With George W. Bush's approval rating at an all-time low following the bungled hurricane relief effort, sources say the White House has turned tothe most trusted man ever associated with the administration to save the president's political bacon. The only question is, will Colin Powell take the job?
Ever since Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu "asked the president point blankto appoint a cabinet-level official within 24 hours to oversee the emergency operations," people have waited to see who the candidate would be, says Landrieu's spokesman Brian Richardson. "We still haven't gotten an answer."
If Powell is indeed the appointee, as D.C. sources say is likely, it would give the former secretary of state and general the opportunity to reprise his Gulf War leadership on America's own gulf coast. It would also give Powell, who left the administration amid infighting over foreign policy, a chance to receive a hero's welcome on the world stage—something hisreputation could use after he appeared before the United Nations with bogus proof of Saddam Hussein's illegal weapons program.
Asked about the rumors of his candidacy, a spokesperson for Powell's current employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, requested that questions be submitted in writing, but did not respond by press time. Landrieu's spokesman declined to speculate on potential candidates. "We only hope that the president moves swiftly and appointssomebody with extensive emergency management experience to oversee theoperation," Richardson said.