Washington, July 3 : Keeping to his words that he would go across the political divide and even include Republicans in his government in February 2009, Democratic presidential candidate Barrack Obama had a one-to-one meeting with Colin Powell, the former secretary of state in the Bush administration.
The meeting has fuelled the speculation that Powell might endorse Obama over his fellow Republican presidential candidate John McCain - or consider a position in a future Obama administration, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
There are speculations that after assuming the presidency, Obama might even offer Powell the vice-presidency.
Powell, the first black to hold the position of secretary of state, has made increasingly positive noises about Senator Obama since he first hazarded an opinion earlier this year. But, when news about Obama-Powell meeting broke yesterday, the rumour mill went wild.
Confirming the meeting, Powell's spokeswoman Peggy Cifrino said: "Just an informal conversation. There's no looming endorsement. They came to talk about issues."
She added: "The senator had been in two or three times before."
Powell's endorsement for Obama would be a potent symbol for Senator Obama, signaling that moderates, like Powell, were disaffected with the Republican Party, the Bush Administration and, by implication, his proffered replacement, Senator McCain. It would also help allay concerns about Senator Obama's lack of foreign policy experience, added the paper.
Over the past few months, Powell has made several public statements praising Senator Obama but has balanced these with praise for Senator McCain.