Colin Powell made life a lot easier for Barack Obama by endorsing him today, Mark Halperin writes in Time. He swallowed up a few days of media time; he gave Obama the support of a respected figure; and he allayed fears that Obama can't cut it as commander-in-chief. Powell's support "makes it much harder, even if there is an unexpected international crisis, for Republicans to suggest Obama simply isn't qualified to protect the country," writes Halperin.
"Powell will not become a full-throated partisan on Obama's behalf, but the two are now joined symbolically," Halperin writes. "It is most similar to Senator Edward Kennedy's endorsement of Obama over Hillary Clinton in February, which garnered extraordinary news coverage at a critical moment and broke the spirits of the opposition. Like Kennedy, Powell is a larger than life figure who commands a wide following."