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Roundup: Obama Wins The Weekend, Palin Backs Federal
Marriage Amendment 

Political
Roundup: Obama Wins The Weekend, Palin Backs Federal
Marriage Amendment 

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The weekend brought of flurry of political endorsements, with Gen. Colin Powell breaking his silence on the presidential race to back Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Sarah breaking with her running mate, Sen. John McCain, to voice her support for a federal marriage amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.

The Obama campaign was awash with good news over the weekend, announcing a staggering $150 million haul in fundraising for the month of September and receiving the coveted endorsement of former Secretary of State and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell.

Powell, who announced his support for Sen. Barack Obama on the Meet the Press Sunday, said the country was facing the most difficult times he had ever seen in his 30-plus years of public service. While Powell said both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Obama were prepared to be president in his judgment, he added that Sen. Obama is a "transformational figure" who has the "rhetorical abilities" and the "substance" to meet the challenges of the day.

"He is a new generation coming into the world -- onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason, I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama," he said. Powell also indicated that part of his decision stemmed from the divisive tone of McCain's campaign, his capricious approach to dealing with the economy, and his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

"Now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks," Powell said, "I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president."

Gen. Powell, who had strongly supported the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and helped craft the plan before he stepped down as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has indicated a willingness to review the policy in recent years. Last year, he told Vanity Fair that the military ban "is still a discriminatory policy; it is prejudicial," adding, "It's now 14 years later, the country has changed, and the day may well come when it will not be a problem any longer."

For her part, Gov. Palin took time this weekend to revisit the merits of another anti-gay federal law that, unlike DADT, failed to make it's way into the books: the Federal Marriage Amendment. Palin told David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network that she supports passing a federal law that would constitutionally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman and deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

"In my own state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman," Palin told CBN. "I wish on a federal level that that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage."

Palin's views on the issue break with those of Sen. John McCain, who has twice voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment and who believes defining marriage should be left up to individual states.

Sen. Obama's announcement of his $150 million month brought his fund-raising totals for the campaign to more than $600 million. Sen. McCain opted to receive public financing, which allotted him $84 million to use from the beginning of September through the end of the race November 4. Sen. Obama's financial advantage has allowed him to flood the airwaves with ads at a rate of about three-to-one to Sen. McCain and enabled him to put staffers into a number of very traditionally red states such as Virginia and North Carolina.

Another financial development last week: The Atlantic reported that the Democratic National Committee is considering pouring about $20 million into state legislative races nationwide in an attempt to flip control of key legislatures. In the cross hairs, sources said, is New York, where Democrats are two seats away from winning a majority in the state senate. Many LGBT activists believe that a Democratic senate majority would usher in the chance to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The New York State Assembly passed gay marriage legislation last year and Gov. David Paterson told The Advocate he would "absolutely" sign the bill into law if it reached his desk.

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