Here's a new montage I put together of Colin Powell's endorsement, along with video clips from the campaign trail supporting his key points. As you can see, Powell didn't just endorse Barack Obama -- he also systematically dismantled the entire rationale for John McCain's presidential campaign.

Whatever you think of Colin Powell, in the context of our national discourse, an endorsement of Barack Obama from a Republican military figure like Powell is a severe blow to McCain's smear campaign.

Among the key points Powell made against McCain's campaign:

  • On the Ayers smears: He thoroughly repudiated McCain's "Obama associates with terrorists" smear job.
  • On the religion smears: He not only affirmed the fact that Barack Obama is Christian, but he also rejected the idea that it would be a problem if he weren't, defending religious freedom in passionate terms.
  • On the "anti-American" smears: He even targeted Michele Bachmann's divisive rant claiming that there are "anti-American" Members of Congress
  • On McCain's judgment and readiness: He destroyed the notion that McCain has either the judgment or policy acumen to serve as president, citing McCain's selection of Sarah Palin and his unsteady response to the economic crisis
  • On Republican extremism: He slammed the GOP's rightward tilt, specifically noting that it would be unacceptable to nominate two more hard-right justices to the Supreme Court

Powell didn't just decimate the McCain campaign rationale, however. Powell also offered up an endorsement of Barack Obama in the strongest possible terms, saying that Obama would be an "exceptional president" and that he had the capacity to be "transformational."

The amazing part of all this is that Powell still considers himself a Republican. While there will never be an excuse for his role in supporting the Iraq war, one thing does seem clear: Powell's endorsement today will be a boost for Barack Obama's campaign, and therefore a good thing for this country.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 09:00 PM PDT.

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