All Eyes On The General (4/28/97)
For 2000, Powell's No. 1 With GOP Voters (2/21/97)
Powell Says He Won't Run In 2000
Other GOP possibles are trying out themes in Iowa
DES MOINES (AllPolitics, Nov. 11) -- Retired Gen. Colin Powell, saying he lacks a passion for politics, announced today he will not seek any office in 2000, including the presidency.
"I went through this in 1995," Powell told a news conference in Des Moines. "I took a hard look at myself and took a look at the needs of my family and I concluded individually and we concluded as a family that political life was not for us ... I am not running for any political office in 2000."
Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had consistently tried to discourage speculation about a presidential bid in 2000.
"I was never a politician, nor did I consider political office before 1995," Powell said. "It came up and was the subject of great interest and speculation. I considered it and decided that was not where I would spend my life.
"I didn't have the passion for it and I didn't have the commitment to that kind of life," he added. "I'm still principally a soldier."
Powell drew some attention when he agreed to speak at a motivational seminar here today. The Iowa caucuses represent one of the first tests for presidential candidates, and Iowa reporters say the waters-testing for 2000 has never started so early and never been this intense.
Powell spokesman Bill Smullen said the general's intent was to flatly rule out a presidential bid in 2000. "You can take that to the bank," Smullen told The Associated Press.
Nevertheless, some political analysts said Powell is popular enough and has enough stature that he could easily jump into the race later.
"It always leaves him the option of playing the 'I was drafted into the race' thing" closer to 2000, GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio said.
"I think Colin Powell has such stature he can go back andforth," GOP strategist Jill Hanson told the AP.
Quayle, Elizabeth Dole speak to audiences
Two possible Republican presidential candidates were in the state, talking to crowds and trying out themes for 2000.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle blasted President Bill Clinton's failure to muster Democratic support for the fast-track trade negotiating bill. House leaders pulled the bill over the weekend to avoid a defeat.
"They [Democratic members of Congress] turned on him," Quayle said during an appearance in Cedar Rapids. "They are basically saying, 'We don't trust you.' And if his own party doesn't trust him, should the American people trust him?"
At a fund-raising dinner, Quayle turned his fire on an old foe, the television show Murphy Brown, which has recently featured episodes dealing with the medical use of marijuana.
"Now, we have on television, a TV sitcom, smoking marijuana," Quayle said. "Look, smoking marijuana is not a laughing matter. The epidemic of drugs is ripping apart American families." When he was vice president, Quayle ripped the show for its portrayal of single motherhood.
Another Republican Elizabeth Dole, spoke at a motivational seminar run by Peter Lowe, a former computer salesman who runs Success Seminars.
Dole offered a standard litany of Republican stands on issues: a smaller federal government, school vouchers, welfare reform, and, like many Republican presidential possibles, she urged a return to family values.
"In seeking to make America better, we have neglected what made her good," Dole said. "We've been embarrassed to talk about the values that make our lives happy and safe and fulfilled."
Dole may or may not run, of course. But could she? In Iowa?
"I think Elizabeth Dole is a very credible candidate in this state," said veteran Iowa political writer David Yepsen. "She has spent a lot of time here over the years, campaigning for her husband. She's got a lot of friends here. She can be a player if she wants to be."CNN's Bruce Morton contributed to this report.
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