Former Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared on NBC's "Today" show yesterday and demurred when it came to endorsing a presidential candidate in 2012, at least for now. Given Powell's support for President Obama four years ago, this caused a minor freak-out in much of the political establishment. (That Powell may yet endorse Obama later was largely overlooked.)
Though this morning's interview on msnbc's "Morning Joe" will probably generate far less chatter, the comments from the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs were arguably more politically provocative.
Asked about Mitt Romney, for example, Powell expressed concerns about the Republican's far-right advisors, especially on foreign policy, whose judgment Powell considers suspect. At one point, he urged Romney, "Come on Mitt, think" -- as if to say Romney is not already thinking.
Powell added that he and others in the Republican mainstream have been "taken aback" by some of the hardline positions adopted by the presumptive GOP nominee. (For context, it's worth noting that Romney has surrounded himself with many of the worst members of the Bush/Cheney team, all of whom were wrong about nearly everything, and many of whom had no use for Powell's vision of U.S. foreign policy.)
Powell also emphasized his support for investments in education and infrastructure -- "what we need to be doing," he said -- which clearly aligns him with Obama and against Romney, though he did not explicitly say so.