(CNN) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama, citing the Democrat's "ability to inspire" and the "inclusive nature of his campaign."
"I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Powell said he was concerned about what he characterized as a recent negative turn of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain's campaign, such as the campaign's attempts to tie Obama to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.
Powell, a retired U.S. general and a Republican, was once seen as a possible presidential candidate himself.
Brilliant news! It has made my day
This is huge! Another great American has seen the great qualities of Obama - the qualities we need to move our country forward!
Welcome aboard Secretary Powell. Inspite of the Bush fiasco, you have still served your country with pride. Your choice of Barack Obama is excellent and we are glad to have you on our team.
YES!!!!! Thank you Gen Powell. I never agreed with anything you did but always thought you were a straight up guy who believed what he said and said what he believed. Thanks for proving my instincts right!
Alright!!!! Glad to have your support......Now-Let's hit the campaign trail and bring over the rest of your crew.
Colin Powell has nothing to gain by endorsing Senator Obama, so I sincerely believe it is a heartfelt choice.
I'd love to see how the rebubs are going to try and spin this one!!!!!!!!!
Tucker? Tucker? Hahahaa
Welcome aboard Gen. Powell.
Another highly respected republican endorsement for Obama. Talk about an October surprise!! Thank you, Mr. Powell! Obama/Biden '08!
hmm a little on the late side powell.
If Sen. McCain reads these comments here is somethings to thinks about:
You said you rather lose the race for president than lose the war but it now seems you rather lose your diginity and a great legacy to win the presidency.
Please thinks about what you are really doing to yourself
Thank you General Powell for being a true American and looking beyond party affiliation to what our great country truly needs at this important time in its history.
Thanks Powell! This endorsement is clearly a vetting of Obama foreign policy credentials. Nothing can stop us now! Obama/Biden administration will undoubtedly restore the U.S. respect around the world.
Thanks Secretary Powell for your endorsement, and thanks for your service.
You act as if this is news - everyone knows Colin Powell has been leaning that way for a while. Big deal.
Welcome on board.. better late than never. Ohhhh John McCain is sinking faster than the titanic
This is the best news, thank you Mr Powell.
I knew he would. Powell is a man of Honor who puts the good of his Country before politics. OK President Obama. Make Powell your Secretary of State and America can re clain the respect of the world.
Glad to see a well balanced, intelligent person like Powell who can look beyond party lines and see Obama is truly better for our country.
So glad to see he came out for Obama this morning. Makes me smile today. I just want to say, all I hear this a.m. in the news is about Socialism and spreading the wealth around. I have just one thing to say about that.
Why is it ok to spread the debt around?
Who cares he was never a true republican anyway. So he's voting for Obama because he is inspiring??? WOW thank God we never had Mr. Powell run for President since he thinks the only qualification is to be inspiring. I'll take a war hero, someone who keeps our country safe, someone who's against abortion, and a man with strait talk anyday that's why I will be voting for John McCain-the only man who will help our nation continue to be safe and secure.
wow! Very bad news for McCain!
Powell is as unsympathetic a character as Cheney, Bush, Rummy, Rice, Gonzo and the rest. When it counted, he could not tell the truth and he could not withhold support for the most trumped up war in American history. He shares in the guilt for all that has gone wrong in Iraq, and he still believes the invasion was the right thing to do. No, Powell is no hero, he's just another politician looking for rewards. And now that Obama has done all the heavy lifting to reach the verge of the presidency, the general decides to offer his endorsement. This is clearly another reach for the redemption I hope he will never receive.
Hopefully this will put all of the unjust criticism away for good. Obama is ready to lead. He doesn't need on the job training, and despite what McCain says, he doesn't know what to do on Day One. That's why there is a transition period where the new presiden-elect gets up to speed. Of course, I'm sure McCain will spin this against Obama at some point.