Strange behavior indeed for a man who claims to have deliberated so thoroughly and whose endorsement, we’re assured, means so much to the electorate.

No phone call, either.

Remember, they’ve been friends for decades. McCain even allegedly considered him for VP.

“I was surprised that he didn’t call me before,” McCain told the Tribune-Review in an exclusive telephone interview on the eve of a campaign swing through Pennsylvania that includes a rally at Robert Morris University in Moon…

Powell acknowledged a close relationship with McCain for more than two decades, saying he weighed the decision long and hard. One reason Powell gave for not endorsing McCain was the Republican’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Powell said he doesn’t consider Palin prepared to be president, which is the primary role of the vice president.

McCain chided Powell for criticizing Palin.

“I wished he had taken the opportunity to meet Governor Palin,” McCain said. “I’m proud to have four former secretaries of state endorse me and over 200 admirals and generals who are retired support me.”

Here’s Limbaugh lighting into him on today’s show. Whether race influenced his decision is a fruitless subject since there’s no way to prove it either way; I’m willing to take a former Joint Chiefs chair at his word, and the boss notes that there’s no need to impute to racial politics what’s equally well explained by Powell’s social liberalism. The more interesting question is whether the public thinks race had something to do with it and, if so, how that’ll affect the weight of the endorsement. Gallup and Rasmussen will presumably/hopefully have something to say about that within the next 48 hours.