Powell likely to openly endorse Obama's presidency bid this Sunday

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Washington, Oct 18 : Speculations are rife that former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is invariably one of the most popular ex-senior officials in the Bush administration, might come out in the open to support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama this Sunday.

At the "Meet the Press" programme this weekend, Powell is expected to endorse Obama's candidature for the presidency. Powell's backing to Obama assumes significance as the former, as a Republican, would be jumping his party lines in supporting Obama, a Democrat, reported the Washington Post.

In the past too, Powell has made his admiration public for Obama, an Illinois Senator, but has always stopped short of outright endorsing him.

According to the paper, Powell's endorsement of Obama this Sunday would qualify as the "highest powered of all endorsements"

Powell is best known for his most recent job in government as the Secretary of State for Bush. "The idea that a high-ranking cabinet official in a Republican administration would come out for the Democrat is simply too juicy a story for the media to ignore. That it would be someone as high profile as Powell would only add to the titillation," said the report.

Then, Powell, unlike almost no other official with ties to the Bush Administration, has retained remarkable popularity ratings.

In an August Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, more than three-quarters of voters viewed Powell favorably while just 13 percent saw him in an unfavorable light.

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