For anyone who supports Barak Obama, Colin Powell's endorsement on Sunday was exciting. For those who support McCain, expect to here it brushed off as a non-event.
The fact is, I think that as much as one might say Barak Obama won Powell's endorsement, it is equally true that John McCain lost it.
You can count me among those who was extremely disappointed that Powell didn't resign after he was horribly misused in making the U.S. case for war when he appeared before the United Nations. It has been proven that George Tenet lied to him, and sat behind Colin Powell as he used little more than a Power Point presentation with spliced audio to convince the world that Iraq had WMD.
But, I was reminded that Powell is a soldier and that no matter his own misgivings, or his personal feelings, his reflex is to obey the directives of the Commander in Chief. Powell's loyalty, although misplaced in the minds of many of us civilians, is the natural order of things to a general. Consequently, we don't know what arguments he may have made withing the inner circle of the White House, or how vigorous those arguments may have been, what we do know is that once the decision is made, his inclination is to accept it.
Powell's rationale for supporting Obama's candidacy was both eloquent and telling:
McCain's uncertainty when faced with the economic crisis
The increasingly negative attacks on Obama's character
The narrowing focus of the Republican Party
What McCain's choice of Sarah Palin says about his judgement
those reasons for not supporting McCain when contrasted with his evaluation of Obama's vision, leadership, decision making and temperament, speak volumes about what Powell was looking for in a presidential candidate.
Whatever else we want to credit Powell with - he knows leadership.
Obviously, there are some who will not agree with, or care about Powell's endorsement. But I think its important that given General Powell's loyalty, his patriotism, what he knows about this country and what he understands about where this country is headed and what it needs, Powell's endorsement of McCain, was McCain's to lose - and he lost it.