Powell endorses Obama as 'transformational'
Retired General Colin L. Powell, one of the country's most respected Republicans, stunned both parties on Sunday by strongly endorsing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president on NBC's "Meet the Press" and laying out a blistering, detailed critique of the modern GOP.
"I think he is a transformational figure," Powell said. "He is a new generation coming ... onto the world stage and on the American stage. And for that reason, I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama."
Powell, making his 30th appearance on "Meet the Press," led into that by saying: "We've got two individuals — either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now — which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time.
"And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities — and you have to take that into account — as well as his substance — he has both style and substance, he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president."
Powell, speaking live in the studio, told moderator Tom Brokaw that he is "troubled" by the direction of the Republican Party and statements by the campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and said he does not believe Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is ready to be president.
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