A wise political observer writes:

I don't believe it, Mike. Maybe if he campaigned with Obama in VA, he could make a .5 percent difference. I don't see him changing Ohio or any other critical state.

Perhaps. And I defer to this person's expertise. But they said similar things about Palin's impact at first. Sometimes hype is its own reward.

Another reader suggests a joint Powell-Hagel endorsement, to diminish any sense that Powell was simply siding with the black candidate. He adds:

These guys are both, effectively, retired.  They both had real bullets fired at them, seen men killed and maimed before their eyes.  They are both doubtless completely appalled by the cynicism and the irresponsibility McCain showed with the Palin pick.
How much guts does it take to endorse a Democrat in a room where there won't be one loaded gun?

--Michael Crowley