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Colin Powell edging closer to Barack Obama?

July 1, 2008 |  2:36 pm

As the general election campaign evolves, retired Gen. Colin Powell may be assuming the role that Al Gore occupied during the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination -- the big "get," the Retired Gen. Colin Powell recently met with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, spurring speculation of an endorsement by the former secretary of state, but he also has been chatting with presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain potential endorser whose backing would cause quite a stir.

Gore, of course, never did choose sides; he bestowed his formal embrace on Barack Obama after Hillary Clinton had conceded the race.

But Powell has given indications that he will make a public pick. And speculation that he's leaning toward Obama is sure to go up a notch with word from the National Journal's "Hotline on Call" that the two met privately two weeks ago in Powell's office in Alexandria, Va.

The Hotline item reported that a Powell spokeswoman said that the tete-a-tete occurred June 18 and lasted about an hour.

The Powell aide, Peggy Cifrino, termed it "an informal conversation" and added, "There’s no looming endorsement. They came to talk about issues."

Cifrano also noted that her boss had met with John McCain a week earlier. But news of the Powell/Obama chat comes on the heels of a Robert Novak column opining that President Bush's former secetary of State "probably will enter Obama's camp at a time of his own choosing."

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Canadian Press