Former secretary of state and military supremo Colin Powell on Sunday endorsed Democrat Barack Obama's White House bid, in a stinging rebuff to Republican candidate John McCain.
The former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff expressed disquiet over the rightward shift the Republican Party has taken under McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin -- who he said was not ready to be president.
Powell, on NBC program "Meet the Press," said Obama had "met the standard" to lead "because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America".
"I think he would be a transformational president. For that reason I will be voting for Senator Barack Obama," said Powell, who was the first African-American to occupy the top US military post.
Should the mixed-race Obama win on November 4, "all Americans should be proud, not just African-Americans," he added.
"It would not just electrify our country, it would electrify the world."
Colin Powell spoke to reporters after leaving NBC's studio where he appeared on Meet the Press and endorsed Barack Obama.
This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast October 19, 2008.