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Powell backs Obama

Maya J. Pope-Chappell | 4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.

Gen. Colin Powell crossed party lines in his endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama this past Sunday, describing him as a "transformational figure."

In an interview with Tom Brokaw on NBC's Meet the Press, the retired Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and former Secretary of State under President Bush said Obama is prepared to handle the nations economic crisis and lead the country.

"I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities-he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president," said Powell in his endorsement of Obama.

Powell repudiated Sen. John McCain's campaign, which has been heavily criticized for its surge in attacks against Obama including McCain's decision to tie the Illinois senator to 1960's radical and FBI labeled terrorist William Ayers. "I've also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Sen. McCain has taken recently, on his campaign ads, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about," Powell said.

Powell also questioned Sen. McCain's judgment over choosing Gov. Sarah Palin -as his running mate. "Now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president," Powell said.

Obama who has led in national polls also leads in electoral votes with 277 to McCain's 174. Some say that the endorsement, which comes weeks before the November 4th presidential election will resonate with independents and undermine the McCain campaign.