I saw it as another step toward Powell's personal and political redemption.
But, since then, Powell seems to be trying to redeem himself. While some may call it too little, too late, I don't set a statute of limitations on one's conscience.
Powell resigned from the Bush administration in late 2004, allegedly in response to pressure from the Powers That Be who apparently felt that Condi Rice would be a more pliable surrogate.
Sadly for all of us, they were right.
And now he endorses Barack Obama, and the kind of change that he didn't dare to hope for when he was serving the Bush administration.
These things suggest to me that Colin Powell is basically a decent person who was led astray by the neocons. While his playing along is not admirable, it's understandable. We're all human. We rely on the stability of our jobs. And so we are (subconsciously or otherwise) sometimes too quick to give our employers the benefit of the doubt.
So I stick by my theory of redemption. It's another step towards allowing General Powell to atone for his sins and start to sleep well at night.
After all, at least Powell now has the strength to stand up for a healthier agenda -- the change that the Obama campaign promises us. With his endorsement, Powell symbolizes that, for starters, a vote for Obama is a vote against the neocon agenda that led to the end of the unwitting Powell's political career as well as the end of American credibility in the world.
And that seems to confirm my theory that Powell is marching down the path of redemption.
But others, apparently, see it differently, in a couple of ways.
The first, a short, graying man in a flannel shirt and faded jeans, alleged that it was a "Negro thing". Powell supported Obama, he believed, because both were African-American.
Just as I was contemplating how shallow and narrow-minded that view seemed to be, the other guy opened his mouth. This was the taller man, in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. He disagreed with his friend regarding Powell's motive. This guy saw Powell's endorsement as an act of revenge. "He didn't have the guts to stick with Bush," he said. "Now he's taking it out on the whole Republican party." This, the man said, gives him even more reason to vote for McCain.