Powell's endorsement today on "Meet The Press" was significant for several reasons. Powell put McCain's campaign problems in clear perspective and went into depth about why he doesn't trust a McCain presidency and why he does trust an Obama presidency.
It all came down to temperament and judgment. He pointed to McCain's handling of the economic crisis (his infamous "suspending" the campaign stunt) vs. Obama's calm and steadiness. He spoke about the choice of Palin as an example of poor judgment, while he supported Obama's pick of Biden for the "readiness" test.
What Powell also did was describe the "narrowing" of the Republican party. He made it very clear to more centrist-minded Republicans that this is no longer the party they knew. And he didn't let McCain off the hook with this shift, because its the McCain campaign that is accentuating this division on the campaign trail.
We'll see what a difference this makes. I think it grabs the headlines, causes some conservative soccer moms and NASCAR dads to think twice, if they were afraid to vote against their party line. Powell's words elucidate the problems with McCain and Palin. He flatly says that Palin isn't ready to be president. Bottom line: people of all parties admire Powell and trust what he says. That's worth something in the last two weeks of a campaign. Way to go, Colin Powell. A patriot to the end.