It was the endorsement heard around the world. General Colin Powell, widely respected in most political circles, crossed party lines and endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.
On NBC's "Meet The Press," Powell eloquently laid out his reasons for the endorsement. He wasn't pleased with the tone of McCain's campaign. He didn't believe Alaska Governor -turned Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin was qualified to step in and run the country on a moment's notice. And he was not happy with the direction of the country.
Powell is a Republican, with a strong record of allegiance to his country and his party. He spent most of his adult life in the military and served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush.
For anyone to step across party lines and endorse the opposition strikes me as the true definition of a maverick. McCain touted his maverick status throughout his campaign, having gone against his own party. Not to be outdone, Palin threw in her maverick status for helping to oust corrupt republican politicians in Alaska.
Yet, some bloggers and even members of the party faithful are accusing Powell of race baiting and even treason because of his Obama endorsement.
Powell shrugged off the race-baiting claims, saying that if he was going to endorse Obama solely on that basis, he would have done it months ago when the junior senator from Illinois kicked off his campaign. Interestingly enough, nobody raised those same claims when former Secretaries of State Alexander Haig and Henry Kissinger endorsed John McCain.
Speaking of McCain, I don't recall anyone accusing him of treason when he disagreed with his own party on key issues such as torturing suspected terrorists or when he worked with Democratic Senator Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform. I also don't recall anyone accusing former Democratic Georgia Governor Zell Miller of the same when he spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention. And where was the outcry when Former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, himself a former vice presidential candidate followed suit this year?
It seems to me Powell has become too much of a maverick for some members of the GOP.