The Hill's Justin Sink reports on the re-up from the retired General, who cited foreign policy concerns over Mitt Romney and offered some economic kudos for the president on CBS this morning.
"This is my decision based on my looking at it as a citizen," Powell said, adding he had "concerns" about Gov. Romney's economic and foreign policy plans, arguing Romney had provided a "moving target."
"One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq," Powell said. "On every issue that was discussed on Monday night Gov. Romney agreed with the president with some nuances, but this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign."
Powell did allow it was "a concern" that the president had not laid out more of an agenda for a second term.
"I think the president has started with a plan he issued yesterday, that he's going to focus on the economy, focus on debt," Powell said.
But the retired four-star general said he continued to consider himself a Republican, despite having now backed the Democratic presidential nominee for a second straight election.
"I think I'm a Republican of a more moderate mold and that's something of a dying breed, I'm sorry to say," Powell said. "But, you know, the Republicans I work for are President Reagan, President Bush 41, Howard Bakers of the world, people who were conservative, people who were willing to push their conservative views but people who recognized at the end of the day you got to find a basis for compromise."
Four years ago, Powell's endorsement was a pretty big deal (as far as endorsements go). It was also something more important -- it was a sign of just how open independents and moderate Republicans were to Obama. I don't think he changed many votes, but he was a symbol of a change of many votes.
This time, it's less buzzy that Powell's sticking with Obama, because that was the default assumption. But it would've been a big story the other way. Why? Because Obama's performing weakly with both independents and leftish Republicans, and Powell's exodus would have been, once again, a symbolic headline that could have dinged Chicago.
So even though this doesn't mean a ton for the race, it means something for Chicago, which avoided a bad headline.