Pro-choice, anti-gun, soft on Wrightgate, in favor of talks with Iran and Syria, and foreign policy chat buddy to St. Barry as far back as last summer, when Obama was still expected to be nothing more than roadkill beneath the wheels of the Clinton machine.

He knows who he’s voting for.

Colin Powell, the former Republican secretary of state, says he is not ruling out a vote for Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president…

“I will vote for the individual I think that brings the best set of tools to the problems of 21st-century America and the 21st-century world regardless of party, regardless of anything else other than the most qualified candidate,” Mr. Powell said at a news conference before delivering a speech to about 800 people attending a leadership forum at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“Both of them certainly have the qualifications to be the president of the United States, but both of them cannot be,” he said…

Asked whether he thought it was a difficult choice, he said: “I think so. Yes.”

Picture it. Late August, Denver, third night of the Democratic convention. The curtains part and out strides America’s Moral Leader to offer a Zell Miller-ish cross-party benediction of Obama as the official choice of Sensible Centrists everywhere. Exit question: Given the enormous value something like that would have, both in terms of boosting Barry O’s military credentials and in cutting into McCain’s appeal among independents, what would/could Obama offer him to make it happen? “I always keep my eyes open and my ears open to requests for service,” Powell told Tim Russert last year, but what, realistically, could he do? SecDef? The guy who (in)famously sold the Iraq war to the United Nations?

Tags: Barack Obama