifrino, Powell’s principal assistant and spokeswoman, offered a pretty comprehensive denial:

The Sunday Telegraph piece has just been brought to our attention.  The Telegraph piece does not say he is the source, but we understand that bloggers are now picking up on it, starting rumors and guessing that the “prominent African American backer” is General Powell.  I can tell you unequivocally that the General said NO such thing nor does the source say that it was General Powell.   This is just bloggers/reporters added fiction.  There is not an ounce of truth to this.

This, of course, raises the question of the identity of that prominent African American backer whose endorsement Obama spent two years cultivating.