B-Serious and the Christian Progressive Liberal have already posted on this. Still I have my 2 cents. Progressives and Democrats will snort a little and roll their eyes at one of the architects of the disastrous Iraqi  invasion. Powell essentially agrees with Hillary Clinton that the problem wasn’t with the concept of invading Iraq, the problem was how it was done (badly in his opinion). I disagreed with Powell and Clinton before the war and I still do. The WMD assessment was always weak and uncertain if you were paying attention.

Yet the significance of Colin Powell’s endorsement is that it gives the non-Kool Aid drinkers of the Republican party, the thinking Republicans, the Republicans who are disturbed and embarrassed by the spectacle of McCain-Palin a way out of voting for the GOP ticket this go-round. He’s still a powerful and iconic figure among Republicans and independents.

Powell broke it down and gave fully coherent, intelligent reasons why Obama is the right man at the right time. I was moved by his story about the Muslim soldier in Arlington Cemetary as an example of the McCain campaign’s short-sighted and bigoted strategy to associate Obama with Islamic terrorism. It stands to alienate reasonable, non-racists from the Republican party. America is changing and Powell is right – we need a new generation, inspirational rhetoric, fresh ideas and calm diplomacy to navigate the crises before us. McCain offers none of these advantages — and indeed offers the disadvantage of the narrow-minded Sarah Palin.

So I’m grateful to Colin Powell for stepping forward to offer reasonable Republicans and conservative-leaning independents – people who still respect his opinion – some air cover to say publicly what many must be thinking privately — “I’m with Powell. I’m voting for Obama this year.”

More from Powell on MSNBC:

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