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Colin Powell: The Most Important Endorsement This Campaign Season?

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Heard the rumor today? That Colin Powell was going to the Democratic Convention and endorsing Barack Obama?

Well, considering the gossip came from conservative gadfly Bill Kristol, I immediately didn’t believe. And soon enough it was dispelled by Powell himself…

“I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol’s musings,” Powell told ABC News. “I am not going to the convention. I have made this clear.”

But this raises an interesting question: what could Powell’s endorsement do for Obama? And then, of course, there’s the flip side: what could it do for McCain?

Honestly, I think it could swing a significant number of Independents to either candidate’s favor. After all, Powell is one of the more popular moderate political figures we’ve encountered in the past couple decades, even with that infamous speech at the U.N. looming in the background.

My guess? I think he would have come out for McCain a lot earlier if he was going to support John, so I think he’s leaning heavily towards Obama because he shares a similar approach to foreign policy with the Illinois senator. That doesn’t mean he’ll explicitly endorse Obama, but Powell’s silence would be telling in a year like this…especially consider he has been a lifelong Republican…albeit a moderate one.

Now, if he does actually come out for Obama, I think it would be much closer to November. Hell, he may even wait until just a couple weeks before the election, just to make sure the Republicans don’t fish something really nasty up. After all, Powell has a reputation to think of too.

So what are your thoughts? Think he’s backing Obama, but doesn’t want to admit it? Or does he still have a soft spot for McCain? And would his endorsement mean that much?