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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | January 19, 2003

Powell backs UM affirmative action plan

I know we went over this a couple of days ago, but why is Powell a Republican?

Powell, one of two black members of Bush's Cabinet, said he supports methods the University of Michigan uses to bolster minority enrollments in its undergraduate and law school programs. The policies offer points to minority applicants and set goals for minority admissions.

"Whereas I have expressed my support for the policies used by the University of Michigan, the president, in looking at it, came to the conclusion that it was constitutionally flawed based on the legal advice he received," Powell said on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

Boy, he didn't hold back. Of course, there's no way in heck Bush could ever fire Powell without raising a shitstorm of epic proportions.

Rice was a little more diplomatic, while still making clear she supported affirmative action:

She said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that there are "problems" with the university's selection policies, and cited the points system.

But she also said race can be a factor in colleges' selection process. The brief the Bush administration filed with the Supreme Court was silent on that issue of whether race can be a factor under some circumstances.

"It is important to take race into consideration if you must, if race-neutral means do not work," she said.

Rice said she had benefited from affirmative action during her career at Stanford University.

So Bush's two top African Americans have broken with Bush on the issue -- not exactly a ringing endorsement for Bush's race policies.

(Incidentally, Rice's comments are proof positive that she will NOT replace Cheney as VP candidate in 2004. The GOP base would never abide.)

Posted January 19, 2003 04:56 PM | Comments (35)


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