The New York Times reports former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  No doubt Republican-leaning moderator Tom Brokaw was flummoxed by Powell’s decision, but this will be seen as a strong endorsement of Obama’s capabilities as Commander in Chief.

Our friends at the Huffington Post report:

“He has both style and substance. I think he is a transformational figure,” Powell said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“Obama displayed a steadiness. Showed intellectual vigor. He has a definitive way of doing business that will do us well,” Powell said.

Powell said McCain has been a good friend for 25 years. But Powell expressed disappointment in the negative tone of McCain’s campaign, as well as in his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

“Now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president,” Powell said. “And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.”

He also said he was disappointed with some of McCain’s campaign tactics, such as bringing up Obama’s ties to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

After the interview, Powell told reporters: “I think that Senator Obama brings a fresh set of eyes, fresh set of ideas to the table. I think that Senator McCain, as gifted as he is, is essentially going to execute the Republican agenda, the orthodoxy of the Republican agenda with a new face and a maverick approach to it, and he’d be quite good at it, but i think we need more than that. I think we need a generational change. I think Senator Obama has captured the feelings of the young people of America and is reaching out in a more diverse, inclusive way across our society.”

In other campaign news, Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe announced today the Obama campaign has raised a record $150 million in the month of September alone.  According to Plouffe, this represents 632,000 new donors, with the average donation coming in at $86.

The campaign has attracted an incredible 3.1 million individual donors, with the strongest showing coming from retirees and students, demonstrating that Obama’s support spans generations.