I particularly appreciate his comments at about 4:01 of that video, especially this:
"...not about who's a muslim and who's not a muslim...We have got to say to the world, 'it doesn't make any difference who you are, or what you are. If you're American, you're American!'"
Here's the reaction from the pundits:
Perhaps the best quote from Powell's endorsement came from his appearance on Meet the Press:
The best quote comes at 4:31 when he says:
"I'm also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said such things as: 'Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well, the correct answer is: he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is: What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is: No, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she can be President? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion: he's a Muslim, and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America."*
Now, there are certainly issues with Colin Powell, especially regarding his part in the Iraq war. But this kind of thing, especially the quote above, makes me think that at the very least, while I'll never agree with him on most things, I can respect him as a human being, something I can't say of quite a few republicans.
*For more on that story he referenced about the soldier near the end of the clip, head over to Shakesville.