Perhaps the only cabinet member from either of George W Bush's two terms that has national respect has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president.
Powell's endorsement of Obama is significant because Colin Powell is so powerfully associated with the early days of the Bush administration, when approval ratings were high and the nation was not so thoroughly divided. At the time of his selection as Secretary of State, Powell was seen as a figure of amazing importance and potential and respect from both sides of the aisle. Although his embarrassment at the UN has marred his reputation somewhat, he is still considered a respected statesmen by most.
Even further, Powell's endorsement was not tepid or non-committal. In doing so Powell has laid out clearly the reasons that he feels that his party (he still calls himself Republican) has abandoned its principles:
- It's inability to form a coherent conservative economic plan.
- It's inability to reign in government size or spending.
- It's reliance on anti-Muslim bigotry to shore up support and motivate voters.
- It's dogged focus on a very narrow slice of America.
- It's choosing for veneration embarrassingly unqualified and unprepared figures (Palin).