Monday, Oct 20, 2008
Democrat Barack Obama basked in the coveted endorsement of former secretary of state Colin Powell and amassed a record cash haul in a blow to Republican rival John McCain.
Powell, a Republican who made history twice as the first black secretary of state and first African-American chief of the US military, hailed Obama as a potential “transformational president” and criticized McCain’s campaign.
Powell, who was President George W. Bush’s first chief diplomat, carries the burden of his role in promoting the Iraq invasion. But his endorsement was still a stinging rebuff to McCain, 72, and could help sway swing voters and military veterans.
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His backing came as the Obama campaign announced a fundraising take of more than 150 million dollars last month, demolishing its previous record of 66 million set in August.
The gigantic treasure trove is enabling Obama, who enjoyed a 10-point lead in Sunday’s Gallup tracking poll, to hit McCain even harder with a nationwide advertising blitz in the days leading up to the November 4 election.
Addressing a carnival-like rally of more than 10,000 supporters here, Obama said he was “beyond honored and deeply humbled to have the support of General Colin Powell.”