So how is the John McCain campaign handling Colin Powellâ€™s endorsement of Barack Obama?
McCainâ€™s surrogates were all over television yesterday downplaying Powellâ€™s decision, saying endorsements arenâ€™t really important, that Powell is mistaken about Obama being â€œtransformationalâ€ and that it doesnâ€™t make sense why Powell would endorse a candidate whoâ€™s such a throwback to old-school Democratic thinking.
Outside the official McCain campaign, conservatives have been even more dismissive. As Michael Reynolds observed yesterday, some big-name conservative pundits and some rank-and-file members are spinning Powellâ€™s endorsement as racially motivated.
If there is a lazier response, I canâ€™t think of one.
Try as they might, McCainâ€™s campaign and other Republicans cannot erase the importance of Powellâ€™s endorsement. While Iâ€™m unsure how many minds Powellâ€™s decision will directly change, the media coverage is bad for McCain. Right when McCain might have been gaining some traction by painting Obama as a hardcore liberal who will tax us back to the stone age, here comes a prominent Republican to make Obama look moderate and disrupt a news-cycle that had been trending in McCainâ€™s direction.
It wasnâ€™t a good Sunday for McCain. Just two weeks to go and his campaign his running out of possible momentum boosters.