Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that he prefers acting as an occasional adviser to President Barack Obama and would not be interested in a position in his administration.
Conversations were held within the president’s staff during his candidacy in 2008 and his transition period, “but nothing was of interest to me,” Powell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Host Candy Crowley suggested that Powell, who held his Cabinet post under President George W. Bush, might like to succeed Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from Bush’s administration. But Powell shot down the scenario she floated that he might like to have another chance at influencing the Iraq War.
“I’ve never heard that scenario quite that way. … The media loves to come up with various scenarios, but the administration knows that I’m quite content with the work I’m doing now with young people, with education and a variety of other interests that I have, so I’m not anxious to be offered a government job and I’m not interested in a government job,” he said.
“I would rather be someone the president calls on from time to time for personal advice,” he added.
Powell strayed from the Republican Party to endorse Obama in the 2008 presidential race, but although Powell praised Obama on Sunday, he said he is not committed to voting for him again.
“I will always vote, as I have throughout my life, for the person that I think is best qualified to be president of the United States, and I don’t adhere to a single party line,” he said. “So I’m not committed to Barack Obama. I’m not committed to a Republican candidate. I will see who emerges.”
So far Powell hasn’t been won over by any potential GOP candidates.
“Right now I do not see on the Republican side any one individual who I think is going to emerge at the top of the pile,” he said. “So it’s going to be an interesting 2011 and a very interesting early 2012 as the primaries begin and they separate themselves.”