This is interesting and exciting news but one wonders if Powell, once described as the "most respected man in the nation," will matter all that much to those currently on the fence. If the recent experiences of Parker and Buckley are any indication, I also wonder how many hate emails and death threats he will receive from the Joe Six Packs out there.
Personally, I have to respect the man. His cautious realism was eventually bested in the knife fight that made up the decision to invade Iraq and his Security Council presentation is a "blot" (as Powell describes it) on his service. But is apparently the case that he did his best to slow things down and he has had the courage to own up to the role he played in taking the country to a war which, if Stiglitz is to be believed, will have severe consequences for the nation going forward.
His call this morning for unity, fairness, inclusion, and (yes) fair play? Wonderfully and powerfully said.
But again, will it matter?
Is the process of American politics, that toxic mix of hate, rumor and innuendo, likely to change any time soon such that notions of unity, inclusion, and fairness become central? Powell seems to think so and, this morning, I share his hope.