I was wondering how long it was going to take. Meet the Press runs here at 10AM. At about 9:30 Powell left the studio where the show is shot, and every cable news station carried a short press conference in which he gave a quick summary of his rationale for voting for Barack Obama. The reasoning was essentially the same that many have stated for why they Obama has shown himself to be more capable than McCain over the past weeks and months of the campaign: temperament, base negativity, Palin, etc.
After the press conference was over, I switched to Fox News to see how the folks at Fox and Friends Sunday were reacting. In short: They were pissed. They washed their hands of Powell, blamed him for the war, claimed half of his criticism of McCain campaign and the Republican party of late were simply not true, and could generally not be bothered to hide their contempt. Still, there was no reference (that I heard) to a Powell endorsement of Obama being a non story based around the issue of it being little more than a black guy endorsing the black candidate.
I knew it was coming. I just wondered how long it would take. Leave it to Drudge. Now this is a man who understands the power of an ironic banner. "Powell for Obama: It's Not About Race." Nice.
In case you missed the point, Matt links to a piece quoting Powell speaking to students that an African-American president would be electrifying. Nice. Alas, if you still miss the point, Drudge has removed the pic of Powell on stage with two hip-hop stars that he's been running for the past couple of days. Lame.
I don't know whether or not this is going to be a big endorsement. I don't even know what qualifies as a big endorsement anymore. If even such a thing exists. I tend to think a lot of people will consider this a Dog Bites Man story. He's another 73 year old black man voting for the black guy for president.
I remember all of those Hillary supporters claiming Oprah had sold out sisterhood for race. In the end, a lot of white people are going to respond to Powell as they've always responded to Powell, like he's a black guy. For decades, he's been the black guy they want all black guys to be: "well spoken," patriotic, Republican. Hell, his was the hypothetical face they'd imagine when telling pollsters that they would vote for a black man. He was for many Republicans what Barack Obama was for Democrats two years ago: the black guy who they said they'd vote for, but hoped to never have the chance. Today, for many of those same people, I think he's beginning to look like just another black guy.
Update: Limbaugh goes further than Drudge, but maintains some level of playful innuendo. Douche.