Colin Powell Could be a Dark Horse Candidate in 2016

Ted Cruz. Hillary Clinton. Jon Huntsman. Chris Christie. Of all the names being mentioned as candidates for president in 2016, there’s one person who could completely shake up the race in a way nobody expects. 

That person? Former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The Financial Times notes Powell has been popping up all over the place recently to give his thoughts on the news of the day.

If Powell decides to run, he could be a formidable opponent:

Even some within his own party have recognized Powell’s appeal. “Morning Joe” host and former Republican House member Joe Scarborough has said that winning Powell’s approval is key to winning national elections.

“[In] 2012, Republicans got punished because they were the party of Todd Akin instead of the party of Colin Powell. They were the party of Richard Mourdock instead of the party of George H. W. Bush,” Scarborough said in February. “This is a party that Colin Powell wanted nothing to do with, despite the fact that Colin Powell is absolutely necessary if you’re going to have two wings of a Republican Party that can win national elections.”

But Powell’s greatest endorsement comes from the most important Republican leader of the last 50 years. In 1993, Ronald Reagan awarded Powell the second-ever Ronald Reagan Freedom Award. In praising Powell, the president said this: “I know I shouldn’t say this, but I have a confession to make. I just might have had an ulterior motive for inviting Colin Powell up here today to my presidential library. You see, I am hoping that perhaps one day he’ll return the favor and invite me to his.”