While serving in the Bush administration Powell did a number of things that tarnished my opinion of him as both a leader and a person. When considering some of his most egregious acts during his tenure under Bush, I often imagined (and some reporst would support this idea) that he convinced himself to go along with
So what's this all worth, and why does Powell matter? Well, I would suggest this tidbit is newsworthy, if accurate for two salient reasons:
- Powell is understood primarily to be not only a military man, but an elderstatesman within the U.S. military establishment. The guy was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (also only African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs so far), Secretary of State, and National Security Advisor to Raegan and Bush 1.
- I believe Powell is seen and will continue to be seen as eminently either nonpartisan or, if at all partisan moderately Republican across wide swaths of undecided America. While Powell's own endorsement may not have an enormous measured impact, I do think it plays into a larger narrative about the middle of the American electorate slipping away from McCain based on a stew of different issues swirling around the economy, his choice of Palin, recent erratic behavior, and the simple sense that one candidate in this election has brightly out-shined the other in terms of confidence and leadership over the last month of rocky news for our nation.
Perhaps the larger trends are the real story, but I for one was pleasantly surprised (although not that surprised) to see this headline today, and I am encouraged to see Powell follow the undecided Matts of New Hampsire constituency in joining the Obama fold!
image from World Economic Form published under Creative Commons license.
Editor's Note: This post was originally posted on 10/15, but I have bumped it back up in response to Powell's upcoming appearance on national TV (Sunday morning).