Powell Endorsement Sparks Online Debate

News & Notes Web producer Geoffrey Bennett updates Farai Chideya on the latest topics on our blog, including reaction to Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama.

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FARAI CHIDEYA, host:

This is News & Notes, I'm Farai Chideya. Before our bloggers take on the latest political news, we want to hear what flavor you have been bringing to our blog News & Views. Geoffrey Bennett is the web producer for News & Notes. How are you doing?

GEOFFREY BENNETT: I'm doing well Farai, how are you?

CHIDEYA: I'm great. And so, you know, it's October. I went out, I decorated my house for, you know, the fall. There are a lot of people focused on the election. But black college grads are looking forward to something else. What's that?

BENNETT: Homecoming season. For anyone who went to an HBCU right about now is the time people go home for homecoming as it were. Howard had their homecoming last weekend, Morehouse and Stillman Colleges convene this week in Atlanta. And Natalie McNeal of The Root offered five ways to hype up the fun while reducing the cost of homecomings, since folks have a little bit less money to spend this year. And we have the list on our blog. And we took an informal poll, as we sometimes do, 55 percent of those responding said the halftimes show was their main focus at homecoming, 18 percent said the game itself was the main draw, and the rest chose the answer what game? I'd rather be tailgating.

CHIDEYA: Yeah. I think that if people were honest there might be more in that category. But let's move along to General Colin Powell endorsing Senator Barack Obama. What's the reaction on our blog?

BENNETT: Yeah, that's the most popular topic of the week. Let's listen to a part of Powell's rational for his endorsement as told to Tom Brokaw of NBC's Meet the Press.

General COLIN POWELL: He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming in to the world, on to the world stage, on the American stage and for that reason, I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.

BENNETT: So, the reaction. On our blog, a reader named Glenda Alvin wrote, "I think Powell's endorsement is too late to really matter. Powell's a four-star general who decided not to run for president because of his wife's fears of assassination. Obama ran in spite of those fears. He does not need Powell now." To which another reader named John J. replied, "Before his interview on Meet the Press I felt the same way. I was disappointed that it wasn't coming soon enough, but he hit all the key points. Transformational figure was the phrase that resonated with me." And Audrey Lewis wrote "any and all endorsements the Senator can get right now are greatly appreciated, because it ain't over till it's over."

CHIDEYA: All right. What else do we have coming up for folks on Election Day?

BENNETT: Well, we've got an interactive map that breaks down the electoral standing right now. And the national state races. We have profiles of all the key figures. We have insight from our political contributors, and we have posts from you each day, as we get close to November fourth.

CHIDEYA: Yeah. It's the countdown.

BENNETT: Two weeks to go. Less than two weeks.

CHIDEYA: I know. Geoff thank you.

BENNETT: Thank you.

CHIDEYA: Geoffrey Bennett is the web producer for News & Notes and he joined me from our studios right here at NPR West.

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