We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

And endorses Barack Obama. If Obama wins, I wonder if this will be the event that “experts” will call the tipping point (because it’s fun to point to a catalyst even if the polls suggest something more mundane). From CNN:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama, citing the Democrat’s “ability to inspire” and the “inclusive nature of his campaign.”

“I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Powell said he was concerned about what he characterized as a recent negative turn of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain’s campaign, such as the campaign’s attempts to tie Obama to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

“I think that’s inappropriate. I understand what politics is about — I know how you can go after one another, and that’s good. But I think this goes too far, and I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It’s not what the American people are looking for,” he said.

Powell, a retired U.S. general and a Republican, was once seen as a possible presidential candidate himself.

Powell said he has some concerns about the direction of the Republican Party, adding that it has “moved more to the right than I would like to see it.”

The list of conservatives who are too embarrassed and/or nauseated to vote for McCain is growing. Christopher Buckley, Christopher Hitchens, and now Powell. I wonder who else will defect from the GOP between now and election day?