Following Colin Powell’s endorsement on Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw asked the panel how that would play in military circles. Seasoned political reporter Andrea Mitchell suggested it will help with the large number of military, active and retired, in states like Virginia and North Carolina (both in play) … and South Carolina.

Brokaw didn’t ask her if she thought it would shift S.C. from solid red, because I’m sure Mitchell’s head would have rolled as she said “Hell, no.”

I don’t think that there were military voters out there who saw Colin Powell endorse Barack Obama and said, “Yeah, I’m with that guy.” Didn’t happen.

Instead, what Powell’s endorsement does is that it gives them two weeks to think about it. This is a military leader who has degreed with Barack Obama on the central foreign policy issue of the last six years and he says, “That’s OK, I’m still voting for the guy.” Other troops on the fence may not change their mind, but now they have the encouragement to at least consider it.

The same can definetly be said for moderate Republicans, because I think that Powell was speaking more to them this morning than he was to military folks. These people, like Powell, don’t feel abandoned by their candidate, they feel abandoned by the party their candidate stands for. (I’m looking at you, Log Cabin Republicans!). You may not change your mind, but feel comforted in that you’re not alone if you do.