WASHINGTON -- Eager to match, if not trump, Mitt Romney's recent claims to a bipartisan disposition, President Barack Obama's campaign is launching a new television ad on Thursday featuring the president's endorsement from Gen. Colin Powell.
Powell, the former secretary of state and still self-identified Republican (the ad emphasizes that), offered his support for Obama an interview last week on CBS' The Early Show. It seemed to pass into the current of the ever-changing campaign news cycle. But on Wednesday, the Obama campaign launched a radio ad highlighting Powell's appearance are following with a TV spot.
Powell is increasingly persona non grata in conservative circles. Romney's own campaign co-chair, former Gov. John Sununu, suggested that his endorsement of Obama was still based on race. But for all the sullying his image suffered during the George W. Bush presidency, Powell maintains a fairly sterling reputation. And it's hard to see how this doesn't help Obama with some of the more moderate-minded voters.
The ad, according to the campaign, will run in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minnesota is the most interesting state on the list as it's the only one of the "new" battleground states that Romney is insisting his campaign will contest (the others are Pennsylvania and Michigan). All of which suggests that the Obama campaign sees Michigan as the closest of the three.