In a move that will probably not mean much to the Democratic base, but that I find significant, Colin Powell endorses Obama, and with some detailed comments. Here's what I posted to EAForums about it:
On Meet The Press, Colin Powell gives respect to John McCain, but very low marks for [his] campaign, the judgment in choosing Sarah Palin, and the rightward shift of the Republican party. He praises Obama for his steadiness over the campaign and especially in the last few weeks, and his ability to cross lines, be an inclusive leader, and apply intellectual vigor.
He dismisses the idea that this is because he is an African American, explaining that he could have made that endorsement long ago, but needed to get to know Senator Obama better, which he did in personal meetings and by judging his actions.
He doesn't plan on campaigning for him so close to the election.
Tom Brokaw brought up that he doesn't agree with Obama on the idea of a deadline in Iraq (noting a quote of Powell's). Powell noted that a timeline is already being developed, and that the next president, whomever that is, will be working with the military to set timelines and criteria.
Powell calls what Ayers did in the past "despicable," but to keep bringing it up (in the context of this election) is also despicable.
Will this endorsement help Obama? I think the people who would dismiss this as a race-based endorsement are not votes that are "in play." This is an endorsement that adults should pay attention to.
And, personally, I'd rather have Colin Powell's endorsement than an imaginary plumber.
More than its effect on the election, the Republicans should pay attention to Powell's comments on the Republican party's narrowing.
As I said to my father-in-law yesterday, When they go to Ayers, ACORN, terrorist!, socialism, and the other distractions they've made the center of their campaign, they're hardening their core. They're thrilling the base, but lighting their hair on fire. If the Republicans want to be an opposition party, do they want to be a fringe opposition party? Are they aiming to win an election, or to radicalize their core against the possibility of a popular president?
We need to see an inclusive leader to help the nation move forward. I agree with Colin Powell that this leader is most likely to be Barak Obama.