Sunday, October 19, 2008
It's not exactly an original thought that Obama probably locked up this endorsement some time ago, and kept Powell in pocket until the best time.
This was, undoubtedly, the best time, kicking McCain while he's down.
What will be the effect of this endorsement? It's hard to imaging that it's anything but great news for Barack, but what is the magnitude of this vector? I think there may be competing factors here. On the one hand, it further cements American's greater comfort with the idea of Obama as CiC. Notwithstanding the tarnishing of his rep by the UN presentation, Powell still commands great respect in this country. The endorsement also emphasizes that Obama is surrounding himself with, and listening to, some very smart, mainstream political, economic and foreign policy titans. OTOH, there may be an undercurrent of "Powell endorsed Obama cuz he's black." My guess is this view would be held predominantly by people who wouldn't vote for Obama anyway.
So, yeah, net positive for Obama. But the magnitude? The effect on the polls, and the election? Anybody's guess.